I did not know any military people until I began to work on boats. I still do not know any military women very well, just by correspondence. But I’ve met some men. Different world.
With a few rich and generous exceptions, they don’t blog. They don’t like to reveal much. It is not easy to drag a good story out of them.
But every now and then, in a calm crossing of the river while we’re both in the wheelhouse, I’d hear:
“Did I ever tell you? Oh, you’ll like this one—we were in the PBR, they were shooting at us, and let me tell you how this boat was made: you could turn a valve to use the motor to pump the water that was filling up in the boat OUT. It was called a crash turn. But you couldn’t move, then. We had to choose: pump out the boat, or get our asses outta there.”
“The boat was filling up? you were all getting wet?”
Eyes widened: “We were getting SHOT at! YES, our socks were getting wet!”
“Oh, Kenny! where were you? when was this?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Well, who made the boat?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Come on! Oh, pretty please?”
“No. I can’t.”
Tried to find the boat. A good resource here: the Historic Naval Ships Association.
They see things differently. My dear girlfriend Lilian is a potter, she gave me beautiful red clay to pinch into pots for my succulents. One ex-CG friend picked up the bag of the heavy dense stuff and asked, “It this your bag of plastic explosive?”
I could not tell if he was serious or not. That’s another thing. Poker faced, even when you step on their toes really hard by accident with a high-heeled shoe.
They act differently. Chloe, who lives in the east village, told me of a time when a fellow who was a NAVY SEAL visited her. He walked up to her fifth floor apartment of a tenement building, and warned her: “Watch out, these guys are packed around here.” He was able to detect some of her neighbors coming down the stairs concealing weapons under their pants legs. While he was there, he heard a noise and with his broad arm, pushed Chloe down to the floor and crouched protectively over her:
Chloe, stuttering, “It-it’s the fax machine. I’m getting a fax.” She works from home.
Well, for some of us, there will always be that fascination:
And! though not Military, fellow ship portraitist Pamela just sent me this: SECRET FBI sale! Dec. 20, for the first time in its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will open its New York store:
“The rare offer for G-men branded gear is good for four hours only. Intelligence locates the store somewhere between the 22nd and 29th floor of 26 Federal Plaza. Special clearance required.”
“Growler is the sole survivor of the Navy’s fleet of pioneering strategic missile diesel powered submarines.”
- Historic Naval Ships Association
U.S.S. GROWLER SSG-577
Class: Grayback/Regulus II Submarine
Launched: April 5, 1958
At: Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Commissioned: August 30, 1958
Length: 317′ 7″ / 96.8 m
Beam: 27′ 2″ / 8.3 m
Draft: 19′ (surface trim) / 5.8 m
Displacement: 2,768 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Regulus I and II missiles
Speed: maximum surfaced – 20 knots
maximum submerged – 12 knots
Complement: 9 officers, 11 chief petty officers, 68 crewmen
Decommissioned: May 25, 1964
Pier 86 is the location of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum (West 46th Street & 12th Avenue).
We were surveying some piers located north of the museum, and would have to take tide readings regularly off a tide board posted up just east of this submarine, so these workers would watch us go back and forth, and wave:
And they know what many of us know: any day on the water is better than a good day at the office.
However, if you are in the office, check out Maritime Monday’s submarine edition and order a sub for lunch.
“Tradition states that the first entry of the new year in the official log in CG and Navy must be in verse and rhyme.”
So, here’s to tradition…
Zero one January two thousand one two.
Eight glasses for the old year and eight for the new.
Clear, windless day; low tide at o8h14,
The river has that beautiful blue-brown, cold sheen.
Hair making good knots, rolled out of my berth,
Dismayed by the thickening of the girth
After bubbly and beer and something chateau,
Feeling like sierra hotel india tango
It’s already into the forenoon watch
When I go to the galley to assess the debauch
Staring at all of the bottles in front of me
Feeling a bit post-frontal lobotomy
Semper ready for the challenge!
It’s not too bad, rank it code orange.
Monitoring 13 while the kettle does boil…
So, where are my friends moving cargo, people and oil?
Clearing the nav station of sketches and cat,
I scan AIS to see where everyone’s at.
There’s xx at the anchorage and xx on the KV
And look at the ships coming in from sea!
Can’t wait to tell Tuggie who’s going by now!
Containerships, tankers, tugs and their scows,
Ferries and fishingboats and tour boats galore,
A honeyboat, and the boats of the Army Corps
Icebreakers and buoy tenders, and medium response
A sailboat, some kayaks, and hopefully, clearance.
A cruiseship. No ro-ro’s. The dredgers are at bay.
Do harbor charlie and fireboat get overtime pay?
Are the survey boats working? are the line boats out?
They’re not on AIS so I can’t see their routes.
I could do this all day, but muster midmess
To wish all of you for 2012: the best!
Thank you, CaptJJ for telling me about this tradition!
what is your log entry for today?
¡wow! thank you, west38! it looks so beautifully zen! click on her lovely blog to see the art of needle and thread in perfection: that corner is art.
Does G.I. stand for Ground Infantry? General Issue? Galvanized Iron? Government Issued!