History of ATR-7  -  Page 17

    Once again a sea ATR-7 headed on a southeastern course. She was nearing the equator and the older hands were planning a celebration when the ship "crosses the line". Sailors who cross the equator (At 0°  latitude) -- are know as "Shellbacks. The rest of the innocent green sailors were called "Polywogs" until they appeared at the court of King Neptune and Davy Jones.

    The day arrived on 12 February 1945. QM1 announced from the bridge that ATR-7 was now passing over the 0° latitude -- the equator. Such a commotion! All the polywogs assembled on the fantail.
QM1 acted as Davy Jones and MMW played King Neptune. MM1 helped the proceedings by shouting and playing hellish tricks on all the poor "Polywogs". Hair was cut short. Some daubed with black gummy graphite from the engine room, they were also soaked with a stream of salt water from a hose. The fantail was in turmoil while the Captain watched the affair from the back of the boat deck. Later the black SD's came along, and they were smeared with a white lead from the paint locker. The Shellbacks made the Polywogs run the gauntlet, where they were soundly paddled in the seat. Finally the ceremony ended and all the "newly initiated" went below to clean up.


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