Gohan's Oklahoma City CLG-5 Collection
QM3 Dave Rice, (Gohan)  USS Oklahoma City CLG-5,  June 1970 - October 1973
Currently a QMCS in the United States Naval Reserve, Fargo, North Dakota
"Sharing an important part of my life with my Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Shipmates."

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"Davey Jones - - arriving!"

Reprinted from the Oklahoma City (CLG-5) December 1971 edition of "the sooner."

"Crossing the Line" ceremonies are among the most ancient of naval traditions.  Since antiquity, seafaring men have used the occasion of crossing some significant sea frontier to test the worthiness of inexperienced seamen.   For ancients woh navigated the Great (Mediteranean) Sea, passing through the Straits of Gibraltar was occasion for important ceremonies; the thirtieth parallel - - which is further South than any part of th eGreat Sea - - was another early frontier.   More recently, the Equator and the International Date Line have become the important markers.

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A little squirt of Tabasco sauce wets the appetite for imminent ordeals.

Greek and Roman mythology influenced the earliest "Crossing the Line" ceremonies, and the sailors often offered propritiatory gestures to Neptune, Ruler of the Deep.  Later ceremonies were largely intended to determine that new seamen could endure the rigors of a difficult voyage.

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John McCrite demonstrates the proper use of the shillalah.

Typical modern "Crossing the Line" festivities combine elements from both traditions.  Thus shellbacks (those who have crossed the Line) have certificates bearing the seal of Neptunus Rex.  The "Ruler of the Raging Main" himself is one of the principal characters in the initiation, as are Davey Jones and other members of Neptune's royal court.

While the physical abuse suffered by the initiates is considerably less than that inflicted on seamen in bygone days, shillalahs, fire hoses and garbage chutes are still part of the fun.garbageshute.jpg (14615 bytes)

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The initiate is "babtized" - -  and the  pollywog becomes a shellback.

The OKLAHOMA CITY crossed the Equator on November 17, 1971 en route to Singapore.  After two days of boisterous activities, about 750 "pollywogs" (those who have not crossed the line) became "trusty shellbacks," having been "duly initiated into the SOLEMN MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE DEEP."

From Dave Rice: Oklahoma City crossed the equator again on 23 October, 1972.  This time is was us shellbacks responsibility to initiate those wogs.  I still have my shillalah!

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The Wog Beauty Contest.
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The QM Gang, with showershoes taped to their knees, wating to make the 1,200 foot crawl around the deck.

Return to Gohan's Oklahoma City CLG-5 Collection Index Page
( http://www.qmcsrice.com/okycity )
Go to the USS Oklahoma City - "The Fighting Flagship"  Web Page
( http://www.ussokcity.com/ )