After several months of toil and hard work in humid, sticky Pascagoula, Mississippi the USS MAKIN ISLAND finally got underway.  She was only two years overdue and overbudget at 2.5 Billion taxdollars, but in reality she is a pretty cool ship. I am on a hybrid ship that saves a bunch of gas.  So, we headed south into the Gulf of Mexico and finally into the Caribbean.

Pulling into Rio

The water turned a cobalt blue and was very nice, but I was rarely outside. The ship offered a deal where you could pay to not shave. I tried my hand at facial hair and surprised myself with a decent beard. A few officers even shaved theirs into a fu man shu… eventually we transited the entire Caribbean, passed through the windward islands and entered the Atlantic.

We turned south along Brazil’s Atlantic coast and saw the opening of the Amazon River (not really, but the captain was excited to tell us somewhere to our right was the largest river basin in the world).

The other highlight was a traditional crossing the line ceremony where King Neptune and Davy Jones embarked the ship when we passed the equator to allow us to enter their domain.   Other than that, our daily routine settled down and we rarely saw the sun. Three short weeks found us in the southern hemisphere in the middle of winter outside of Guanabara Bay, Brazil.

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