[from the stabenow.com vaults, 2007]
A real day off – the first since the ship left San Francisco 20 days ago. No drills, no go fast alerts, no fishing vessels who might be smuggling migrants, no haring off after ghost radar contacts. Palm Sunday services were the only organized event. Sun and seas with barely a breeze to ripple a cerulean blue surface that can hardly be bothered by the slightest possible swell. I suppose I could get bored looking at this after three months. Maybe. Possibly.
PO Dea Lang, inspired by events on the fantail, drew a gorgeous picture of a sailfish. She says it needs work. I beg to differ. See for yourself.
Some people are working, as in on watch up on the bridge, where we find Helmsman SN Jonathan Hannons, break-in helmsman SN Nathan Cramer, Quartermasters of the Watch BM2 Tim Myers and break-in BM3 Michael Boltze, Bosun’s Mate of the Watch BM2 Matt Hendricks and OOD LTJG Morgan Barbieri.
We’re doing box ops, and the OOD is messing with the off duty folks on the flight deck who are trying to work on their tans. Whenever they get comfortable on their towels or in their deck chairs, she maneuvers the ship so that shade from the helo’s rotors will fall on them, forcing them to move. In the meantime Matt and Tim are grilling Nathan on man overboard procedures. Poor Matt and Tim. Any day they don’t get their hands on a small boat is a day wasted for them.
On the fantail the Captain continues to show mercy to the icthyologian world by not catching any fish (he finally got mad and went off to work on his cross stitch). CWO Jimmy Olson caught his this morning (an eight-foot sailfish) and is cooling off in the wardroom in front of a movie. The ships’ laundry has a wait list, the gym is crowded, and the berthing areas are kept quiet and dark. On the mess deck people are studying and watching basketball on satellite television, while PO Tracy Mellot is refilling the condiments and not letting me take her picture. “Wait until I’m at my GQ station, my sister has no idea what I do, she will love it.” Okay.
It’s a welcome, if deceptive peace.
We’re still 911 for our duty station.
We’re still the cop on our beat, on call 24/7.
I hope this crew gets to sleep through this one night, though. Be a nice ending to the day.
And you should see the Plan of the Day for tomorrow.
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Author and founder of Storyknife.org.