Crossing the line

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  • Crossing the line
  • CountZero

    Wiki has pretty much all the info you need:
    The bit that is probably what you’re looking for is this:

    This is the text from a certificate issued on a Royal Navy ship during the Second World War:
    A Proclamation
    Whereas by our Royal Consension, Our Trusty, Well Beloved ……………….. has this day entered Our Domain. We do hereby declare to all whom it may concern that it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure to confer upon him the Freedom of the Seas without undue ceremony. Should he fall overboard, We do command that all Sharks, Dolphins, Whales, Mermaids and other dwellers in the Deep are to abstain from maltreating his person. And we further direct all Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and others who have not crossed Our Royal Domain, to treat him with the respect due to One of Us. Given under Our Hand at Our Court on board H.M.S. ………….. on the Equator in Longitude …..° on this ….. day of ….. in the year …..
    Cancer — High Clerk
    Neptune — Rex
    This is the text from a certificate issued to United States Ships during World War II
    Imperium Neptuni Regis
    To all Shellbacks Greetings:
    This is to Certify, that …………..
    was duly initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the
    Ancient Order of the Deep
    And made a worthy Shellback in our Royal Dominion at Latitude 0000.
    Neptunus Rex
    Ruler of the Raging Main
    Commanding Officer, USS ……………….
    The certificate dipped in a bucket of ocean water and presented to the new trusty shellback.

    This is the text from a certificate issued on a United States Navy ship during the 1960s:
    Know ye, that ……………….. on the ….. day of ….. , aboard ………….. appeared at the equator at Latitude …..° , Longitude …..° entering into Our Royal Domain, and having been inspected and found worthy by My Royal Staff and was initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep. I command my subjects to Honor and Respect him as one of our Trusty Shellbacks.
    Davey Jones — His Royal Scribe
    Neptunus Rex — Ruler of the Raging Main


    Cheers CountZero,
    Wikipedia didn’t cross my mind
    Should be able to cobble something together from the certificate text, time to get editing.


    I googled ‘traditional speech for crossing the equator’, and wiki was the top hit… 😉


    … the equator. Onna ship. A request for help

    I’m charged with playing King Neptune for the traditional ceremony but am struggling to find a traditional speech that is made at the start of the proceedings by the King himself.

    First time I’ve been on a ship where no-one has it. We cross in two days.

    Anyone in the STW collective able to help me out and point me in the right direction? Google search skills are failing me.



    Don’t think there’s ever been a stw that has left me thinking “I genuinely have no clue wtf is going on here” in quite the same way as this one. Good show!


    I trust Neptune is having his wife and baby present, utilising the largest person on the ship dressed up as the baby in a nappy, a good one for the baby is to have a bag of brown liquid in his nappy which he will burst at the correct moment whilst hugging one of the uninitiated.
    You will also require a priest to read out the right of passage into Neptune’s world for each of the uninitiated whilst the executioner dunks them in a suitable large container of the smelliest scraps from the galley topped up with seawater (IBC with top cut off is good for this).
    The uninitiated need to kept in a prison for at least an hour before the ceremony then dragged out tied together to cheers from the on looking crowd.
    I will see if I have some photos and put them up.


    my first crossing the line involved being told to go and hide cos you don’t want to be the first one caught !!

    there is of course no hiding place for long on ship, and after being found in the chain locker was unceremoniously dragged to the waiting mob, where i was stripped naked, sprayed all over with green cargo dye, covered in grease, and then had a clump of hair cut off!

    i am sure that things are not always as gentle as mine, and some do go to the trouble of getting dressed up, but this was merchant navy in 1976.

    ( the green dye took weeks to get off !)


    Got the police to find the convicted, the prosecution, judge, barber, doctor and of course, the beautiful Queen Neptune, unfortunately a bloke as there are no women onboard, other than one to be granted freedom of the sea.
    Galley slops, check, dunking pool, check, kipper to kiss and Queen Neptune’s knee to kiss all sorted, just got to sort a crown.

    Unfortunately, with things being very PC now days, we have to tread lightly.
    I recall a time when the guys having the ceremony loved it, but one of their parents took offence when told. Complained to the head boss ashore. The Master then had to apologise officially to the cadets and parents in writing!

    Busy day ahead.


    all first trippers who cross the line are ‘initiated ‘ in this ‘ceremony’–as phil says a load of old hands get dressed up as various deities, and the ‘virgins’ are then basically covered in all kinds of waste/oil/paint etc–sometimes these evets can expose sadist tendencies among people and masochistic as well…. the worst part is the week/s before hand with all the ‘stories’that terrify the gullible first trippers– by the time of the event you are sometimes literally shittin it !

    i’m sure these things have been toned down a lot now, but in my day they were fairly robust !!


    Jack Frost often makes an appearance when you cross the arctic circle line as well. You’d enjoy it Drac, honestly!


    A picture paints a 1000 words and all that…

    Premier Icon Drac

    Ah right it’s a Navy thing. Makes sense now no doubt it’ll be a laugh with mates but I thought it was some random cruise thing.

    Premier Icon paladin

    My most cherished certificate is the one signed by Neptune.

    I think its the only one which never needs revalidated…


    Unless you forget to bring it with you as evidence of the previous ceremony, and then it needs revalidating, no matter how much you protest. 😀


    Ah right it’s a Navy thing

    Surrounded by se(a)men?


    All done. Tried and convicted, medicine (mango juice with some salt and tabasco) taken, covered in galley slops, kissed the kipper and Queen Neptune’s feet, tricked in to believing their hair was shaved off and dunked in the pool. Good laugh, not too dissimilar to the photo’s up there ^^^
    No pic’s I’m afraid, dangerous cargo and all that.
    Finally decided to open with a plagiarised text before the fun began

    King Neptune, I, Lord of the sea,
    Welcome you all who ‘ere you be,
    I am the Lord of the oceans wide,
    Lord of the rivers, Lord of the tide
    My laws are strict, but do not fear,
    If you will only persevere,
    To keep the freedom of the seas,
    As recognised by our degrees,
    Here is the barber, the prosecutor, the bath,
    They are the only certain path,
    For all who wish to cross The Line,
    And be enrolled as sons and daughters of mine,
    I order then as we command,
    Before us let each tadpole stand,
    Who has their freedom yet to win,
    Enough…. my trusty men, begin.

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