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Steel Beach--When US Navy Ships Throw Giant Beach Parties

(Photos: US Navy)

Life on a ship of the United States Navy is busy. The sailors and Marines have a lot of work to do, even when far away from combat zones. But sometimes, the crew takes a day off to enjoy the pleasures of a beach--one made of steel.

When a naval vessel throws a picnic and swimming party, it's called Steel Beach. Tyler Rogoway of Jalopnik has a lengthy post, with more pictures and a video, about this tradition.

Many amphibious warfare ships have submersible well docks. This feature permits a ship to load and launch landing craft at the shore. But the crew can also keep the dock doors closed while submerging the deck, creating an enormous indoor pool.

The US Navy is officially dry. There's no alcohol drinking permitted on board. Yet, on rare occasions, the captain of a ship may announce a Beer Day. Crewmen of age may partake of 2 beers. You can read more about Beer Day and the Steel Beach at Jalopnik.

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Funfact: In Japan, Bud is not classed as beer. It has something to do with how much barley is used. Since it uses a high percentage of rice and maybe corn, it's classed as happoshu and taxed less, so it's cheaper.
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