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Shellback? or Golden Shellback??????

Posted: September 22, 2006 2:35 pm
by Dutch Harbor PH
OK all you salts out there....Did you ever participate in the tradtion of crossing the equator (shellback) or perhaps the Equator at 180 degrees longitude (Golden Shellback) ?????

For me it was off the coast of Equador en route to Peru aboard the TS Golden Bear (ex SS Cresent City) in January of 1980. We had all the tradtional stuff...running the gauntlet, the journey through the whales a**hole, the humbling before king neptunes court...and a great bar-b-que on the fantail afterward with cliff diving off the stern......

Posted: September 22, 2006 7:15 pm
by chalksoperations
USS America, 1989..Indian Ocean due shouth of BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory). We actually got Blue Nose and Shellback on the same cruise.

Re: Shellback? or Golden Shellback??????

Posted: September 22, 2006 7:35 pm
by Soraya
Dutch Harbor PH wrote:OK all you salts out there....Did you ever participate in the tradtion of crossing the equator (shellback) or perhaps the Equator at 180 degrees longitude (Golden Shellback) ?????

For me it was off the coast of Equador en route to Peru aboard the TS Golden Bear (ex SS Cresent City) in January of 1980. We had all the tradtional stuff...running the gauntlet, the journey through the whales a**hole, the humbling before king neptunes court...and a great bar-b-que on the fantail afterward with cliff diving off the stern......
My husband did while in the Navy. His second time across he was part of "King Neptune's" court as the Royal Baby. (Which I admit...I find VERY unlike my husband, but I guess when the Captian asks...you don't say no!)

After the first time, he came down with an ear infection....a few days after the event the ship's doctor pulled a spaghetti noodle out of his ear. I think this is one of those things that has to been seen to be believed.

Posted: September 23, 2006 3:24 am
by Wino you know
I am a shellback, not a golden shellback, although I have sailed across the International Date Line (180 degrees longitude) several times.
I've crossed the equator more times than I've been to Jimmy Buffett concerts, and I've been to 32 of those.
The first time I crossed the equator (became a shellback) was on October 22, 1971 on the U.S.S. Oklahoma City, a guided missle cruiser.
It was at 105 degrees 10 minutes East longitude (and I have the paper to prove it- 8) ) enroute from Singapore to Vietnam. (Although crossing the equator was not along the route, the ship's captain wanted to cross).
On subsequent trips, I served on King Neputne's Court as the Royal Navigator.

Those were other days in what seems like another lifetime, but oh, the memories. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I think about HONG KONG when I'm high on red wine, I wish I could jump on a plane-so many nights I dream of the ocean, GOD, I wish I was sailing again

Posted: September 23, 2006 3:39 am
by sunseeker
can someone explain King Neptunes court???

Posted: September 23, 2006 3:45 am
by Wino you know
sunseeker wrote:can someone explain King Neptunes court???
Absolutely.
Read all about it and the Shellback tradition here.
http://www.desausa.org/pollywog_to_shellback.htm

Posted: September 23, 2006 7:12 am
by sunseeker
I never knew.....wayyyyy cool!!

Posted: September 23, 2006 9:39 am
by chalksoperations
Oh sure...it's all fun until you get a chunk of galley mud in your nose. It's the interesting times like that which we remember the most.

Posted: September 23, 2006 2:52 pm
by UpstateNYPH
Shellback here, crossed the equator several times, and have also crossed the international date line as well :D

Did it all in the first four months of this year 8)

Posted: September 23, 2006 7:14 pm
by pair8head
USS Spruance DD963.

We crossed at 0 deg. How well I remember those days. We knew we were in trouble when the cooks stopped throwing the gargage overboard 3 days before we got there. :lol:

Posted: September 24, 2006 1:47 am
by Soraya
pair8head wrote:USS Spruance DD963.

We crossed at 0 deg. How well I remember those days. We knew we were in trouble when the cooks stopped throwing the garbage overboard 3 days before we got there. :lol:
I have been keeping Ron (my hubby) up to date on this thread (he's not much on message boards....or really Jimmy Buffett) ....he says there is nothing to worry about until the the garbage is there for a week.

He also corrected me...it was not just a spaghetti noodle....it was also a kernel of corn pulled out of his ear.

Posted: September 24, 2006 7:37 pm
by Dutch Harbor PH
Soraya wrote:
pair8head wrote:USS Spruance DD963.

We crossed at 0 deg. How well I remember those days. We knew we were in trouble when the cooks stopped throwing the garbage overboard 3 days before we got there. :lol:
I have been keeping Ron (my hubby) up to date on this thread (he's not much on message boards....or really Jimmy Buffett) ....he says there is nothing to worry about until the the garbage is there for a week.

He also corrected me...it was not just a spaghetti noodle....it was also a kernel of corn pulled out of his ear.
Ahhhh yessss..... Nothing QUITE like the journey through the whale's arse!!! It is one thing that the garbage wasn't going out but for us they were actually creating extra...the cooks were opening up double and triple the normal amount of food....UggggHHHH!!!! Ours was set up as a slide form the boatdeck to the quaterdeck down a tarp stretched across the hand rails on a ladderway......now possible way to keep from going fully under..... and they say "Fear factor" is a challange!!!

My second time across was mid ocean enroute from Cabo San Lucas to Papette Tahiti.........

Posted: September 25, 2006 3:26 am
by Dutch Harbor PH
chalksoperations wrote:USS America, 1989..Indian Ocean due shouth of BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory). We actually got Blue Nose and Shellback on the same cruise.
So what was required for the "Bluenose"?????

Posted: September 25, 2006 8:41 pm
by chalksoperations
Entering the realm of the Arctic Circle will qualify you to be "invited" to take part in the time honored tradition of initiation. Like many initiations, they vary somewhat depending on the ship you are on and capabilities. Our initiation started about 2 days prior. The ships fo'csle (space at the bow just under the flight deck where anchor chains ran through and disappeared down to the winches) had all of its hatches opened up to let in the cool Arctic breeze. Within 2 days, the room was something out of a nasty subzero dream. Ice was caked on the bulkhead and icicles hung from the overhead. I had seen the fo'csle before, but you could not have convinced me I was in it when I got up there.
The initiation started out strangely enough, a couple thousand men standing in the hangar bay with their underwear on inside out and backwards. In short time, we made our way up the maze of passageways and ladderways to the icy cave.
Before entering, we had to squat down and quack like ducks as we made our way through the ice water being dumped on us and getting whacked on the ass with a frozen broom. It was a serpentine shaped line of abuse that seemed to go on for about 15 minutes or so. At the end we had a special treat. One of the "large" chiefs played the part of Royal Baby. For the final phase of the initiation, it was required to fish out a cherry from the greased up belly of Royal Baby.
I figured "hell, I've come this far...why not". To this day I don't think I can tell you what it tasted like. After that was over, I duckwalked over the King Neptune. He proceeded to ask me who I was and what I was doing in his domain ( I had been given the brief on this one, so I thought I had it nailed) I replied " I am a duck and I seek refuge in your kingdom"

To which he replied "welcome my young Bluenose" as he swiped blue ink on my nose.

We all showered after that (cold, of course) and went back to work. I believe the ink lasted a good 2 days.

The certificate reads:
"All sailors, wherever and whoever Ye may be. Greetings, know all Ye by these presents that (insert name) did on the (date) appear in the northernmost reaches of my Realm, bound for the Dark & Frosty wastes of the Land of the Midnight Sun and did with our Royal Consent enter this Dread Region by crossing the Arctic Circle aboard the good ship USS America CV-66. By virtue whereof I , Neptunus Rex, Ruler of the raging Main do hereby declare him to be a loyal and trusty salt-lined and brine-encrusted BLUENOSE and do call upon all icebergs, sea lions, narwhals, polar bears, whales, mermaids, and other creatures of the Frigid North to show him due deference and respect. Disobey under pain of our Royal Displeasure.


It's not unlike Shellback, just with an arctic twist.

Posted: September 26, 2006 3:19 am
by Dutch Harbor PH
I like it! :D
My crews cross it all the time....Hmmmm