Essay on Crossing The Line Ceremony

672 Words 3 Pages
I was steaming across the Pacific Ocean onboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61). The sky was as dark blue as the ocean and it was hard to tell where the ocean stopped and the sky began. The captain announced over the 1MC that we would be crossing the Equator and the International Date Line in 3 days and we would be having a Crossing the Line Ceremony which is a very old maritime tradition dating back to the 19th century. It is very rare for a ship to cross the Equator and the International Date Line, a ship normally only gets to cross the Equator. It was explained to me that the ceremony was for all new sailors to participate in only if we wanted to. See, a new sailor is called a wog and after they cross the Equator they are …show more content…
I was told that I would have to crawl through a chute that had spoiled food, garbage and people that may have regurgitated in it from the stagnant smell. I was told of sailors that got hurt due to other sailors getting out of control and having abusive behavior hurting wogs.
As the ship got closer to crossing the Equator and the International Date Line I had to make a decision if I was going to take part in this two-day event that would take place the evening before crossing the Equator and the International Date Line and the next day. Just the thought of getting hurt and enduring such treatment made me not want to participate. There were a lot of rumors going around the ship of what some of the Shellbacks had in store for me that would have caused me great pain, like hitting me with the a piece of fire hose on the back my legs and not on my butt which could cause welts. The captain came across the 1MC and informed the Shellbacks that would be taking part in the ceremony that if they were caught injuring any of the wogs that they would be dealt with. After the captain made his announcement I felt better and somewhat relived, the captain is the one person that can end your career quickly. I decided that I would participate in the ceremony, becoming a Golden Shellback is an honor that most sailors never get the chance to achieve during their career.
The ceremony started around 1700 the night before the ship crossed the Equator and the International Date

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