Originally Posted by You
In my way of thinking, to become a true sailor of the seas, you need to earn your shellback.
And for you pollywogs out there, shellback status means you've crossed the Equator, if you haven't, you're a pollywog!
Actually, "shellback" is one of several distinctions that sailors earn. There's also the "Order of the Golden Dragon" for crossing the International Date Line, the "Honorary Dolphins" for being aboard a submarine when it submerged, and the "Blue Nose" for crossing the Arctic Circle or Antarctic Circle. I'm not a "shellback" yet because I crossed the Equator on an airplane rather than a ship, but I have my "Blue Nose" and my "Honorary Dophins" -- both from my time on active duty, BTW.