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Liberty in Fiji
Liberty in Fiji
No matter what kind of day I am having, I can always flip back through my memories and find something that will bring me out of the doldrums. This particular memory gives me that ascension today.
Late in1978 during my hitch in the Navy, we were on this Wes-Pac from hell. It was 8 months long and when we pulled back into San Diego when it was over we had spent a total of 13 days in port. We mostly steamed alone in the middle of the Pacific and the South China Sea. The crew had become stir crazy and sex starved. I was approached several times by the gay guys (no women on board USN ships back then) and after a while such advances were beginning to have an effect on me. Believe me, when you are out to sea for a long time you really find out what sort of metal you are made of.
We received orders to join up with a carrier and a fast frigate and sail for the Fiji islands. Our course took us right across the equator and the Prime Meridian (The International date line). If we crossed at that very point, all crew members would be awarded the status of Golden Shell back. The task force decided that it would be a good course and then things flew into motion.
Now any sailor knows, either you have sailed under the Jolly Roger, or you have not. When a Navy ship crosses the equator, they take down the U.S. Flag and Fly a pirate flag. If a particular sailor has crossed the equator before and been initiated in the “crossing the line ceremony”, he is a shell back. If not, he is a polly-wog.
Fortunately for me I had crossed the line a couple of times before. When we crossed the line I would wear an eye patch and brandish a shalalie. I and my fellow honorable shellbacks would take on the task of initiating the slimy, worthless polly-wogs into the sacred order of Davy Jones.
All of the shell backs aboard, snipes, deck apes, twiggits and air-dales, got together and planned the initiation. We deck apes would assemble a obstacle course of fish guts, pools of garbage, filth and nastiness up and down the main deck for all the wogs to crawl through. Cooks and special servicemen would prepare a “meal to remember”. Wogs would be awoken by shellbacks who were dressed as pirates brandishing cut lengths of fire hose called shalalies. As the wogs crawled they were beaten with the fire hoses and herded through the passage ways to breakfast.
Shellbacks would leash their chosen wogs and they would be flogged repeatedly by any shell back that saw them. After the “meal”, they would be herded to the main deck, crawling on hands and knees, to traverse the different obstacles until they finally made it to the feet of the Royal Baby, the fattest shellback on board. The royal baby would then smear a loathsome concoction of bilge grease, rotten mayonnaise, jalapenos and other horrible things into his bare belly, grab the totally demoralized polly-wog by the ears and rub the wogs face into his slathered belly blubber. From a distance it appeared that the wog was faliciating the royal baby
As I mentioned before, the U.S. Flag came down and the Jolly Rodger was flown. It did not matter about rank. If an Admiral had never crossed the line, he was a wog. He had to go through the same thing as the lowliest seaman recruit. He would be flogged, kicked, made to eat rotten garbage, and there was nothing he could do about it. (Shell back imitation records were entered into every sailor’s service jacket). If an officer didn’t do it, all senior officers who were shellbacks would know.
Our captain was a wog during this particular crossing, and He got his ass flogged super badly. He was a true leader of men, because he took it from the lowest enlisted man and all the officers that he normally commanded with an iron hand. He never sought reprisal from anyone who humiliated him that day and he probably got it the worst.
Needless to say it really brought up the crews moral. It was a great diversion from the daily routine of port and starboard duty sections. (4 hours on watch, 4 hours off. 24/7). We had been operating port and starboard watches for weeks now.
Our next port of call was Suva, Fiji. Our last port of call was Guam, where we pulled in about sunset and sailed again just after sunrise the following morning. I got so drunk that I never even talked to a woman that night. Even if I had, I would have had to pay because all there were in Guam were hookers.
Steve H. was n nice kid from California. He was the quartermaster of the watch on my bridge. I was the boatswain mate of the watch, and in charge of all enlisted personal on the bridge. Now Steve was gay, and every one knew it. I would catch him staring at my crotch now and again, and sometimes he would notice that I had spied him checking out the bulge of my package. I knew I had been out to sea too long when I found myself fantasizing about him on his knees making every inch of me disappear down his throat. What was even more disturbing was that the thought of it was making me erect. I think Steve knew it too, because when I would catch him checking me out he would just look into my eyes, smile, and then drop is eyes back down to my pants. I was around him about 12 hours a day, seven days a week; I was beginning to question my own sexual orientation.
We finally pulled into Fiji. What a place. The scent of tropical flowers filled the breeze, towering lush palm trees and ferns filled the port and starboard shores. Canoes of natives paddled along side us on both sides. The men in the canoe displayed carvings and artwork that they were willing to trade and barter. Members or our crew would lower down watches, knives, and other valuables that they no longer considered dear, and the canoe crews would tie on some of the wares that they were peddling, and we would barter back and forth. Pretty soon the decks of our ship were filled with native art and carvings, and the canoes were laden with glistening metals, cheap jewels and the like.
I didn’t really have anything that I wanted to give up, except a brand new pair of work boots I didn’t really need. I took them from the box and tied them off and lowered them to one of the awaiting canoes escorting us to our mooring. Now I wear a size 13 wide shoe. Those folks in the canoe started sizing up their feet to the boots, within a minute, the boots were tied back to the tending line. No one wanted them. I was perplexed! These were brand new, never been worn, genuine leather work boots.
My Chief looked at me and laughed, he had been to Fiji before. “You take a look around genius” he chided. You see the size of the feet of the kids in those boats? “You notice that no one is wearing shoes”? He was right, these people all had gigantic feet which they, to a man, proudly displayed, unadorned, to the world. I don’t think there was a 12 year old on that Island who could have gotten his feet into my brand new thirteen’s.
When liberty call came I left the ship and started for downtown Suva. It is a British holding, so all of the cars traveled on the wrong side of the street. I came to a busy intersection and saw a local cop directing traffic. I cracked up laughing. He was about six and a half feet tall. On his head he wore a Keystone Cop helmet with a brightly polished gold badge sitting in its center. His shirt was a crisply pressed white, and a navy blue necktie tied with a perfect double Windsor. Over that he sported a long sleeve blue blazer with smart gold buttons and a gold buckled leather black belt around his waist. Instead of trousers, he wore a grass skirt that hung below his knees, and bare feet, at least a size 19.
I walked around the town, looking for a bar and some female companionship. I found a bar and began to pour scotch and water down my parched gullet. After a few of those, I began scoping out the Betty’s. None as far as the eye could see.
I ran into a couple of my fellow deck hands, drank a few more drinks, and we left to explore the tropical paradise that is Fiji.
The sun was making its decline behind the thick foliage that carpeted the whole island. The gold, red, pink, orange and blue hues that reflected from the waters to the clouds were just breath taking. The temperature was perfect and there was the faint fragrance of jasmine in the air. And then, something else! The aroma of a succulent feast being prepared filled our nostrils. We came to a long hedge about 8 feet high running along the lawn that stretched to the nearby tree line. Into this hedge there was an arch cut and people were walking in and out. At the entrance we found some beautiful dark skinned native women clad in grass skirts and bikini tops. I looked into their dark beautiful eyes; their voluptuous round breasts filled the bikini tops in a way that whispered sexxx…
I looked inside and saw a number of my ship mates being led around by these beautiful women. Tables of fruits and meats, fish and vegetable dishes were surrounded with laughing young women and sailors. Just then one of the grass skirted girls took me by the hand and led me into the archway. Another beauty took hold of my buddy and escorted him through the archway.
We were led to a table hosted by another Fiji mistress. On the table were half coconut shell bowls filled with a thin milky liquid. Each of our escorts took one of the shells and handed one to each of us. The girl with me softly beckoned me to drink the contents of the bowl. There was nothing pleasant about the taste of this strange tropical drink. It was bitter and tangy with an off taste that I wouldn’t describe as awful, but I was going to decline drinking the rest of it. Knowing my thoughts, she nuzzled up to me, put her arm around my waist and softly whispered, “Drink all of it”. I figured I could later go to one of the tables inside where they were serving drinks and wash away the un-agreeable taste. I really wanted this beautiful girls company so I lifted the bowl to my lips and quickly drank down all of the bitter elixir.
The bitterness went down my throat and filled my stomach. Instantly it moved from my stomach and I began to get an uncontrollable erection. It had the exact same effect on my friend from the ship. The girls led us past the festivities, past the tree line and into the jungle to a clearing where there were a number of huts. My buddy’s partner led him into one of the huts, and my beauty led me into another. We came to a mat on the floor and she led me down to the floor. Her hand quickly found its way to my swollen cock and in no time she had my trousers and skivvies folded neatly on a nearby table. She was beautiful and had absolutely no shyness about her.
I, to this day, have no idea what was in that coconut bowl. I had the stamina of a sex god. We stayed in that hut for at least two hours of continuous sex of every description. When I finally lost my erection, she dressed me and led me out into the night for festivities and dancing and singing, I never had an empty glass and ate many exotic foods, fruits and entrees. It was just unbelievable!
About 2 in the morning everyone started leaving. She led me back to the archway, kissed me and disappeared back into the darkness. No one ever asked me for money or tried to get anything from me.
I found a couple of my shipmates who were also there and we walked silently back to the ship. We would be getting underway again at about noon that same day. When we arrived at the quarterdeck, we asked permission to come aboard and disappeared into the skin of the ship. We stopped for a second and looked at each other and in unison we all blurted out “Man! What was in those coconut shell bowls?” We each went our separate ways to the berthing compartments and fell into the most contented sleep we had had since that Wes-Pac began.