Navy Sea Stories


The chiefs are funny in their own way during these things. The only real story beyond that was the guy who just wrote a "2 weeks notice" memo to his chain of command, stopped showing up to work in uniform. And then told everyone he had decided he no longer viewed the US Department of Defense as having authority over him as a free and sovereign citizen. He ended up getting a failure to adapt discharge.

Being a discount Master at Arms military police a year and a half was pretty fun. Ironically a lot less stressful than my normal departments: Got sprayed in my eyes with pepper spray twice, thanks MA1 for losing my cert and got to stand around with an M16 for a couple hours a day. Once had to do so while doing a navigational transit by Iran.

Iranian speedboats were tailing us the whole time. I did a friendly wave through the binoculars to the Iranian sailor at one of their machine gun mounts. Who then promptly did an enthusiastic and friendly wave back to me I'm talking full-on knife hand.

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Listen to Sea Stories podcasts to learn more about the Navy and the Navy Reserve, its mission and its structure. The Navy and Navy Reserve are vital elements. In the modern Navy it's become less common for Naval ships to engage in large sea battles, but it's not my fault that we don't have a worthy maritime adversary.

It's nice to know that some shit never changes. In contrast to my grunty military brethren in the other branches, my 4 years was safe and boring. I only almost died twice. Once was when I was the low visibility supervisor. During fog, or in this case a sandstorm, we'd set up additional lookouts on the catwalks around the flight deck. Back aft, just as I'm explaining to the guys that I'm concerned about safety and they should listen to the flight deck crew if they tell them anything, F roars out of the sand, realizes he's on highway to the danger zone, and does very reactionary wave off abandoned landing to the right, starboard side.

Because the landing area runs down that side and there are no obstructions to turning left. Going right meant he was about a half second delayed reaction from hitting 4 parked planes, a radar tower and the conning tower. And us too; we were standing at the catwalk right there.

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Yeah, my asshole could have created a diamonds if I had any coal. Later on that day, we almost ran over a small fishing boat that the lookouts managed to catch with a visual. I then had get chewed out by a radar officer who was ranting about how its impossible for Pakistan to somehow create and use "stealth ship" technology. Which I then calmly explained to him that wood is, in fact, radar absorbent and doesn't show up on scopes. The other time was due to one of these pieces of shit. Or rather a dumb supervisor improperly using one of these pieces of shit. We had this whole rigging system to haul a small boat up one deck to a storage area.

And my wonderful supervisor, rather than using human power, decides to attach the line to one of our mooring line capstans. So a capstan is this large rotating drum for pulling line. Yeah, of course, it snapped the flimsy 1 inch line immediately, sending one of these pulley blocks straight at my buddy and I's heads at mph. Of course, my supervisor wasn't formally punished for this. The upside of dungarees is that they were very comfortable. The downside was that, more or less, this was essentially the same uniform worn in a federal prison though, to be fair, there were times when this seemed appropriate.

Dungarees were the enlisted working uniform dating back to well before World War II, so in it was time for a change. For years enlisted sailors had been asking for a working uniform that looked professional, like a military uniform instead of inmate attire. After listening to the sailors and carefully weighing the operational and morale benefits the Navy finally settled on a uniform that did neither: Utilities were the same color scheme as dungarees light blue shirt and dark blue pants.

The downside of the utilities was that they were less comfortable than dungarees. On the upside we no longer resembled convicts… now we looked like gas station attendants. The utilities were universally despised by the fleet which should have guaranteed their survival for years, but change was in the air in the early s.

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The war on terror was in full force, money was flowing into the Defense Department and the Navy was modernizing equipment and moving away from the old ways of doing things. It was a crazy time. Since the Navy was pretty much throwing money around like a drunken sailor on a port visit in Thailand, they created Task Force Uniform to address the uniform issue. After reviewing the seabag requirements it was determined that there were way too many uniforms for the average sailor to maintain which is kind of like a scientist announcing that they discovered that cancer is bad.

After this watershed moment TFU this is an actual Navy acronym chose to add more uniforms. To minimize uniforms they developed the physical fitness uniform, the service dress khakis, the Navy service uniform and three kinds of camouflage uniforms. The biggest development to come out of all this was the new Navy working uniform NWU. No longer would U. Navy sailors resemble escaped prisoners. We were a country at war and our sailors would look like the warriors they were… well almost, because after all the debate, all the research, all the money spent what TFU decided we needed was: I guess it makes sense when you think about it.

Someone once explained to me that the camouflage pattern actually worked well on a ship. Nevertheless the fleet embraced NWUs, probably because we were allowed wear it off-base and could finally stop at the store on the way home from work. Soon the NWUs could be seen everywhere, it was the standard working uniform for officer and enlisted throughout the entire Navy. It just goes to show that when our government gets down to business, identifies a problem, conducts the proper research, and implements a plan for correction, it can really develop something truly practical like the uniform that will take our Navy into the new millennium.

It was right about then we found out that the NWUs spontaneously burst into flames and were not safe to wear onboard ship. Oh well, every new development is bound to have a few bugs, right? For those of you just joining us, I am on house-hunting leave driving to San Diego to find a new home as we prepare for my new duty station. When we left off our hero me was driving across Texas with no end in sight. We now join the trip already in progress: If you think that a drive across the country might be slightly boring and you need to liven it up a bit, the best thing you can do is bring a cat.

The family cat has been my traveling companion for the last three days, and has been keeping an ongoing monologue the entire time. I never thought I would see the day when entering New Mexico would be my highest aspiration. Finally leaving Texas has made me the happiest man on the planet. World peace would make me happy too, but not nearly as much. As I gaze on the absolute beauty of New Mexico, the golden horizon takes my breath away. What also takes away my breath is the aroma. Which is, essentially, cows, or more specifically cow manure. It was then that I noticed that the view is not only breathtaking golden beauty, but also filled with more cows than I have ever seen or smelled in my life.

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There were cows as far as the eye could see. Some of you may have been raised on farms and believe that livestock have a pleasant smell or that farm animals are an acquired scent, but that is because you have never smelled , cows all at once. As fast as I can, I make it to the Arizona line.

There are also tumbleweeds. I have almost been run over by three of them. Have you ever seen the cute little ball of rolling sage on TV used to set the scene for the desert? Well, in real life they are the size of a Chevrolet Suburban, only faster moving and more fuel efficient. These things will knock you off the road. Arizona does not appear to have a robust population. What few people I have seen at gas stations are very friendly.

Back on the road again, I started seeing signs for Yuma in only miles. I was thinking it must be major metropolis well, for Arizona because I have seen a sign for it every 15 miles. For the next 10 minutes or approximately 57, cat howls I drove past single-wides, double-wides, and the greatest assortment of recreational vehicles I have ever seen. I was starting to think that Yuma was just a city made up trailer parks.

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I wish I could tell you that it was much more than a trailer park; unfortunately I was busy passing a truck when I got to the exit and have no idea what Yuma consists of, but I like to imagine it is a town deserving of all its publicity. Five minutes later I crossed into California.

I was finally there. I made it to the west coast, to the Golden State. The trip was finally over, unless you count the miles I still had to drive.

At least when I get to San Diego I can finally get some rest; I just need to meet with a realtor and find a house first. San Diego probably has tons of luxurious houses with big yards for rent at reasonable prices. After an afternoon looking for a house, I can put the cat in a kennel which should improve her mood, as she is now riding on the roof and then lounge at the beach for a couple days before I fly home. What could possibly go wrong? While in the service you should definitely think about seeing some of the country you are serving. I highly recommend the method wherein you drive across the entire country at 85 MPH without getting out of your car for anything but gas, in three days, as you transfer duty stations.

I have utilized this method very successfully over the course of my career and have seen the vast majority of the country within view of the freeway. I am currently on house hunting leave. That wonderful ten days of free leave to lounge around your house while pretending that you are going to your new duty location to look for a new home. If you look at a map you will see that Texas is not, technically, on the way. Unfortunately, the ice storm from hell is decimating the normal route, so I have been forced to adapt by driving straight south to Arkansas where I have learned they take pronunciation of their state very seriously and then move west through Texas.

I have seen a lot of Texas, which involves Interstate 30, Interstate 20, and soon Interstate There is no other state where this happens. You never see people from North Dakota go on and on about how great North Dakota is.

Tales from the High Seas

Young guy gets his tray of food and glass, puts his tray down at the table, then walks away with the glass for his drink. Originally Posted by victimofGM. The craze for tatoos soon caught on as sailors thought a tatoo could increase their luck. We even have uniforms for really fancy dinners that we might never attend. May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Recorded in log of ship number one.

Wearing their North Dakota-shaped belt buckles with tattoos of the North Dakota flag and telling you that whatever you do, you do not mess with North Dakota. I was excited to see Texas. Driving across the border, you could just feel the pride radiating. This is going to be great: Or so I thought. When British signals elicited no response, the craft was approached.

The crew noticed that the ship's masts and sails were covered with some kind of green moss, and that the vessel seemed abandoned by its crew. Upon boarding it, the skeleton of a man was discovered beneath the helm. The deck was decayed to such an extent, that it gave under the footsteps. Three more skeletons were found near a panel, ten were found in the crew's quarters, and six on the bridge. Upon the ravanged prow of the vessel, the words, Marlborough Glasgow, could still be discerned. The Marlborugh left Littleton, N. In April an unsuccessful search for the vessel was made.

Nothing was ever found of them until This was the very spot from which she started her phantom voyage. This very long, thin fish, with its strange looking head covered in protrusions and reaching lengths as long as 15 meters, could easily be taken for a sea monster.

The first account of this "sea monster" was probably in when Danish naturalist Morton Brunnich noted a beast he found washed up on the beach in Norway. The oarfish, is so named because of its long oar-like pelvic fins. A few examples of these fish have appeared over the years were usually found dead at the surface or washed up on a beach.

Little is known about them. The masts were carried away, and the vessel abandoned with the loss of 3 lives. NAVY These are just some highlights of his interesting life The ship sailed from Scotland to Virginia. He got afraid for his life, during the second trial, and fled back to Virginia for safety, where he changed his name to John Jones. The Alfred was the first commissioned U.

With this same ship, he captured 17 other ships. These were large 50 and 20 gun ships. Jones ship, the Bonhomme Richard , eventually sank, but the Seripas surrendered before it did. But he had an argument with Prince Potemkin, and returned to Paris, where he died at age The rest is history! Using whatever raw materials the crew members could scavenge, they developed their skills.

This carved wood figure, placed on the bow of the ship, had no function other than to "see the way". The term now denotes a person appointed to a leadership position, but has no real responsibilities. Although she carried radio equipment and auxiliary engines, 70 cadets, members of the most prominent family in Denmark, she vanished without a trace. Her fate is still unknown. Frustrated in his ambition to be a crooner, he sought revengue on the high seas and became the greatest scoundrel of his time.

The treasure was never discovered.

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Typically the victim was tied to a rope looped beneath the vessel, thrown overboard, and then dragged under the keel and up the other side. Since the keel was usually encrusted with barnacles and other crud the guy's hide would be scraped raw and he'd think twice about doing whatever it was he'd gotten keelhauled for again.

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Sometimes they heaped chains and such on him to add injury to insult. The earliest official mention of keelhauling seems to be a Dutch ordinance of and the practice wasn't formally abolished until One such expression is "show a leg". This practice caused a multitude of problems, but some ingenious bosun solved one problem that tended to make reveille, wake up time for civilians , a hazardous event: To avoid dragging the wrong "mates" out of the rack, the bosun asked all to "show a leg".

If the leg shown was adorned with silk, the owner was allowed to continue sleeping. If the leg was hairy and tattooed, the owner was forced to "turn-to". In today's Navy, showing a leg is a signal to the reveille petty officer that you have heard the call and are awake. Today we measure knots with electronic devices, but years ago such devices were unknown. Ingenious mariners devised a speed-measuring device both easy to use and reliable: From that device we get the term knot.

The log line was a length of twine marked at At one end was fastened a log chip; it was shaped like the sector of a circle and weighted at the rounded end with lead. When thrown over the stern, the log chip was floated pointing upward and and remains relatively stationary. To measure the ship's speed, a sailor would throw the log line over the stern and allow it to run free over the side for 28 seconds before hauling it aboard. He then counted the knots that had passed over the side to determine the ship's speed. This was definately a fear in the time Columbus sailed for America.

Going back to the year , a Norwegian missionary named Hans Egede took a voyage to Greenland. Here's his undenied report It's head seemed to reach the maintop.