Monday, January 2, 2012

‘Sea Daddy’

I remember on my first ship in the ‘Ol Canoe Club’ some old crusty and corroded bastard would sit around bitch’n and complaining about us young boots while tell’n bullshit sea stories from back in the old days. Before you knew it the bullshit started fly’n from one end of the compartment to the other… rookie debutantes need not apply!!!

And it’s been my experience an ‘Old Salt’ could name a hundred different beers from as many different places… remember monkey meat and balut from the PI… make out the exchange rate of just about any funny money around the world… and show you the best places to pursue refined refreshment and xXx rated interaction with members of the opposite sex!!!

These fellas you could usually refer to as your Mentor… Deckplate Leader… or my favorite… Sea Daddy!!!  These were the fellas the Skipper would talk to in an ol’ so familiar way and say,

"Listen here you senior dipshits! Before we all step off the brow I expect you to look out for our younger shipmates and show them the ropes!! I don’t want anyone on liberty risk and for Christ sakes keep’m sober enough to get back on board… I don’t want anyone on the binnacle list forgett’n to wrap that rascal either... We got enough critters and nasty stuff crawl’n around this joint… Got it!?!?"
Somewhere down the road I became one of them ol’ salts…

And sometimes when look’n out for those young shipmates… it’s like raising a second family! Of course it ain’t like it used to be when I was growing up in this ol’ Canoe club… with all this political correctness B.S…

You see when I was a young boot… there were times when the Chief would chew your ass for spending all your money on liquor and whores then turn around and slip a twenty in your pocket so you could afford a couple pitchers of cheap beer off base… nowadays you’d be classified as an alcohol abuser and possibly administratively separated or get charged for Trafficking in Persons’!!! 

Had a fella in Hong Kong… ‘Goof Troop’… only reason he didn’t get restricted for Trafficking in Persons… The CMC caught his Liberty Buddy without him and called his ass in the middle of the action… He ran out on her before she could finish the job so she got no pay!!! But they still got him for ‘Sodomy’ as he admitted to letting her perform a bit of fellatio on his member… now sodomy is no longer a violation of the UCMJ thanks to the repeal of ‘DADT’… I’m just waiting for some new directive to allow cross dressing, wigs, and men in make-up!!! Equal Rights… right!?!?

It used to be early at morning Quarters showing up five minutes late still smelling like perfume and booze from the night before and Chief would look at you and say,

“It’s okay to hoot with the Owls at night but you better be gaudamned sure you’re able and ready to soar with the Eagles in the morning!”

Back in those days there was no such thing as ‘sensitivity training’ and when you got your ass chewed you got the stupid hammered outta you!!

When you were out there figuring out how to put on the rat guards you might have found your ‘Sea Daddy’ out there practically climbing the lines showing you how it’s done!!

"Hey Chief, you don’t have to do that we can figure out how to get it done."
"Listen here shipmate, I’m here to show you how to get’r done!”
 "Yeah, but you're old and fat, and might hurt yourself..."
"Shipmate, when I'm in a wheel chair, senile and decrepit I’ll still be able to kick your worthless ass so don’t give me no shit!!!”
“I didn’t realize…”
"There's a hell of a lot of stuff you don't realize, rookie… and that’s what I’m here for!!!"

And so it went… You could sit back and keep your mouth shut & listen to the wise exchange of banter while learn’n to be a part of the brotherhood of the crew… or become one of them piece ‘o shit whiners nobody can stand to be around... but these days it seems it’s the whiners who get all the glory!! If you give anyone a hard time or try to show any hard brotherly love you might find yourself on report for harassment or other PC’ BS!!!

Back in the day it seems Deckplate Leadership was based on ol’ salty experience that had been there and done that… the same can’t be said these days because the New Navy ain’t been there and done that…

These days Master Chiefs divide a line in the mess between the E-7, E-8 and E-9… Where it used to be a Chief’s Mess they make sure to let you know your place in the ways of Khaki politics and the pecking order… Too gaudamn many forcing social engineering down our throats with false bravado!!!

It’s a shame… everybody gets a medal and we’re all supposed to be one big happy family… Somewhere we forgot how to let our youngn’s figure out how to fail… cause if they don’t figure that out… they’ll never figure out how to succeed!!!  


  1. Wow, great article! The older Navy was definitely the better indeed. These up and coming salts will never know what they missed!

  2. In 1972 my first LPO (Sea Daddy) was a WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran. Yes, that was a completely different navy back then. The leadership provided to me by him and others of that era was a completly different version than what the current ticket punchers do. Those standards set me on a path to BMCM. I still use the lessons those men taught me in my daily life.

  3. It was 72 for me as well when I was lucky enough to meet a great sea daddy. Taught me all I needed to know in seamanship, comradeship and life in general. To all those guys that took the time to take on green guys like me and show the way..I salute you. Thanks for your efforts, they set me up for life and I would like to think I had the same impact on some newbies in my senior years!

  4. My mentor was a 3rd class Gunners Mate on the Pyro who took me under his wing and showed me the ropes on the ship and ashore too. Yes, a young sailor needs lots of pointers ashore to. Otherwise some sweet thing, or slick salesman will end up taking him and his meager pocket book to the cleaners. Thanks for watching out for me Jim

  5. My mentor MMC Rouse, tough as nails with a heart bigger than a fire pump. he kicked my but til I squared my butt away and made MM3 and cried when the ship hosted an orphans party at Christmas time. Most wonderful man. A Div. USS CHIGAGO CG-11 in 1966.

  6. 01AUG66, Subic libs. My sea daddy went over with me and showed me the ins and outs (pun intended) of Olongapo. Even made sure I ate the balut - "You ain't no real Asia hand less'n you eats the balut!" Got it done just fine; I made it back on time and in (relatively) one piece. And I knew how a Westpac sailor should handle himself when on libs. Showed me how to get my work done, how to keep my uniforms AJ squared away, who to see for best slush rates, just about everything. The day was far away when I'd take newbies under my wing and pay it forward, but by Neptune pay it forward I did.

    - "Preacher"