Atlantic Ocean: Crossing the Equator Line Ceremony
“Crossing the line” is the ceremony of crossing the equator at sea and goes to the old navy traditions of paying tribute to King Neptune for the right of passage. Historically, the tradition called for some sort of mild to moderate humiliation to the sailors who have never crossed the equator (pollywogs) by the ones who have done it before (trusted shellbacks), a rite of passage of sorts via hazing. Given the commercial nature of the trip, we had it more or less mild – the uninitiated had to endure being blindfolded, eating disgusting-tasting salt cookies, being poured all over with sticky brown liquid, kissing a frozen fish head, and so on and so forth, before finally becoming shellbacks and being hosed down clean. Anything to make King Neptune and his mermaids happy.