Today, in the final installment of an interview with Samaro Bannister, the captain of the Cal Maritime training ship the Golden Bear, Captain Bannister describes the ship’s two-month intinerary around the Pacific, ending up in Astoria for the 4th of July holiday.

The trip included a rare honor: students became “golden shellbacks” after the ship crossed the spot where the Equator and the International Dateline intersect in the open ocean north of Samoa. It’s a traditional milestone of experience in the lives of mariners, and one that not that many people in the world can say they’ve done.