Thursday, June 22, 2017

'Drug Bust'

While in port San Diego between deployments the Master-At-Arms decided to stage an impromptu Health & Comfort utilizing the dogs from off base while looking for drugs! I happened to be off the ship TAD to some maintenance school on Dry-side when the search began!! When I returned later that afternoon, my Chief informed me of the search!!!

Alarmed at the tone of his voice, I became increasingly nervous as he described how the dog, straining at the leash, led the Master-At-Arms to my standup locker!  A variety of scenarios raced through my mind, but none explained why the dog would behave that way!! Finally Chief put me out of my misery…

“Why did you have a bacon & ham sandwich in your locker Petty Officer?!?”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“Sigonella Red Wings”

Every once in a while Ol’ Preacher Owyn Bradford sends me a good one I just can’t pass up! Now I was a West Coast Sailor true & blue for Twenty-Three years!! Anybody ever stationed or TAD in Sigonella?!?  Here’s one of the Preacher’s famous escapades in the Sicilian country side!!!

Now shipmates this just ain’t no shit!  No Sirree, not at all!! One warm summer night when I was at NAF Sigonella with my squadron, I got on the rickety little bus to Catania!! We stopped at the Stella Azura for beers and pizza, then walked down to Tina Catwoman’s!!!

No and then they had an exhibition, locals called it “exhibeesh,” with guys on girls, girls on girls… you name it!  You got a free bottle of Peroni beer and after that they sold the stuff!! I was pretty much liquored up and this one gal got me going on grappa!!!

For those of you who have never drank grappa, think of turpentine, avgas, skunk vomit and monkey snot all mixed in to one and I reckon that’s pretty gauddamned close to the mark!!!

Anyways, it was strong stuff… strong enough that the time between the fourth drink and when I woke up with a blind’n headache is lost in the dim mist of time! Puked three or four times, washed up, shaved my hairy face, and got over to the shop in the morning!! Don’t ask how I got to chow in time… but got a Coke outta the machine which was about all I could handle!!!

So there I was mates, gingerly drinking my soda, and the Chief waddled out of his office, saw me, arched an eyebrow, and gave me the…


… finger wiggle!!!

I walked in…

“Shut the door behind you and sit!”

So I shut the door and sit! Chief takes a deep breath, grins, opens his desk drawer, and takes out a little box and slides it over to me…

“Here, this is yours!”

I opened the box! All gleaming and shiny, was a glowing set of Red Wings! 

“What the fuck?”

… I stuttered …

“I ain’t earned these Chief!”

His eyebrow arches again…


He opens the drawer again, gets out an envelope, take out four Polaroid’s and hands them to me!  Yep, that’s me!! And that’s Rosa Maria … the fountain of Trevi but with ketchup, and I’m right down there yodeling the ‘Red River Canyon!!!’

Chief takes the pics back…

“Earn them you did, Lad! I ain’t gonna say what came later! Chances are you don’t remember and maybe it’s better that way! And say, you look like frigging hell! Why don’t you finish that Coke and take the rest of the day off!”

Chief wouldn’t give me the photos! Hell, he wouldn’t even give me one for a souvenir… wouldn’t even sell to me either!!  Say’s they’re proof for a couple of good Sea Stories of his own… That Fucker!!!

And that ain’t no Shit!!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

‘May The Lord Be With You USS Fitzgerald’

Today we got some really bad news about the USS Fitzgerald colliding with a merchant ship off of Yokosuka, Japan! The ship experienced flooding after the collision and is now missing seven shipmates!! Right now they’re working mighty hard to keep the ship afloat and looking out for the well-being of their shipmates!!!

I have no idea what is going on in the minds of the brave young men and women onboard that ship but I couldn’t imagine waking up at 0200 hours in the morning staggering over one another in a GQ situation with real fires and real flooding! I spent Twenty-Three years considering myself lucky I’d never been in that position!! But that’s what we trained for!!!

One of the most important requirements and professional qualifications is learning how to drive a ship! It ain’t no carnival ride that’s for damned sure!! I tried navigating in a simulator once and it was like trying to steer a herd of elephants on ice skates!! What do I know about elephants on ice skates you ask?!? I’ll tell you, nothing… just like I don’t know shit from shinola about steering a ship!! I do know it’s not for novice beginners!!!

It reminds me of watching the USS Kinkaid limp into Subic Bay after a collision with  the Panamanian merchant ship Kota Petani in the Straits of Malacca in November of 89!’ She was in sad shape… I believe the ship’s Navigator was killed in that collision and the Skipper was relieved shortly after!!  It’s a solemn image seeing a ship staggering along into port like that… gotta feel for those boys!!!

Well, it ain’t the first time and it ain’t gonna be the last! I guess that’s why you train 99% of the time for that less than .001% chance something bad happens!! Hopefully things turn out for the best and the crew can move on getting back to business… ‘cause that’s what we do as sailors and how we deal with the dangers we face!!!

I’m sure my sentiments are no different than anyone else… I pray for the shipmates lost and in pain! And of course the families who have lost as well!! It’s never a situation you want to go home too!!!

'Who's The LPO'

At Morning Quarters, how can you tell which First Class is the Leading Petty Officer(LPO)?!?

He’s the one with the dirt on his knees!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

'Sailors and their Smokes'

Two old sailors were outside on the smoke deck, having a good ol’ smoke when it started to rain. One of the sailors pulled out a condom, cut off the end, put it over his cigarette and continued smoking.

The first sailor asks…

 "Whatcha’ do that for?"

His shipmate replies…

"It’s a condom. I do it this way so my cigarette doesn't get wet."

 "Where did you get it?"

"You can get them at medical. They hand them out for free!"

The next day ... The curious first sailor hobbles down to medical and announces to the duty corpsman that he wants some condoms. The corpsman looks at him kind of strangely, but politely asks what brand he prefers…

"It don't matter to me none, as long as it fits a Camel."