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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"It's rodiating"

so here i was, installing an experiment at work. after getting it in place, we fired up the computer to initiate rotation. once it was rotating, i yelled towards the squawk box connected to the control room "It's ratating and rodiating".
out of nowhere.
then i remembered the many many midshifts while a sailor, sitting along the pier or in dry dock, with the incessant 1MC announcements. one sailor stood out, and still resonates in my head occasionally, such as today:
how many nights, how many times a night, did i hear Michael J.B. make that announcement from the topside shack? how many times did i laugh? i don't know the numbers, but i know that i laughed EVERY time. that deep southern drawl, the mangled English, the totally unselfconscious bellow. he went on to be a damned good torpedoman, but his near legendary pig call that he used to get us all out of the racks in the torpedo room during "up all bunks" evolutions probably stands out as the single funniest thing i've ever been awakened with.

another of the memorable, and not infrequent 1MC announcements was by another Mike, this one an A-ganger.
"There are men working in the sail. Do not cycle any sea valves, rudders, planes, or screws. There are men working in the sail." the first time i heard that, i wasn't sure if i was just really really tired. but after 4 hours of 1/2 hour announcements, i was pretty sure it wasn't me. bulldog went on to some pretty interesting assignments during his time in the navy. i'm not sure, but i seem to remember someone telling me he ended up as a COB. THAT cracks me up.

of course, the craziest topside watch had to be booger. late evening, along side the pier at berth 19, Mare Island (575's home port). casual shoot the sh*t going on in crews mess. spang, spang, spang, spang. VERY loud noises that sounded like someone hitting the hull with a hammer repeatedly. the next thing i heard was "Repel Boarders!" over the 1MC. the belowdecks watch heard the topside watch firing the 45, and assumed the worst, so he called away the Repel Boarders.
we boiled up out of crews mess, grabbing the first thing that came to hand that could be used as a weapon.
"Stand down from Repel Boarders". WTF?
booger was getting pretty paranoid about the wharf rats that lived and swam under the pier. when one of them climbed up on the camel and tried climbing the pressure hull, booger lost it. a full magazine, none of them hitting the rat, but all left interesting marks on the hull. the shipyard tried to take our weapons away after that... i would have liked to be the fly on the wall during the ensuing discussion between booger, his chief, his division officer, the engineer, the XO, and the skipper. oh, and the skipper and the shipyard CO. THAT one would have been hilarious. poor booger. NOT the topside watch of the year, that's for sure.

so, any memorable craziness on your boats? stupid question, i know. hey, we're talking about submarine sailors here. but does that craziness you experienced still pop into your brain at random times, like it did with me today?

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Blogger Subvet said...

On my first usedafish we were doing a DASO run out of Port Canveral, Florida. One evening the CO returned with a local "exotic dancer" and led her into his stateroom (for purely cultural reasons I'm sure).

As Murphy's Law would have it, the boat's #1 screwup, Big Al, was standing topside watch at that time and horsing around with one of his buddies. Somehow or other they managed to knock the bridge suitcase off it's mount and into the water. The ensuing short caused the collision alarm to sound.

Naturally all hands on board immediately rigged for collision as Charlie Oscar came running out to the conn wearing nothing but his BVD's that contained a rapidly diminishing erection. We stood down almost immediately, it amazed me how so many sailors could address the Old Man with a straight face at the time.

Needless to say, Big Al's days in Uncle Sam's canoe club were neither long or happy.

1/9/08, 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repel boarders on the wharf rats! HAHA!

1/9/08, 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a topside watch on the Clay named Fred... One night he was practicing quick draw and spinning his .45 while on watch. He was so wrapped up with this, he failed to see the Captain returning from a night on the town. The Captain came down the brow, and walked right by Fred as he was spinning the .45 around his finger... As Fred looked up, the Captain said: "You know Freddie, one of these days someone one is going to catch you doing that!" The Captain continued on below decks, leaving Fred standing there, .45 in hand, with his mouth open!

1/10/08, 8:32 AM  
Blogger reddog said...

Remember the night Wild Wally came across the brow at midnight to relieve the DO? Then walked right past him, over the port side, into the Napa River.

Then, after we fished him out, he went back up on the pier, got in his car and made his sodden getaway?

Never saw him again. Poor Devil. He was a good guy.

1/10/08, 9:17 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

yeah, that was after a chief's initiation, and he was a defending council at the "trial".
pretty funny, having the word passed "Man Overboard", and having him crawl up the camel and pull himself back onboard. then he stood on the deck looking into the water "helping" us look for whoever it was that "went overboard".

good times

1/10/08, 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a time in Yokusuka when the topside called all linehandlers topside to handle a commercial vessel coming in that had pushed us away from the dock.

We had an MS1 (Philipino) who showed up right away at the bottom of the forward escape trunk, his kapok on upside down (legs through the arm holes). When he couldn't immediately get up the hatch, rather than an "up ladder", he looks up and yells "Hey! What's the holddown down there topside?"

Needless to say, we didn't avail ourselves of his line handling expertise that day!

2/15/08, 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming across funny stories on the internet make me a little sad that I'm getting out in 5 months. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for submarines and the people I've met.


9/30/08, 6:25 PM  

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