Each time a ship crosses the equator a very strange thing happens. The crew is divided into those who have been initiated as Shellbacks and those who have not. These are called Polywogs and are considered to be lower than whale dung. When the ship crosses the Equator at the 180th parallel you are initiated as a Golden Shellback.
We crossed the Equator at the 180th in 1959 and here are some of the photos courtesy of Dieter Dauber.
The Shellbacks gather on deck to plot their strategy