Learn what it takes to become a United States Navy Bluenose and more!
Mamas Don’t Let Your Sailors Grown Up To Be Bluenoses! Why? It’s not easy, you are colder than the 15th viewing of Disney’s Frozen, you never can remember to bring your orange golf balls to work, you will never eat another popsicle as long as you live, reminds me of the D I got in high school chemistry, you didn’t pack enough long underwear, you acquire permanent teeth chatter, ice fishing stories become legendary and one quickly realizes that 15,000 miles from the nearest civilization might after all be a good thing.
It’s Cold As Hell!
Without question travelling by horse, car, or submarine to the Arctic Circle does engage the senses when it comes to temperatures, right before things shrivel up, turn blue and whither away. Some say the Arctic Circle is cold as Hell.
Average January temperatures range from about −34 °C to 0 °C (−40 to +32 °F), and winter temperatures can drop below −50 °C (−58 °F) over large parts of the Arctic. Average July temperatures range from about −10 to +10 °C (14 to 50 °F), with some land areas occasionally exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. (Wikipedia)
Is It Easy To Become A Bluenose?
Not even close. The right conditions, ship, orders and a Captain that volunteers at every turn and is on the fast track to make Admiral all have to line up properly. This is no small feat in the nautical and US Navy world.
Not As Many Dolphins In The US Navy Become Bluenoses Like You Might Think.
A Blue Nose is a someone who has crossed the Artic Circle. There aren’t too many Blue Noses in the Submarine Force, since submarines go up under the ice infrequently – every few years, 2 or 3 subs will go under the polar ice cap to shoot torpedoes, or submarines will transit under the polar ice cap if they’re doing an inter-fleet transfer and the decision is made to send them under the ice rather than through the Panama Canal or through the Suez Canal.
Blue Nose rituals will involve the pre-Blue Nose somehow getting really cold and getting a blue nose. (Source – http://rickcampbellauthor.com/styled/index.html)
Undocumented responses to US Navy Sailors seeing the Arctic Circle for the first time.
“Where the fuck did all that ice come from?!”
“Port Side Polar Bear Sighted!”
The glow, brilliance, polar bears, walruses, cracking ice, freezing temperatures, winds that can flash freeze a person in seconds are all the common experiences of the US Navy Bluenose.
A Bluenose Certificate: As Diverse As It Gets!
Every Sailors that has traveled to the Arctic Circle has had common experiences but when it comes to their certificate the words often change. We asked around and found a wide variety of Bluenose Certificate’s wording. One examples reads:
“All Sailors, wherever ye and whoever ye may be, Greetings.
Know all ye by these presents that Jack Tickler did on the 19 July 1971, appear in the northernmost reaches of my realm, bound for the dark and frosty wastes of the land of the midnight sun and did with our royal consent enter this dread region by crossing the arctic circle by virtue whereof i, neptunus rex, ruler of the raging main do hereby declare him to be a loyal and trusty salt-lined and brine-encrusted bluenose and do call upon all Icebergs, Sea Lions. Narwhals, Polar Bears, Whales, Mermaides and other creatures of the Frigid North to show him due deference and respect.
Disobey under pain of Our Royal Displeasure
Neptunus Rex (Ruler Of The Main)
Aurora Borealis (Queen Of His Pallid Polar Regions)”
On or around June 28th, 2017 the USS Ross on a rare occasion set for the Arctic Circle and acquired one of the most difficult certificates found n the US Navy having been to the Northern Domain of the Polar Bear. “The Blue Nose heralds our cold bodied Sailors — those that have proven their selves worthy of the cold arctic winds and ice as they cross into the Arctic Circle,” a post on the Ross’s Facebook page states.
What Does Your Bluenose Certificate Look Like?
All different, all unique, all displaying the flora and fauna of the top of the world and each gives its own story about how a US Navy Sailor traveled to the region where Queen Aurora Borealis rules.
A Bluenose Certificate From Torpedo Squadron 4
A Bluenose Certificate from 1946
Top 10 Things About The Arctic Circle You Might Not Know
1. BIRD POOP HELPS KEEP THE AREA COOL.
Bird guano. Yes you might have guessed this one but the birds have to take one once in a while and all that poop makes for gases and those gases creates cloud cover and cloud cover means reduced temperatures. Also don’t park your freshly washed car anywhere in the region for obvious reasons.
2. THE ARCTIC COMES TO LIFE DURING WINTER.
According to a recent study in Current Biology, “Biodiversity, abundance, growth, and reproduction in habitats studied were at similar or higher levels than in warmer months.” Plankton, crustaceans, cod and haddock come out in the Winter and the feeding frenzy begins. More food. More parties for the whole family.
3. IT’S HOME TO THE WORLD’S BIGGEST, MOST SECURE SEED STORAGE FACILITY.
800 miles beyond the Arctic Circle lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault operated by the Norwegian government. Why is there there and what does it do? Built into the permafrost, it holds seeds for more than 4000 plant species—including life-sustaining food crops—keeping them safe in the event of natural or manmade disasters.
4. THE FIRST MAN TO REACH THE NORTH POLE WAS OVERLOOKED FOR DECADES.
Robert Peary (1856-1920) claimed to have been the first man to reach the geographic North Pole, in 1909. Today, however, experts believe that it was his assistant, an African-American man by the name of Matthew Henson (1866-1955), who actually deserves the distinction. By the time Peary and Henson neared their destination, Peary was struggling with a bad case of frostbite, leaving him unable to walk. (He had to be pulled along on a sled instead.) As they got closer to the North Pole, Henson and two guides went ahead on foot, but accidentally overshot their destination—which meant that Henson technically reached the Pole about 45 minutes before Peary did. (Source – http://mentalfloss.com)
5. LOTS OF PEOPLE LIVE THERE.
More than 4 million people live in the region called the Arctic Circle comprised of parts o the US, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The combined economy is 230 billion roughly or equal to combining the economies of Portugal and Ireland.
6. THERE’S AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL ARCTIC FORUM.
It’s called the Arctic Council. “is the only circumpolar forum for political discussions on Arctic issues, involving all the Arctic states, and with the active participation of its Indigenous Peoples.”
7. THE WORD ARCTIC IS DERIVED FROM THE GREEK, ARKTOS.
Arktos means “bear,” and refers not to the region’s native polar bears, but to the constellation containing the North Star, Ursa Minor. (Ursa is Latin for “bear.”)
8. THE ARCTIC OCEAN IS THE WORLD’S SMALLEST.
It comprises 5.4 million square miles. By comparison, the Atlantic Ocean covers 41.1 million square miles, and the Pacific 62.46 million square miles.
9. THE NORTH POLE IS MUCH WARMER THAN THE SOUTH POLE.
The Arctic is largely ocean surrounded by land whereby Antarctica is land surrounded by ocean for comparative purposes. Different indeed. So while significant portions of both are covered in sheets of ice, the water underneath the Arctic ice cap (which sits only about a foot above the water) can trap heat and help warm the surrounding air. In Antarctica, as Scientific American put it, “the surface of the ice sheet at the South Pole is more than 9000 feet in elevation—more than a mile and a half above sea level.” (Higher elevations, of course, result in colder temps.) The average summer temperature at the North Pole is 32°F. At the South Pole, it’s -18°F.
10. SANTA’S NORTH POLE HOME WAS DREAMED UP BY A 19TH CENTURY CARTOONIST.
The famous political cartoonist Mr. Thomas Nast started drawing illustrations of the famous Santa Claus as part of an advertising campaign for the publication Harper’s Weekly in the 1860s. In a few of Mr Nast’s drawings, he made reference to the fact that Santa’s mailing address was the North Pole—a place that had already captured the world’s imagination, as they watched a number of explorers attempt to reach the barren and frigid destination. As for the real St. Nicholas? He was born in what is now Turkey. Now how about that?
So as you can see there is a lot of facts and figures, trials and tribulations when it comes to the Arctic Circle and whether you are St Nick preparing the list of items to be be procured this year from his overindulged Amazon Prime account on the East Side of Instanbul or his Uber Deer preparing for the 4th Quarter delivery season to the US Navy Sailor aboard the USS Ross or some to be named later US Navy submarine, earning your Bluenose is more interesting than you might think.
Shellback Ceremony Turns Pollywogs Into Shellback
You crossed the line. You went from Pollywog to Shellback and no it wasn’t easy. Here is where that Shellback Ceremony Turns Pollywogs Into Shellbacks and you meant to endure it cause failure was not an option. There were exhausting hours where sleep was never issued and you though the initiation into the Court of Neptune Rex would never cease. The stories about what happened on deck or in the bowels of the ship still astonish many and as consistent as our US Navy is the stories are as diverse as the personalities that serve beneath the uniform.
Remember the stories? The salt water coffee, pulling something out of the belly button of some barnacle encrusted crewmember or swabbing the deck with god only knows what right before you were ordered to navigate some disgusting obstacle course riddled with some really vile substances below your fingertips and within inches of your nose. Ah yes the good times.
So as the story goes they did it and so shall you must cause when you have to be initiated just like your former crew members had been, whether a Chief or lower rank had done their time as well.
Do you have a story to tell? All good stories were once good sea stories and they just got more interesting over time. No experience is exactly the same and if I had to guess yours would be pretty unique as well.
It can only get worse when it comes to a Shellback Ceremony? Right? Right!
You have had better day!
You think you are safe? You are not!
It’s right there. I see it!
Lunch ala Shellback!
So it is painfully obvious that generation after generation of US Navy Sailor has been ordered to volunteer to go through the infamous USN Shellback Ceremony and arrive on the other side of this dubious right of passage a Shellback and invited into the Court Of Neptune Rex. Everyone remembers it and while it happened you hated it but years later you remember with find memories you and your shipmates going through this ordeal.
Maybe you are out of the US Navy or still in and want to commemorate your Shellback initiation with something all your own. There is a way!
When it comes to challenge coins for the different branches of the United States Military one needs to experience Military Challenge Coins at Their Finest! This isn’t just a statement thrown out there and hope it sticks to whatever it grabs onto. It has to mean something because the challenge coin represents a military unit, its military Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. It means the US military and furthermore it means America and its military history and heritage.
In the service to the US military a coin must raise to the expectation of its military and its Veterans. It has to be detailed, convey a unique message in both written but also graphic form and it must be produced to the level of quality that the US military demands. This does not mean a cheap 2 dimension coin that some garage shop throws together (and there are plenty of them out there) but must be designed and thought through. It can’t be cheap because that sets the expectations of something that is produced with less professionalism than it deserves.
The coin design an craftsmanship of Vision-Strike-Coins and Vision-Strike-Wear.Com surpasses the fly-by-night garage operation that really must go. It sets the bar at a level attainable for those with the commitment of designing and producing only the finest in military challenge coins.
The United States Army has had a long and courageous history of defending America, bringing highly trained Soldiers and equipment to distant parts of the world. The US Army has deployed some of the fiercest Divisions to places all over the world to help remove dictators and establish peace wherever they have been asked to deploy. Three such US Army Divisions, the 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides), the 2nd Armored Division (Hell On Wheels) and the US Army 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead) are such Divisions. In honor of their upcoming birthday, July 15th, these highly awarded and honored Armored Divisions have had some of the finest Army Armor Division coins produced in their honor.
1st Armored Division Coin, Old Ironsides
2nd Armored Division Coin, Hell On Wheels
3rd Armored Division Coins, Spearhead
Each of these tough and highly detailed US Army Armored Division coins features the intense look of a tanker with helmet, boom stick, rounds of ammo, crossed tank shells and the infamous Death Before Dismount associated with US Army armor.
US Navy Rate Challenge Coins
Why not a military bottle opener?
When the US navy inquired with Vision-Strike-wear.Com they did so because they knew they wanted the kind of detail and craftsmanship that VSW delivers. The US Navy Jolly Roger bottle opener was a perfect example of the detailed work that VSW puts into each of its bottle openers and military challenge coins.
A perfect example of the kind of quality in both design and craftsmanship when it comes to a US Navy Rate coin is this Information Systems Technician Coin built for the IS Rate and those USN Sailors that are proud to hold this rate.
Custom US Navy Military Shirts Cross The Globe At Vision-Strike-Wear.Com At Vision-Strike-Wear.Com and its an every day thing. The custom military United States Navy shirts originally designed and printed at Vision-Strike-Wear have gone from Pearl Harbor to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, ATG Mayport and Jacksonville to Groton, Connecticut, New York Nuclear Training facilities to Subic Bay, Sasebo and Atsugi, Japan have travelled the world on US Navy destroyers, cruisers, submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibs, small boys and big boys alike and have graced the backs of US Navy Sailors from Seaman to Master Chiefs. Annapolis to Great Lakes and every major A School in the US Navy has enjoyed the morale building naval tees created by VSW and it has been an amazing journey for all.
US Navy Shellback designs, VBSS Teams, JEA, SCPOA, FCPOA and CPOAs, aka the Goat Lockers where the backbone of the United States Navy resides, The Chiefs, have had custom US Navy shirts created for them by Vision-Strike-Wear.Com with each new design bringing originality, flair, morale, creativity and overall kick ass unique US Navy designs to be enjoyed by US Navy Sailors the world over. If you are interested in having a design created please contact us at Custom US Navy shirts.
Below please find VSW designs that have been originally designed specifically for the commands, ships, squadrons and men and women of the United States Navy. It is an honor to serve you.
A design created for Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 FCPOA of the United States Navy. They wanted a highly detailed and very colorful look for their First Class Petty Officer shirts.
The USS Wayne E Meyer needed a shirt 90 days out from their return to home and something with a twist aimed at their galley and they got it. Straight Out Of The Scullery. DDG-108 custom shirts designs for the US Navy and its sailorsl
A large percentage of our country doesn’t know of or care about Normandy. A few weekends ago, British artist Jamie, accompanied by numerous volunteers, took to the beaches of Normandy with rakes and stencils in hand to etch 9,000 silhouettes representing fallen people into the sand. Titled The Fallen 9000, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of those who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944 during WWII. The original team consisted of 60 volunteers, but as word spread nearly 500 additional local residents arrived to help with the temporary installation that lasted only a few hours before being washed away by the tide.
9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach to Commemorate Peace Day.
What is surprising is that nothing about this was seen here in the US.
Someone from overseas had a friend that sent it with a note of gratitude for what the US started there. Please share with others who understand “freedom is not free– nor has it ever been”
MEMORIAL DAY CROSSES ON THE BEACH IN SANTA BARBARA
The first and the last pictures are taken at the beach in Santa Barbara right next to the Pier. There is a veterans group that started putting a cross and candle for every death in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amazing thing is that they only do it on the weekends.
They put up this graveyard and take it down every weekend. Guys sleep in the sand next to it and keep watch over it at night so nobody messes with it. Every cross has the name, rank, and D.O.B. and D.O.D. on it. Very moving, very powerful. So many young volunteers. So many 30 to 40 year olds as well.
‘Heavenly Father, thank you for holding our troops in Your loving hands. Thank you for protecting them as they protect us. Thank you for blessing them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us every day. For all these things, and more, I am so grateful. Amen.’
GOD BLESS THE FALLEN ON MEMORIAL DAY!
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!