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July 10, 2005

Enroute to Guam

After we left Australia we stayed for a while to play around with some Australian combatants and a few other submarines in a joint exercise. It was fun for about a week then it got old fast.

We had a crossing the line (Shellback) ceremony on the way up to Guam as we crossed the equator. We did this event for 6 midshipmen who rode us from Australia to see how submarine life is. It is a big P.R. stunt the Navy uses to lure unsuspecting officer-wannabe's to the submarine force.

Now, the trip down to Australia was especially fun because we had a crossing the line ceremony but we did it at a specific place on the equator. We crossed the equator at the exact point where the Internationnal Dateline (IDL) crosses the Equator. This is called a Golden Shellback because when you cross the IDL you get a certificate called the Golden Dragon. It is a time honored Naval tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Existing Shellback play roles during the ceremony: King Neptune, Davy Jones, and assorted members of his Royal Court. There is a format involved in turning the non-shellback (Wogs) into full fledged shhellbacks. I played the part of Davy Jones, Neptunus Rex's secretary, and had a blast. Photos are on the way.

Do a search for a shellback ceremony to get an idea of what goes on. Of course on a submarine, away from prying eyes, we can step it up a notch.

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