A Shipboard Life, part 2…

I also sent this to some old Navy friends, and got this back this morning!

This really brought back some memories. Take it from a former resident of U.S.S. Mindoro, U.S.S. Siboney, U.S.S. Antietam, U.S.S. Tarawa, U.S.S. Valley Forge, & U.S.S. Forrestal. Note- MOST of those memories I’ve been trying to forget for 30 years…

Shipboard Evolutions-

1. Sit in your car and let it run for four hours before going anywhere. This is to ensure your engine is properly “lit off.”

2. Before leaving or arriving at any location require your family to stand on the hood of the car for the preceding hour. [Special Sea Detail]

3. Empty all the garbage cans in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day even if they don’t require it. [Sweepers]

4. Stand in the sun for an hour without moving a muscle while someone reads the complete Old Testament book of Numbers to you. [Change of Command, Retirement, etc.]

5. While driving in foggy weather, instruct your children to turn around and look out back window and make reports on anything they see. [Low Visibility Watch].

6. Have you wife set off the smoke alarm. Grab a pair of headphones (without walkman) and mic (without cord), run into the kitchen and stand by the stove. To no one in particular say “Stove manned and ready”. Stand there for four hours doing nothing. DO NOT sit down. After four hours say “Stove secured”, once again to no one in particular. Return to your regular business.

7. String lines (ropes) from your roof to your neighbor’s roof at 0500 (5am) have all family members assemble on the roof wearing lifejackets and hard hats. Stand around until 0800 (8am). Send everyone inside telling them it will be 2 hours until they will be needed and they should get breakfast. Wait until they get the first fork of food in their mouth and call them back to the roof. Transfer the contents of your neighbor’s garage to your garage using the lines strung from roof to roof. Repeat every 3 days changing the times to randomly interrupt every meal. [Underway Replenishment at Sea – Unrep]

8. Assemble the family at the local high school football field at 0600 (6am) every day. Have the kids line up side by side to the full width of the field. Tell them you have hidden a gold nugget on the field and if they find it they won’t have to line up at the football field for one day. [Hint: It is very small.] Also inform them that mom is behind them and that she likes to collect things. Have the kids walk slowly toward the other side of the field, heads down, no talking, picking up every piece of chewed gum, lint, or pebble and hand it to mom to put in her handbag. Remind the children that there is a golden nugget so they will be excited and look more intensely. The purpose of the hunt is to keep the lawn mower from sucking something into the blades and spitting it out the other side. [FOD Walk Down]

Ed. note- And this is actually done prior to every launch off the boat. There is actually a good reason, as a jet will suck up just about anything anywhere near the intake, including stray nuts, bolts, and people… Been there, seen it happen… 🙁

FODing an engine means a complete tear down, many manhours, and possibly no repair depending on the damage done.

9. Twice a week at 0230 have your neighbor sneak into your house with a bell and a bullhorn Instruct him to get as close to you as possible without waking you then ring the bell and scream through the bullhorn “Fire! Fire! Fire! There is a Class Alpha Fire in the Galley!” As soon as you peel yourself off the overhead (ceiling) get half dressed and run for the door, have him yell, “This is a drill!” [Fire Drill]

10. Install a 10 inch composite loop fire main system in your house. Designate a closet in your house as a repair locker, equip it with firefighting gear. Hold fire, smoke, and flooding drills every day.11. Enlist a team of paintball players to run through your dining room shouting “Security Alert!” At this, you should drop to the floor (deck). Best done during mealtime.

12. Stand in line at the local mini-mart for a Powerball Lottery ticket when the jackpot is up around $100 million (simulates either the chow line, mail call, or the ships store on payday on an aircraft carrier).

13. Button up your shirt to the neck; pull your socks up over your pant legs; put on a scuba mask and breath into a paper bag while trying to read your least favorite book. Do this for an unknown length of time. (General Quarters).

14. (Submarine Simulation) Install air lines throughout your home with connections every eight feet. Store surplus gas masks (one for each member of the family) under the kitchen table. During your favorite dinner, announce with megaphone “toxic gas in the forward compartment, all hands don EAB’s” (Emergency Air Breathing apparatus). Don the rubber mask and plug into air system. Wait two hours or until dinner is cold and thoroughly congealed. Announce “Secure toxic gas in the forward compartment. Drill is secured.” Do not sit down to eat. Shovel food into your mouth while en-route to the garbage pail. Scrape remaining food from plate into garbage and run upstairs and sit in a closet for six hours. Repeat.

15. (Carrier Operations) Have your neighbor stand across the street on the darkest of nights. Give him a flashlight with a cone on the end so that he can signal you when the coast is clear of oncoming cars. When you’re halfway across, have him change the signal as a car is ten feet from you and blaring its horn. Break into a sprint and trip over the curb as you try to find the darkest set of shadows to hide in.

16. (Carrier Operations) Assemble your neighbors on Super Bowl Sunday in the street with push brooms. Turn on all the garden hoses available and use extra strength dish detergent to wash the street. When half done turn on the fire hydrants to the part you haven’t washed drenching everyone. (Flight Deck Scrub Ex). This is best done when it is either 100+ degrees, or below freezing to get the full impact…


A Shipboard Life, part 2… — 6 Comments

  1. And, given the chance, we’d do it again in a hearbeat.

  2. You forgot to send a mandatory email to relatives back home (who don’t read them), explaining item by item, what you have been doing all day. Don’t forget to add in how much fuel you consumed in your car.(SORTS) For extra credit, have your father in law read your pitiful draft, write all over it in disgust and throw it to the floor before you send your email.

    Ahh, what great memories. This Saturday, we are going to take the Barco Sin Vela to Outback Crab Shack, I think I will make the visiting relatives dress uncomfortably and stand motionlessly by the lifelines when we get underway.