Monday, February 29, 2016

'The Work of Sublime Beauty'

Somewhere some ingenious bastard decided to make an AOE the size of a Norwegian Cruise Liner and just about as doggone pretty as one too! No, she didn’t have beauty parlors, five star restaurants, Bingo Halls and Casinos with swimming pools and bowling alleys, but she was quite exquisite as far I was concerned!! The Supply Class AOE was a work of sublime beauty!!!

I came aboard the Rainier built in NASSCO shipyard outta San Diego in the early Nineties as part of the Precommissioning (Precomm) unit! I had no idea how the Precomm selection process worked, but worked it did as they sifted through a shit load of idiots and came up with me!! To make it even better … unlike previous ships, this would be the first where there’d be no more Vienna Sausage Luaus on the flightdeck during steel beach picnics!! Yep… this new jalopy had steel belted condoms in all the heads and passenger air bags… on all the female types… something new in the Navy unless you’d been on a tender!! Living in close proximity to the wimmins and Fanroom Fannies can change the way young men conduct themselves in public!!!

This was a new experience for me! We had a brand new ship with a brand new messdeck, passageways big enough to play collegiate level football, berthing compartments with elbow room and brand new Heavy Weather Gear instead of the Hand-me-down stuff we used to sleep on in between breaks!! We even had a ‘Sailor to Home’ phone center that was a brand new concept at the time!!!

The Rainier was a modern marvel in seagoing technology made for Quality of Life and streamlined jet engines to push her through the water… that high speed low torque to low speed high torque kinda thing you transmission fellas should know something about! But I’m a twidget… so I’ll stay outta the details!! It was a lot of OOOHs & AAAWs from most of us fleet types who were used to smelly, oily things with oxidation dripping off the sides and steam pipes & water mains leaking in every direction!!!

Her mission was underway replenishment (Unrep) of beans, bullets and fuel to combat ships… just a regular ol’ floating General Store!  We had a captive market to say the least!! We spent as many as twenty hours a day Unrep’n with as many ship’s sometimes both port & starboard!!!

Yep… when we were underway, it was the Indian Trade Company of the US Pacific Fleet! We were like the great outpost on the open range… only this was the open ocean!! This was where all the crusty salts and rapscallions of all types came to get what they needed to survive deep at sea!!!

Alongside connected replenishment (Conreps) and vertical replenishment (Vertreps) were risky business! You’ve got ships and helos side by side trying to do some kind’a gyroscopic tango with the open seas for hours upon hours!! The hydrodynamics of two ships running alongside each other causes a suction you don’t wanna be any part of if fallen overboard!! It took a well-qualified helmsmen and a great bridge crew to keep things going in the right direction!! This was made quite evident watching the Sacramento pull in with busted outriggers, a few major dents in the ol’ wagon and a CIWS Mount that looked like it needed some replacement after a brush with the Stink’n Lincoln!! Like I said… it was risky business!!!

It was during Unreps we did the heavy lifting, fixing shit, shoving probes into huge orifices pumping JP5, DFM and all that other stuff, humping beans & bullets and acting as the muscle & guts that brought the fleet to life! There were many a blackened face from hard working crews grimy with steaming sweat just making the best of a tough situation!!  Grimy, grease-covered Kapok wearing Crackerjacks with a bandanna hanging out the hip pocket... now that was the signature hallmark of an Unrep’n Bos’n, whipping his Seamen into shape!!!

The general population of our floating village contained a wide variety of characters within the spectrum of humanity... from the exceptionally bright to the walking brain dead! The fuel on deck was as slick as a minnow’s dick and Monkey Fists shot out of M14s could put quite a dent in a bosun’s hard hat giving him instant celebrity or instant death!! You could hear one of the line handlers asking the rig captain some silly question while riggin the lines with an…

“I appreciate your concern shipmate but I’m fucking this cat… you’re just holding the tail!”

A good leader can always put things back into perspective!!!

Through a long day’s work you’d be wrapped up in fuel hoses then the starting pistol for major ‘Can you top this’ bullshit would go off! The 1MC blaring…

“Lunch for the Crew”…

We all knew it was feeding time at the local zoo!! When Unreps run one ship after another, the crews had to rotate out to get chow!! Let me tell you… when Crackerjacks only have five minutes to eat they looked like a pride of lions devouring the carcass from a group kill!!!

Then it came… one day the Skipper would demand that all Departments participate in some form with Unreps! So now twidgets had to get involved in the way of communications to the bridge and Central Control… and when I say in the way, I mean sometimes we were in the way!! I still remember someone showing their ‘Cat Brains’ to the other side of the span wire as a Spruant Can was taking on fuel!! RMSN Doris invented the stunt down in berthing and it grew in popularity!! Before long every slacker on the ship with twigs-n-berries was in the trend!!!

Then one day while crackerjacks in dirty foul weather jackets and worse for wear mouths were hollering stupid comments between ships one of our own unzips and there was a loud resounding ‘Thwack’ upon his ‘Cat Brains’…

“Unreps is like a midget at a urinal kid… you always gotta be on your toes!”

A bit of fanroom counseling and once again a good leader can always put things back into perspective!!  There was plenty of time for grab ass and skylarking when not on the rigs!!!

So often we pulled into Jebel Ali & Fujairah to refuel, the amount of GPM & JP5 we gave out must have reached astronomical proportions! But all roads that lead to success have to pass through Hard Work Boulevard at some point!! On some days after a dozen Unreps those fellas looked like they’d been in the outhouse when the lightning struck… but to each and every one there was a sense of pride and feeling of accomplishment… the reason we one the Battle ‘E’ on successive tries!!!

They say the two best Commands in the Navy....The one you just left and the one you are going to! Well... After five years, I had a love affair with that ship like no other… I think they made me sign a waiver of some sort… do not indulge yourself in the enjoyment of Naval Service… and to that I’d sold my soul for Indentured Servitude to the US Canoe Club!!!

Yes these old sea going memories come and go in kaleidoscope fashion as colorful a recollection as you can ever get! It’s like catnip to the soul!! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

'Worst Tattoo You Ever Saw'

I served Twenty-Three years in the Canoe Cabaret and never got a tattoo! The thought crossed my mind a time or two… even considered it on a drunken night but couldn’t figure out what kind of art to get and where to put it!! Asking fellow shipmates… Throwing ideas around like a hooker’s underwear!! What was the worst Tattoo you fellas ever saw?!?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Showcasing the US Canoe Club’s finest ships in foreign lands has gone on for decades! This story comes from a tin can Naval Officer from back in the early Sixties on how to make a bridal suite out of the Motor Whale Boat with one of them sweet Australian Kate Upton look alike honeys…

When the USS Gurke took part in the Coral Sea Week commemoration in 1962, one port was Sydney, Australia! After a few days of total fun we left for a one day cruise to the next port of call… Newcastle, Australia!! On board were a large group of Media newspaper people because we were going to operate with a submarine for a few hours and it was good press!!!

No sooner had we cleared Sydney harbor when one of my men comes to me with…

"Mr. Fox you promise you won't tell?"

“OK I won't tell!”

“There is a girl in the motor whale boat!”

Well I broke my promise for sure enough there was a girl hiding in the Motor Whale Boat! That’s all the reporters needed to have a field day at the expense of the US Navy!! Quickly we took the whole press bunch aft to watch some phony drill as we whisked the girl to forward Officer’s Quarters!! The ship’s doc kept her there all day till we reached Newcastle!!!

We kissed the press goodbye and finally spoke to the girl! She claimed some sailor had promised to marry her and she was stowing away to the States!! We nicely read her a long list of crimes she had committed and the possible amount of time she would spend in prison... yadda, yadda!! But if she wouldn't say a word we wouldn't press charges!! She happily agreed… so when the coast was clear we scooted her off the ship!!!

Within hours we had high priority messages a flying fast and furious from Washington as to how we had shanghaied some gal from Sydney and raped her three ways to Wednesday! She had gone to the authorities claiming she had been kidnapped by whoever… etc... etc.!! It was a true public relations nightmare!!!

Things were pretty hairy for a while! I guess common sense ruled in the end as everything was forgiven and forgotten!! But another adventure in the long and great history of the USS GURKE!! The story is all true to the best of my slightly failing memory!!!
Your shipmate, Jon Fox

Holy Jehoshaphatz… how in the hell did they get that little lady on the ship… undetected even?!? Not the least to say, what they'd do with the lil’ thing once they started head’n back to the states!! First, they had to get her past the guys at the fleet landing… then past the liberty boat coxswain and security on the boat… Get her up the gangplank one way or the other… cross the Quarterdeck… Haul her down below decks… and THEN, when they finally made it, figure out how to keep all the other animals off of her!! If she got passed around from shipmate to shipmate it seems it would defeat the purpose of all that effort!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

'A Nurse With Patience'

During World War II as a sign of the times and the fact it helped boost the morale of most servicemen… almost all of the nurses were female!

A young Seaman was lying in bed at the Naval Hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose, still heavily sedated from a difficult, four hour, surgical procedure! The young nurse appeared to give him a partial sponge bath!!


…she heard him mumble in a garbled tone from behind the mask…

"Are my testicles black?"

Embarrassed, the young nurse replies…

"Well, I don't know, Sir… I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet!"

He struggles to ask again…

"Nurse, are my testicles black?"

Concerned that he may elevate his vitals from worrying about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and sheepishly pulls back the covers! She raises his gown, holds his penis in one hand and his testicles in the other!! Then, she takes a close look and says…

"There's nothing wrong with them, Sir!"

The young Seaman pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her and says very slowly…

"Bless your Heart and Thank you so very much as that was wonderful, but listen very, very closely... Are -- m y -- t e s t -- r e s u l t s -- b a c k?”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

'USS Susan B. Anthony'

A national 'fem-nazi' advocacy group demanded a new warship be named the USS Susan B. Anthony, but this was considered highly controversial as Transgenders of the LGBT groups could as well call it Anthony instead of Susan… It’s hard to decipher these things in this day and age of Political Correctness...!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

'One Night On Liberty'

Seaman Deuce finally took the risk and put himself out there… but not in a good way!!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

'Signal Shack'

On most ships above the bridge and forward of the superstructure there is a tiny little realm known as the Signal Shack! It’s ruled by Skivvy-Wavers and heavily populated with raggedy assed deck seamen hiding from the knuckle draggers down below!! It was usually safe from Bos’n Chiefs and First Class Deck Apes for they rarely ventured that way as the ill effects of high altitude would set in!!!

The realm was cradled between two sets of halyards and firecontrol gear… directors, radars and the like! And surely no snipe could have found it without an oxygen tank and some navigational help from the North Star!! Even CIC types rarely made the journey as the sun was too bright outside the blue light zone!! But fresh air twidgets were always within close proximity of the Signal Shack!!!

All you had to do was make a bit of racket, flap the shutters on a signal light, or pretend like you were practicing semaphore to look busy… these fellas were rarely engaged in any real productive work! There was only so many inanimate objects and superfluous crap they could do!! Besides, nobody important liked to go up there… it was too easy to get a nose bleed!!! 

There was nothing like heading up on the midwatch and having a smoke and a cup of jo while bullshitt’n with a Skivvy-Waver! We spent hours professionally critiquing the art of bullshit and the finer points of breast size and the game of Rochambeau!! Coking and Joking while trading tribal knowledge on porn and how ugly Chief’s wife was, and all the other quandaries, questions and philosophies as we rummaged through a percolated pot of fresh coffee… the tonic of the Gods underway!! Let’s face it, we operated on coffee… morning and night pouring the black sludge down our gullet strong enough to wake the dead!!!

Sitting in the shack late at night listening to music off the coast, telling lies and Sea Stories while flipp’n the new kid shit for being a pain the hip pocket! Who remembers swing’n the halyards like giraffe testicles in the wind!! It was just a chance to air out the armpits, and see what the world was like under a million stars at night!! Take a second and close your eyes… do you remember it?!?

Something about that nighttime steaming, exchanging meaningless trivial dealings and developing all-hands collusions and conspiracies under a red light! Topside clown car circus acts were abundant as we took lunatic tomfoolery to buccaneer proportions!! Devious and resourceful as we were… you’d be amazed at the kind of shit we pulled on a midwatch!!!

The days though calmer under visibility of light were no less entertaining! Everyone seems normal until you get to know them!! SMC Clayton used to joke and tell us…

“Never be afraid to try something new… you know, amateurs built the Ark but professionals built the Titanic!”

Characters were plenty like SM2 ‘Meth Head’ eventually getting booted for failing Operation Golden Flow! SM2 Butcher always had troubles with the ladies!! And who could forget SM1 Musser who always had a good joke to tell!!!

Then there was the young female SMSN who enjoyed keying other peoples cars and starting trouble! Or what about that young Skivvy Waiver right out of school not onboard more than a couple of weeks...

He’d been sent down on a fool’s errand to blow the MPA, that’s Main Propulsion Assistant to all you non seafaring landlubbers out there! Yeah, that fella was about as smart as bait… The poor lad didn’t know any better and the DCA was on watch!! He looked at the little feller while unzipping his drawers and said…

“Well the MPA isn’t here but will the DCA do?”

The kid came back to the Signal Shack shaking like a dog shitting razor blades!! ‘Panty Shields up Captain’… this one went to the chaplain and ended up in a rubber room off the ship after that little fiasco!! Some are born to take it on the chin and some aren’t!!!

And in the mornings shortly after Quarters as SMC would come around…

“What are you chuckle fucks doing, posing for animal crackers? Get the fuck out of my Signal Shack unless you’re doing something useful!”

But FC2 Henry rarely took head… his boat didn’t have all the oars in the water!

“Henry, if I throw a stick will you leave?”

“What’s a matter Chiefy Weefy?”

If you ever want to see what the burst radius of a Chief Petty Officer is, just call him ‘Chiefy Weefy!’

“You… what are you a Dipshidiot? Off my bridge! Better yet, off my Planet!”

Chief was on him like a bum on a baloney sandwich…

“Henry, you’re stuck on stupid ain’t ya? Proof evolution can go in reverse!”

Henry walked away with his tail between his legs looking like a crow shit him on a fence post and the sun hatched him out!! I asked him once…

“Henry, how do you make it in life?”

… He’d say…

“The lord works in mysterious ways!”

Poor fella, took a lot of verbal abuse, especially by the SMC and he was never the wiser!!!

Sometimes those fellas would take strikers from the lower elements of the bottom-feeding enlisted types down below! They said the Skivvy-Wavers were a much nicer bunch then them knuckle draggers down below!! I remember a Seaman Sharp who made his escape to the Signal Shack after his incessant whining down in Deck!! This little fellas nose was snottier than a frog in a blender!!!

He always walked around writing in this homemade looking comic book he called a ‘zine!’ One night underway I woke up to the sound of heaving from the bottom rack… there was Sharp looking as though he had too much liberty!! I dragged his ass to the deep sink for a 0200 hour swab & shower party while swinging the hook outside of Hong Kong!!!

I should’ve known all the fun was going to end when SM1 was keelhauled for telling inappropriate jokes! They said it was unprofessional behavior unbecoming of a First Class Petty Officer!! No amount of lube could prepare him for the ass hump’n that would inevitably come as a result… kept him from ever making Chief I reckon!!!

You ever wonder why men have issues with women onboard… the writing was on the wall! One thing I learned in the Ol’ Canoe Club… someone will find a way to fuck it all up!! Lord help me to know what’s cooking before it boils over!!!

And before you knew it, between the ‘Right Sizing’ and all that other Hoo Yah… they diminished the history of the ol’ Canoe Club by getting rid of the Skivvy-Waivers! Those ‘Save A Dime Boat Jockeys’ had systematically destroyed all the things that made the Navy Great and started merging out the best rates!! Why did they have to get rid of the Skivvy-Waver?!? Why did those sterile bastards have to shit can one of the most traditional rates around?!?

I know nothing is Ad Infinitum… but what happens when all the computer doo hickeys and gyro gadgets hooked up to the GPS zippity dooh dahs run out of juice or get taken out by and EMI flash or whatever?!? Will our Crackerjacks be up to the task of Dot-Dot-Dash or a bit of semaphore?!? I know Quartermasters are somewhat trained but how lubricated are those skill sets when they’re trying to figure out digital chart tables and simulated sextants over a 4D screen?!?

One day we’ll find ourselves without the power to make our whizbangs go boom and get set a hundred years behind the times! Just look at our young’ns now… can’t last five minutes without burying the heads in their phones!! Sometimes it’s hard to tell the ways of the new Canoe Cabaret from a bunch of bad ideas that just happened together!! No matter how technologically advance today’s fleet becomes, it’s still all about ships and men… oh, and wimmins too!!!

The Signal Shack had a very select group of members… Sosbee, Pohowpatchoko, Musser, Spear, Butcher, Sharp and all the like… they were engaged in the national security of horse manure and grab ass! We all remember it!!!

If you ever hungout topside on the signal bridge late at night, you could always tell when it had been a good night of shoot’n the shit by the number of cigarette butts and coffee cups left sitt’n around them Skivvy-Wavers would be bitch’n about!! And you were damn proud to have been a part of it all…!!!

And so it went with our butts parked in a warm Signal Shack drinking jet black tarred coffee and sort’n all kinds of bullshit!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

‘We The Willing’

(Click On Picture)
"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful! We have done so much for so long with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

‘Friggin’ In The Riggin’

‘Good Ship Venus’, better known as ‘Friggin' in the Riggin', is a bawdy drinking song contrived to shock the hell outta listeners with the lewdest and crudest lyrics of sexual debauchery imaginable! The portrayal of the ship's morally loose crew is quite likely the result of Privateering & Buccaneering during the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries!!  There have been many variations from the origin which particularly speak to the Captain’s daughter…

The captain's daughter Charlotte
Was born and bred a harlot
Her thighs at night
Were Lily White
By morning they were Scarlet.

The ultimate fate of the original ship Venus is unknown, though there have been five ships in Her Majesty’s Navy with such a name! The most current lyrics of the song were made famous by the English Punk Rock Group ‘The Sex Pistols’ and were revived again later by the American Speed Metal Group ‘Anthrax’…

It was on the good ship Venus
By Christ, ya should’a seen us
The figurehead was a whore in bed
And the mast, a mammoth penis

The Captain of this lugger
He was a dirty bugger
He wasn’t fit to shovel shit
From one place to another

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck else to do

Captain’s name was Morgan
By Christ, he was a gorgon
Ten times a day sweet tunes he’d play
With his fuckin’ organ

The first mate’s name was Cooper
By Christ, he was a trooper
He jerked and jerked until he worked
Himself into a stupor

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

The second mate was Andy
By Christ, he had a dandy
Till they crushed his cock on a jagged rock
For cumming in the brandy

The cabin boy was Flipper
He was a fuck’n nipper
He stuffed his ass with broken glass
And circumcised the Skipper

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

The Captain’s wife was Mabel
To fuck, she wasn’t able
So the dirty shits, they nailed her tits
Across the barroom table

The Captain had a daughter
Who fell in deep sea water
And by her squeals we knew the eels
Had found her sexual quarters

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
Friggin’ in the riggin
There was fuck all else to do

Oh… Those Damned Sailors and Their Shanties... AAARGH!”

Monday, February 1, 2016

'Darwin Awards'

If you ever decide to take a gander at the good ol’ Darwin Awards online… you can find this here article about a shipmate on a genuine USS Birdfarm! Amongst many others it’s got a few good reads!! It kind of reminds me of those Friday Funnies the Safety Officer used to put out!!!

All personnel stationed on an aircraft carrier are given safety lectures and demonstrations. In 1990, a First Class Petty Officer assigned to the mess deck was briefing new junior personnel on electrical safety. He showed them how to fill out a warning tag on circuits undergoing maintenance, and informed them that they were forbidden to work on the circuit until a second person had double-checked the tag and circuit. In a prime demonstration of why the rules were in place, he proceeded to open and grab a circuit that he supposed was de-energized, killing himself in front of 20 thunderstruck students. The poor chap was immediately deep fried, and declared a Darwin Award at the scene.

Well I suppose that First Class Petty Officer was a real live wire! You would’ve figured he had everything going for him… certainly had a bright future and an early retirement wouldn’t you say?!?

I shocked myself pretty damned good stick’n my dick skinners in the live 440V Stable Element once! My Chief said…

“You Know Shipmate… some kids were dropped on their heads as a baby, but you, you were thrown in the air, smacked a ceiling fan, and tossed out the fuck’n window!”

But when you’re walking around with your battery half charged giving live training to the troops like this fella… well it tends to lower your IQ and kills half your personality! I’d say that Squid was turned into ‘Fried Calamari’… did I go too far with that one?!?