July 19, 2019. The Mainship Many Moons was christened and commissioned today. Quite a fuss for a recreational vessel? Yep. But it was fun, and all tongue-in-cheek. During my Navy career, I attended a few such events and even helped plan one (the recommissioning of the battleship USS Missouri in 1986), so I couldn’t resist doing it for Jeff’s trawler. Christening names a vessel. Commissioning puts it into active service. For warships, these are separate ceremonies. Since this is a pleasure craft, we combined them. I insisted that Jeff and I both wear Navy ball caps with “scrambled eggs” (the yellow design on the brim) as befits our ranks – his as the captain of this vessel and mine as a Navy captain. He’s not into ball caps but reluctantly agreed for the sake of the occasion. A dozen friends joined us as we christened Many Moons into her new name while throwing a plastic glass of champagne onto the bow and then imitated the script of a commissioning. Since I was “ship’s crew” on this day, Jeff ordered me to “bring the ship alive!,” whereupon I responded “Aye, Aye, Sir!” and dashed onto the boat, then to the bow, attached an imaginary pennant (we don’t yet have a real one), and saluted. Champagne and pizza completed our pseudo-ceremony. In my last act of the day as Navy Captain Hanson, I insisted everyone present try a proper salute. The results were amusing, as you can see!
Jeff was glad when it was over because he hates being the center of attention, but I know he’ll remember this day. I also know I’m unlikely to play the role of “captain” after today, since it is his boat! Do I miss being “Captain Mary?” No. Will I have the urge to take over if I see a leadership vacuum, as was my instinct most of my life? I doubt it. I don’t need to be in charge and don’t want to be. But if we’re ever on high seas alone and I have to take over, can I do it? I like to think so. As always, we never know what we’re capable of until faced with the thing.