Their ship’s maiden deployment now on the homestretch to San Diego, Calif., after duty in the 5th Fleet region, the crew aboard amphibious assault ship Makin Island took a little time to mark that long-held seagoing tradition of crossing the equator, the Shellback Ceremony.
No, it’s not exactly the casting call for the next sequel to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” But from the looks of these photos, a little fun was had by the pollywogs, even the “Boss Wog.” Not as crazy as those ceremonies of years gone by, for sure, but for the sailors aboard the ship, it gives them a chance to join in the organized ritual of lighthearted shaming and teasing and provides a much sought-out break from the constant of operations at sea.
The crew of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which also is making its way home to San Diego, recently shared in their own fun, as you can see from photos posted in April on this online “gCaptain” blog. More are posted on Vinson’s Facebook page.
You want to see how the Marines, embarked on Makin Island with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, officially marked the occasion of crossing the equator? See here and here. Well, at least there’s minimal cleanup required.
Veterans and civilians alike may appreciate a glimpse into the shellback rituals gone bad following Operation Desert Storm. As a personnel manager aboard USS Ranger with the real Top Gun, Fighter Squadron One (aka The World Famous Fighting Wolfpack), I tried to protect a new shipmate from a terrifying, unsanctioned hazing evolution at about 4:30 in the morning–to no avail. The INSIDE EDITION investigative report appears on my channel “thebobweb” on Youtube. Be glad you weren’t there.