10 October 2006

How much longer...?

This is really my favourite picture from the '03 deployment.

I think it's pretty much standard on 688s for the chow line to go through aft berthing, the head and forward berthing when the boat's in port. Under way, though, things can be different.

On Oly, as I recall, the line usually went down the ladder into FCLL and around to the Torpedo Room door. There it broke off, and a short spur went to the 21-Man door; then the line broke again, to be continued into the Machinery Room, with everybody remembering "I'm after him" and "He's the end of the line." Back in those days, we had a couple of nightsticks stashed above the WSN-2, for use by the reaction force, and I remember watching a couple of bored nucs trying to see who could do the best job of deep-throating a nightstick.

Which brings to mind a TM2's Usetafish story of watching someone demonstrating his ability to deep-throat the emergency stick - just as the VIP and his wife entered Control during their tour of the boat. But I digress....

On Prov, the chow line just went straight forward, down the FCML passageway to the goat-locker door. That, of course, is what's shown here: A bunch of guys reading whilst waiting to be called in for chow. Went through a lot of books that way.

Every bubblehead remembers the drill, Meals were served every six hours (breakfast at 0500, lunch at 1100, supper at 1700 and midrats at 2300). The COW sent the Messenger down to start wake-ups 30-40 minutes before the cooks would start serving, to give people time to get up, shower (if so desired), and get dressed. The Messenger would make one sweep through all the berthing spaces, waking up everyone who was on the list for the oncoming watch. Then he'd go back again, and again, and again, until (theoretically) everyone was up, after which he'd return to Control.

I value my sleep time. I always took my shower before going to bed, and thus wouldn't need to get up early in order to take one before relieving the watch. So I would usually stay in the rack until xx55, then get dressed, fish my book out from under my pillow and go take station as the last man in the queue. (On Prov, of course, that sucked if the boat were rigged for low-level white, because the forward end of the passageway was too dark for reading, and I had to wait until I got closer to the wardroom.)

Had one YNSN who never could figure out that it didn't matter how many times he came to wake me - I still wasn't going to get up until xx55. If he'd just waited until then, of course, I would have gotten up the first time he called me, but instead he'd wake me up every time he passed by my rack. He seemed to get really frustrated at times when I acknowledged his presence and then just went back to sleep....


Mega Munch said...

Damn you for bringing back these memories James. DAMN YOU!

I don't know if I miss the Navy and miss being underway or if I just miss being 23 years old and carefree. I think both.

What's the cut off age to get back into the Navy?

bothenook said...

shower? shower? oh, i forgot, you were on one of those luxury liners.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Mega Munch -

21+ years, three submarines (and one tender), six deployments, port calls in 33 different ports.... Yeah, there were some pretty bad days, but I can still pull a lot of good memories out of all that.

Check with your local recruiter.