Cruise 2023 - Journey to the Golden Shellback, Pt. III: The Wedding

And now, as if this day couldn't get any more exciting....two of our licensed engineers aboard the TSGB got married at the Golden Shellback crossing!

Monica Keeley and KJ Weber are currently Navy enlisted and came aboard the TSGB as SSOs for cruise 2023. Once these love birds learned of our plans to cross the 180th meridian at the equator, they decided this would be the perfect location to have a wedding ceremony.

The crazy part: this wedding will be recognized legally - and is possibly the first legitimate Golden Shellback wedding in history! Monica and KJ were able to obtain a double-proxy marriage license from Montana as they are both serving on active military orders. Montana is the only state that allows this. We are all so excited for the happy couple and we are thrilled that the stars aligned so we could make this happen. 

Congrats Monica and KJ!!!!!!!!

Monica walking down the aisle

wedding ceremony


Special thanks to Captain Bannister for officiating (and allowing the wedding to take place), Cadets Gian Papio and CJ Conrad for the official wedding photos (coming soon), Cadet Eliora Barca for baking the wedding cake, Bosun Anders Bland for providing mocktails and decorating, ALWO Margaret Handel for the wedding bouquet and leis, Third Mate Toni Gomowad for the surprise veil, Commandant Jimmy Moore for event set up and break down, DTO Dr. Bets McNie for the staging room for the bride, IT Technician Cody Lewis for setting up the mic and speakers, to all of the cadets, faculty, staff, and crew who showed up to support, and to everyone else who had a hand in making this day amazing for Monica and KJ. 

Check back often and follow the voyage with our blog series that gives the latest news from Summer Cruise! The TSGB will travel to Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Apia, Samoa, Hilo, Hawaii, and Astoria, Oregon prior to returning to Vallejo on July 7.

Stay tuned for updates to the Follow the Voyage blog.

Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.