>Honorable Royal Polar Bears

>Through chilling waters, rigorous challenges and facing the court of the honorable King Neptune my shipmates and I aboard the USCGC Munro are now Honorable Royal Polar Bears!

This once in a lifetime opportunity is an old sailor tradition for crossing into the Arctic Circle. There are several ceremonies of this sort such as:
Golden Dragon when you cross the 180th meridian and the Golden Shellback when you cross the Equator & 180th at the same time.

All previous Polar Bears gather and plan out different events for the ceremony. These "rites of passage" use to consist of rather unusual, demeaning and degrading activities, but as time changes so does tradition.
These ceremonies are much different now. Our events included a "no-talent"
talent show, paper sunglasses, your group being bid on by the Polar Bears to do their bidding (cleaning, coffee, special uniforms, and making them a salty pirate costume…among other things). On the day of the ceremony you have to please the court of King Neptune through different task and show that you are worthy.

Tying knots while holding line elbow deep in cold water, "swimming the Bering Strait" (stormy of course!) while getting attacked by a kraken and rounding up a sea slug, donning a mustang survival suit filled with "whale juice", discovering that it doesn't fit, taking it off, making your way to the flight deck to release your sea slug and get cleaned up before you present yourself to King Neptune!

But alas once you get cleaned off, there is still one challenge awaiting you! What else could you do to please the King?!? you might ask. Well, you have to take a dip into the Arctic and marvel at his domain. Then, and only then, may you sit on the throne and be judged by his royal court to be admitted into the realm of the Polar Bear!

FS3 Brenten J. Gribbin

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