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Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

Sent in by Rob Shane:

The Sands Of Christmas
By Michael Marks

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh
And looked across the table where the bills were piled too high
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost by six
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take
And so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break
I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh
Eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A
A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight
Their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night
Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MRE's
They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see
They didn't need an ornament -- they lacked a Christmas Tree
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition
The only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition"
I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear
There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight
Our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right
To worry about the things in life that really mean nothing at all
Instead of wondering each day if we will be the next to fall
He looked at me as children do and said it's always right
To thank the ones who help us And perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note
To thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote,
God bless you all and keep you safe and speed your way back home
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone
The gift you give, you share with all, a present every day
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

12/10/05

From Walter Matthews:

12/10/05 

Care Packages and A Christmas Story:

If you'd like to send a care package to the Big E, address as such:

(Person's name or C/O LPO, LCPO, DIVO etc...) USS Enterprise CVN 65 RL Div Box 42 ( If not RL Div just write a division, plants are still 11, 14, 22, 23 etc... sorry but I can't remember all the eng/rea division #'s right off) FPO, AE 09543

They'll be in and out as workup season is close at hand, I'm not too keen on specifics, but it is the holidays and I felt inclined to write.

As for sharing holiday tales, I was once again warned very earnestly last year not to dress up the reboiler as a Christmas tree and wait for Santa coming down the escape trunks, so i did the next best thing.

In the Radcon void I made quite a festive array, as it gets cold up there and not too many visitors come up in the winter months. A Christmas tree made of radvac and green poly, with ornaments of coffee creamers, swipe envelopes and wrapped in y&m rope. the star was a pink hepa. there was a fireplace made of boxes with a FTO bottle yule log and a HRA sign in front of it. manger scene on the mantle with miscellaneous metal fittings... yellow bootie stockings above on the wall. two y&m candy cane crow bars over a WTD to the fan room and a nice cardboard roll wrapped in y&m rope with MERRY CHRISTMAS written across... the stocking stuffers were homemade but unfortunately offended most people they were presented to, so no description there i apologize...

some ass chewings are really worth it...:)

happy holidays- Michael

12/10/05

re: HOT spot.

... It's been a long time but the hottest place was on the booster pump flats below the DFT. It was about 140F. I don't think you could last more than 10 min.

--------------------------------------------

~~~ even i knew that! ... i used to go stand over there for awhile so i would feel cool by comparison when working on the damn SGLI panels ... where is was only 120F!!! hippo knows.

now on occasion there would be groups of Chowdale Officers wanting to tour the plants, and i think it would often be ole C.L.Turner [aka CLiT] who took great delight in giving them a personnally guided tour, which of course had to include spending a bit of time on the booster pump flats. ;) now CL knew as much about the operation of the plants as anyone, including the Rx Officer ... and was also one of the greatest storytellers and bullshiters ever to pull anyone's leg ... and he esp loved messing with khaki and officers in general. i think i've written before that he could convince anyone of anything, anywhere, anytime ... and even when i knew better than to believe him ... he would suck me in time and time again. he had a gift of being able to have you suspend your disbelief in anything ... even our own existence. dude was pure genius. anyway, as i have related before here ... i once listened to him explaining to a group of chowdale officers what a "LOGA" was during a tour of control equipment. and it had nothing to do with a 'loss of generator accident' but somehow metamorphosed into being a 'loss of gravity accident' as he explained that we couldn't scram the plant if the rods wouldn't fall down into the core upon a loss of gravity ... and that was the reason for those big jet engines [that i had thought they were steam generators] and the large JP5 pipes [which again, i figured was the hot and cold loop piping] ... feeding them that would fire on event of a LOGA, and 'lift' the core up around the reactor thereby shutting it down.

now i realize that sounds pretty bizarre, that these guys would actually buy into that but if so ... then you didn't know CLiT! almost had me believing it too! anyway ... you have to take this into consideration ... it was probably the same group of folks whom he had just had down in the engine-room standing on the booster pump flats for half an hour at least ... listening to him go on and on and on about whatever he was explaining to them ... while he watched them wilt before his eyes. he would keep them there until they literally started to fall out. you know ... tapping into the pilot macho thing and not wanting to show any weakness. man had no mercy whatsoever. ;) so their brains were a bit fried by the time they hit Control Equipment. that's the only way i can explain it. i'm sure they figured it out later on ... but when in the presence of CLiT ... one wasn't often able to make sense of much at all. it was easier just to accept it all. ;)

-steamer-

12/10/05

Ed Fiegler Comes Aboard ...

You can add my name to the Enterprise roster. The years were 1968 through 1972, mostly in RE 4Plant.

Ed Fiegler

efiegler@msn.com

12/10/05

Christmas Story ...

The recent series of Christmas stories around the Big E has pushed me over the edge to contributing one of my own. I always recall the Christmas of years 1969, 70 and 71 as crown jewels of my Navy career.

The Flaming E entered the shipyards in Virginia in August 1969 for major reactor work. As the holidays approached there was some quiet shifting around of work shift assignments. After it was done and we projected out to who would be stuck with Christmas duty, we found that all the single guys were now on shift together. Next we received the special holiday work schedule, as the shipyard would of course be shutdown. The "Single Shift" found itself scheduled for 16 on/8 off for the two days of Christmas holidays. I recall a zombie-like existence with the coffee pot spiked on Christmas Eve as the only thing of note. Otherwise, it was hourly readings on the shutdown, cold-iron, disassembled, empty plant. But the readings had to be taken each hour and woe unto thee who filled them in at the beginning of the watch. This was the era of "My wife she" request chits, and irate wives were the only thing the brass was more afraid of than Rickover.

By Christmas of 1970 the E was close to getting out of the yards and everyone was pushing to get testing done and systems buttoned up again. But still it seemed that the single/married barrier was there for the holidays. At least that holiday there was work to keep busy with and we didn't just haunt the decks of the empty engine rooms.

In 1971 E was back in its home away from home off the coast of Vietnam. We heard the Captain had pulled rank on another carrier and arranged for us to be in Subic for the holidays. It meant staying on the line at Vietnam for a longer stretch, but in-port for the holidays was widely regarded as worth it. But this was the era of the E being the only nuclear carrier and the Navy really discovering its value. India and Pakistan had another one of their periodic crisis moments in mid-December, a couple of days before we were to head for Subic. The next thing we knew, we're sneaking past Singapore into the Indian Ocean with an array of escorts as the "just-in-case" fleet. Our orders were to stay more than 500 miles from any land, and this was pre-Diego Garcia so there was no place for carrier based planes to reach us. I remember Christmas Eve as the day the White Plains finally caught up with us from Subic after a week of sailing, and pulled along side for most of the day to unload. Half of the hanger deck was turned into the Post Office. Needless to say, India and Pakistan didn't do anything else to each other that time, but we ended up at sea for 65 days keeping a Russian cruiser company in the middle of nowhere for the Holidays.

EAF

12/12/05

Donald Andrews Comes Aboard ...

I went aboard the Big "E" off the coast of Cuba in October 1962. I had just completed Nuke school at Idaho Falls. I was assigned to "M" division and worked in number 4 MMR. I made the round the world cruise in 1964 and was onboard for the first refueling. I was discharged in August 1965 just before she left for the west coast.

Please add my name to the crew sheet. Thanks.

Donald Andrews

ska@ronan.net

12/12/05

KP Note: Welcome aboard Donald.  We love to hear from your generation of operators. Please share some adventures.  Most of us latter nukes were in diapers when you were observing The Big E cores absorb their first thermal neutrons.  When you went to NPS, did most of your class wind up on The E? In 1961 there couldn't have been but a handful of nuke subs floating around. Did you ever meet Rickover?

Remembering More about CLiT...

Steamer's story about CL Turner and the surprise addition of Ed Fiegler required me to write in.

Welcome aboard, Ed. You were just leaving the Enterprise as I was qualifying as an RPE in 3 plant. I went to the RE office soon after you left and with Bob Olsen, Dave Halley, we had to get rid of all your board games that were hidden above the exhaust system in your office - a new LT in RL division found them on an inspection and demanded that they be thrown out in the trash. You were famous back then as the RPE to go to when something broke. Rodney Goldstein, I think you affectionately named him "SAM", he hated the nickname but always had a good story about you. Hope you're doing well.

As for Steamer's story of CLiT, it's true as shit that ol' CL could knit a yarn. He had some junior officers believing another story he told - CL was from Texas - Arlington, I think - he said that one day in the summer in Texas it got so hot that the corn in the field began to pop right off the cob. The damn Texas mules were so dumb they thought it was snow, and the farmer found them frozen to death in the fields. There wasn't a look of disbelief on a single officer's face -

Not only could he tell a story, but CLiT was the best damn cribbage player I ever saw. Although he wore short sleeve dungaree shirts, I swear he had cards stuck up his sleeves. He would pull "15's" out his ass and double skunk you before you knew it. As I remember the Christmas of 1972 in the Gulf, we had a party in the RE office with Bob Olsen, CL Turner, Mike Miller, Dave Halley, myself, EC Winchester, and about six different "goodie boxes" from home - looking back at it, it was one of the best Christmas' you could have asked for overseas.

drugman71-75

12/13/05

Not What It Was Cracked Up To Be ...

Normally I let a good story be a good story, however, someone pulled this guy's dick when he told them this yarn:

[story was yanked ... but it had to do with a freeze seal on one of the systems in the reactor compartment at A1W causing beam to snap...]

I was an instructor at Alice In Wonderland. The Nitrogen leak didn't cause anything to catastrophically fail in the RC at A1W. It caused a crack about 6 inches long on a support that supported the support skirt for the reactor. It wasn't a beam. The crack is maybe about the width of a dime (like a crack in a basement wall). It's not all that deep either, if I recall correctly the width of a fingernail. If someone doesn't show it to you, you probably wouldn't even notice it.

The guy who actually caused the crack ended up being an instructor at Fermi. I found this out during a shoot the shit (a skill we learned in the Navy). I was telling this guy about the crack because we were telling liquid nitrogen stories (Come on guys, how many of you froze rats with that stuff!!) and this guy got real quiet. He then revealed he was the cause of the metal incursion!

Mike The Bubblehead!

12/13/05

Kudos ....

KP,

Great Site. I was not in the navy but am really interested in navy history. There are many ship alumni sites out there but nothing quite like this.  I have become addicted. Please accept my gratitude for all your hard work at preserving your ship's history. Best of luck to all you Ex-Big E sailors. You are in a league of your own and I wish I could say I was one of you.

James Carson

12/13/05   

A "Dex" Armstrong Story...

KP, Here's something one of my bubblehead buddies sent me. We all bitched about life aboard the Big E, but we all secretly knew it could have been worse, LOTS worse! Don't know if this is something you want to post on the site, but.... 

PP

12/14/05

KP Note: Those who frequent Critical Thinking are very familiar with Bob "Dex" Armstrong, as we have linked to many of his stories. I forget "Dex's" website link but you can find it on CT.  Here's the story PP sent.  If you are unfamiliar with "Dex" and his submarine stories, this will serve as a great introduction: 

Razor Blades and Ivory Soap by Bob "Dex" Armstrong

There was a point in time... All you lads who rode submersible iron will recognize the point... A point where you could tell exactly how long you had been out by the diameter of the salt stain in the armpits of your last clean dungaree shirt. The point where all of your fellow inmates smelled like the inside of Olga Korbut's gym shorts.

At this point in the interest of human preservation and fear that his ship was taking on the internal atmosphere of the monkey house at the Chicago zoo... The Old Man would lift water restriction and allow 'white light' in the berthing compartments.

Men, who had lived and interacted in the dim glow of night vision-preserving red light, got a good look at each other for the first time in weeks. It wasn't a pretty sight...

"Jeezus, have I been living with these animals?"

The after battery looked like a garbage dump. Shredded ration boxes, stray socks... Magazines, loaded butt kits... Sour towels and a collection of dirty laundry that had matured to the point it was turning into limburger cheese.

It was a point far past the day we had wrapped ourselves around the last of the potatoes stored in the showers. The only visual evidence of their previous existence were the wadded up gunny sacks carpeting the deck of the after battery head and whatever GDU-delivered peels the fish off Nova Scotia were dining on... The 'Idaho's Best' rug in the sonar shack was the residual product of some previous deployment.

For those of you who never rode Uncle Sam's underseas technological treats, a smoke boat shower was an aluminum box the size of a coffin designed for Mickey Rooney. It had a shower head that delivered semi-hot water at the rate of five peeing humming birds and a shelf for soap that could leave a very distinctive purple mark on your upper biceps if the boat took a roll during occupancy... And a deck drain... A hole through which amazing things could appear if anyone put a pressure in number two sanitary tank without shutting the required gate valve and quick throw.

Even though you had to Crisco your ass to turn around in the damn thing, it was the closest thing to heaven a diesel boat sailor came in contact with at sea.

Everyone shucked his dungarees down to his skivvies... Grabbed a towel and his 'douche bag' (subsailor for shaving kit) and got in line. While guys rooted through sidelockers for their shower gear, towel fights broke out... Not Cub Scout towel flipping, serious heavy-duty towel popping. The kind that can take little chunks of hiney if you couldn't move and fend off the shot. Grown men laughing and popping each other with towels... Underseas recreation at its finest.

After a two-minute soapdown, scrub and a rinse, men would lather up and scrape off weeks of beard accumulation. Lifers who never shelled out for razor blades would say,

"Hey kid... How about seconds on that blade?"

Cheap bastards... Same guys that ran out of sea stores smokes after two weeks... Same guys who would wander around Bells filling their glass from any available pitcher. They are probably millionaires now and live by tax loopholes.

Bottles of Vitalis, Lucky Tiger, Mennens, Old Spice, Aqua Velva, and God knows what else, appeared from side lockers. In thirty minutes, the entire boat smelled like the parlor of the best whorehouse in New Orleans.

Adrian Stukey would break into a Ray Charles song and do his aboriginal dance... He employed footwork only known to Stukey and three Congolese witch doctors. The man had moves Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly never thought of... Sort of reminiscent of an electrocuted orangutan, mixed with the mating dance of the Australian Dingo eaters.

By some miracle, clean white skivvy shirts appeared. Some with the names of guys, who rode the boat five or six years previously, stenciled across the back.

"Who in the hell is Garabaldi, D. L.?"

"How'n the hell do I know?"

"Musta been some boat sailor."

"Yeh, I guess... What's it to you... You writing a gahdam book?"

"Maybe someday... Who knows?"

Nah... Who'd give a damn about reading stuff about this jacked up bunch of idiots? Who'd believe it? Once upon a time, I lived among people who volunteered to live like primates in an iron septic tank with lousy air, shared sleeping arrangements, had at least four leaks (air, oil, water, and security), made weird sounds, and agitated like a warped washing machine, for less money than you could fit into a gahdam gumball machine... Who'd read crap like that?

When the Goddess of Personal Hygiene looked down and blessed the residents of the roaming hotel SS-481... It was good.

It was also good to live among men who were right where they wanted to be... Nobody chloroformed them and hauled them off to New London. Nobody ever called their number at the Selective Service Board. They volunteered... Every gahdam one. Most of the world didn't even know they were there... Boats... Little primitive communities of the finest men I've ever known that lived in metal containers and took them to sea. There has to be a story in there somewhere.

The next time you see a Texaco tank truck rolling down the highway, just for a moment visualize it a couple of hundred feet underwater... Then picture thirty or forty happy-go-lucky half-naked men singing, doing silly dancing and towel fighting inside... And willing to do whatever it took to keep nasty folks with weird political agendas from crawling through your bedroom window. Those lads were my shipmates.

Author's note: In the ensuing years, service under the sea has changed for the better. Lads today are not known as 'pig boat sailors'. Today's modern submersibles are more conducive to proper personal hygiene, grooming and gentlemanly attire. After a hard day of fission monitoring, switch flipping and gauge dickering, our present day subsurface bluejacket may attend a lecture on molecular configuration of high-density hydrocarbons emanating from the planet Mongo. He and soon to be, she, can opt for a live concert... Polo... Fencing or a little commingling in a hot tub... Mint Juleps followed by a shrimp cocktail precedes the evening meal after which those not engaged in ship's work or on watch are free to attend a visiting Broadway stage production or enjoy a Swedish massage in the crew comfort compartment.

Before retiring, he or she fills out his or her 'What I like about Naval Service' questionnaire which is handed to the first or second class bedtime story petty officer... Then after a telling of the 'Three Bears and the Call Girl' story, they say their 'God bless Hyman Rickover' prayer, drink their hot cocoa and turn in to their Martha Stewart approved poopy sacks to dream of super computers in accordance with current prescribed force policy.

It's a helluva lot better these days.

Ed Fresquez Comes Aboard ...

Thanks for dredging up my sordid past Graz.

KP, allow me to extend my admiration and thanks for providing this forum. I'm Ed Fresquez (Fast Fred). I was on the Evil Gray Pig from 86 til I was drummed out of the nuke ranks in 89 for getting caught doing a batch add. I was in RM-11. I vaguely remember you which is not surprising since I vaguely remember the 80's. Anyway, your site has jogged quite a few good and many horrible (MMCM!), long since repressed memories.

Anyway, Graz your memory is as good as mine. The guys denuked with me were Roger (Surprise! I can't remember his last name) and two ELT's. Kim Barton was one of the ELT's. Kim and I ended up on the Shasta.

KP, thanks to your site I was able to contact Dr Natty Dread. How's your PhD coming Jim? It doesn't surprise to me that you will be a doctor, Graz. I remember all the research you did in pharmaceutical back in the day.

I remember Jeff Brewer, Wilbur Hahn, PJ, Suds, Eric Brown, Eric Duden, Mike "The Red-Headed Step Child" Benz, Dan Foster, The Weasel, The Walrus, Todd Moody, Mark Serna, Mike Kreich (Sp?), Stan Decker, Lance Lackas, of course Jim "Natty Dread" Graziano. I hope all are doing well.

Ed Fresquez cefresquez@yahoo.com

12/14/05

KP Note ... The Squez... I remember you. I didn't know you got denuked.  Maybe that's why I never saw you down 1 plant anymore.

SUR Hint, Cont.

Hi Ram,
   I wanted to clear a thing or two up as to Mike's RO hints. 
 
First is in response to....You forgot to put LAMBAeff (Reactivity) in the numerator PLUS the Reactivity addition rate where LAMBAeff is the Effective Delayed Neutron Precursor constant a measure of the weighted half lives of the 6 Delayed Neutron Precursor Half Lives. In the Navy they taught you the number was .1 (which is BS. It's actually 08)
 
   Well, the navy doesn't exactly teach that.  Us qualified Navy RO's  remember that:

 

1 on the run, (Up power)
.5 on the dive, (down power)
0.124 on the floor, (following a scram)
And...  0.77 steady state.... But I can't remember what rhymes with that.
 
   Next is how to tell you're at the POAH.  All mikes advice is OK, but the best thing to look, at, and the thing you'll be able to see first, is the loop and Rx pressure  on the PT display.  You can't see those other things listed by Mike digitally, and therefore wont see them change before the PT display items.
 
   I have to agree, the hottest spot in the plant was the booster pump flats, while in the summer in the persian gulf. 
 
Bill I.

12/14/05

James Zuvich Comes Aboard ...

Ola, Please add my name to your listing Jim Zuvich, R div Damage Control Aft DC Shop 65-67, zuvich@sbcglobal.net

12/14/05

Merry Christmas From Tom Gonzales

So bop me on the head for the cuteness, but I'm gaga over our son's first-Christmas.

8 months old and already chasing the waitresses at the local diners...

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all !!!

Tom, Stacy, and Santa Marco....

12/15/05

Much ado about SUR

I think that RO who posted the Lambas was slightly in error or believed the BS the Nav teaches about Rx Theory.

You can't ever have a Lamba eff of 1. The highest for U235 EVER is 0.124 . Just check out the charts. Since a commercial Westinghouse PWR is almost the exact same machine as a Naval plant my numbers are accurate. In fact I just looked them up.

I tried not to get into what might be confidential material so I used Civilian indications. The point I was trying to make is using the NIs to call POAH is not the best or first way to call it.

Mike

12/15/05

Pete Smith Comes Aboard ....

great memories! i,am the man, known to many, as Otis. i am not just some salty sea story that you may have heard, its all true although i dont remember most of it! glad to come abroad!! 

ET 3 Pete Smith, RC-14 (89-93) email- SmithPYAN@aol.com

man or myth? i was on the "PIG" from 89 til 93. not many are able to say that they stood watch with me, for my only quals were CPAW & throttleman. i spent most of the 89-90 world cruise TAD to the MAA. it was there i was working as a controlled witness for NIS. thats right, i was given money to buy drugs for uncle sam! this was after all ,for the good of my shipmates. i did this in the PI & thailand. what then do you do with a guy who never qualified? send him to DC/PM div (RC-30) to be exact. did i say i was a 4 planter? at any rate, i spent nearly 4 yrs on the "PIG" and really didn't do a thing. i was able to claim i was a work center supervisor (RC-30) on my resumes after i got out i was a ghost! nobody asked about me or wondered. people knew i was there, but nobody really knew what i was suppose to be doing (myself included) at any rate, the stories are real, i lived them!

OTIS 

p.s did i say how long it took me to qual CPAW? that would be a good quiz question

12/16/05

Mickey Folse Comes Aboard ...

Hi,

My name is Mickey Folse and I served aboard the Pig in the early nineties. I got bored here at work and started browsing your site. Pretty cool.

Anyways, I have to admit that I hated the Navy and the Enterprise..lol. It just wasn't my thing. However, with that said, I do have many fond memories from my time aboard in Newport News.

Feel free to add my name and address to your list if you wish. Maybe I'll be able to catch up with some of my old buddies.

FYI....I worked in 4plant and came aboard just in time to be the RSE shaft alley watch back in summer of '03 . Oh, what fun! I was also privileged enough to stand the famous "Heise guage" watch, and the just as famous "shore steam" watch. This one was especially important because you never know when some random person would decide to tackle a 24" (I think) manually operated steam valve and shut off the ship's steam supply. NOT ON MY WATCH BUDDY!! They should have given me a gun for that one...lol. Needless to say it didn't take too long to get my ER lower lever and ER upper level quals completed.

I am currently employed by SCE&G as a control room operator (dual fuel combined cycle, 900MW).

Again, nice site and keep up the good work.

Mickey

f_mickey@comcast.net

12/17/05

A Day at the Beach

KP Most people who read Olongapo stories but have never been there themselves may think that getting shitfaced on Magsaysay was the only thing to do there. While that was a lot of fun there were actually a number of other neat things to do there. One thing I really enjoyed was spending a day at Gaines Beach. You could only get to Gaines Beach by boat. You'd take a jeepney out to Subic City then hire a banca boat to take you about four or five miles across the bay to Gaines Beach.

One day on the '76 cruise I went there with about five of my buds and our honey-kos. I had decided to spend the night there and rented one of the small cabins. This became our base of operations for the day. We all spent most of the day at the beach snorkeling and playing around in the warm water. Periodically we'd send a couple of guys to the bar to replenish our supply of San Miguel. The bar was an open air affair with a thatched roof. It was presided over by Chief Gaines. The Chief was a crusty old Navy retiree who had married a Philippina and together they had bought this small stretch of secluded beach. The Chief's main job seemed to be drinking beer and telling jokes or sea stories to anyone who would listen.

About mid afternoon five other nukes came by and joined us. Eventually we all went thigh deep in the water and formed a large circle. We had about 5 Frisbees. We developed a game in which you tried to distract someone with one Frisbee while someone else beaned them in the head with another one. Sounds simple but that game and that afternoon are among my fondest Navy memories.

About 5 o'clock all my buds piled aboard the banca boats and headed off for a night of steaming. Honey-ko and I decided to take a walk down the now deserted beach. After walking about 2 or 3 miles we came to a small secluded cove with a small stream that ran out to the bay. With an amazing tropical sunset overhead we decided to get intimate. (For me that evening the Navy WAS more than a job. It was quite the adventure!)

When we got back to the bar it was getting dark. I joined the Chief in a quick beer and then honey-ko and I headed back to the cabin. Several minutes later we were in the cabin when the lights suddenly went out. (Chief Gaines had warned me that he turned the generator off promptly at 21:00.) It got dark, I mean f**king DARK! The only light came from the luminous dial on my Seiko divers watch. We fumbled around in the dark cabin, found the bed and turned in. Honey-ko was soon fast asleep. I, on the other hand, was starting what was probably the longest night in my life.

When you spend several months on an aircraft carrier on Westpac, light, noise and vibration become a part of you. The silence was absolutely oppressive! I've heard that sensory deprivation is an effective form of torture. I can vouch for that. The ticking of my watch was driving me crazy. Occasionally a mosquito would buzz around my head. It sounded like an F-14 taking off! The jungle started about 100 feet behind the cabin. It didn't sound anything like in the movies. For about 55 minutes out of every hour it was totally quiet. Then for about 5 minutes you would hear what I can only imagine was some small animal being killed and eaten by some larger animal.

Finally (mercifully) I could detect a faint pink glow in the eastern sky. I don't think I was ever so glad to see the sun start to rise. As soon as it was light enough to see my way I wandered down to the beach wearing only my watch. I swam out about 100 yards from shore and treaded water as I watched a very beautiful tropical sunrise. About an hour later honey-ko and I went to the bar and had a couple of omelets. Chief Gaines had parked his ass on his usual barstool and was already on like his third beer. Apparently he was one of those Chiefs who believe in setting the steaming watch early. I didn't want to see the guy drinking alone so I politely had a quick cold one with him.

About 9 AM we got in a banca boat and headed back to what passed for civilization. I went back to Gaines Beach several more times, but never again spent the night.

The attached picture is the E at Cubi point. I think that's Snake Island in the background. Off to the right of the picture would be Subic City. To the left would be Gaines Beach.

PP

12/17/05

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I hope that we may all survive many more years with a full and rich life.

God bless Danny Loudermilk and hope that he keeps his strength to laugh and be a sarcastic prick.

KP, PP, Willy, John and all other contributors - keep up the great work you do.

Your shipmate, Jules

Jules J LaMontagne, USS Enterprise, 3 Plant, West Pac ' 74 Sarasota, Florida

12/18/05

RX PHYSICS 201 Final Exam:

Wow, you guys know your shit.  To be honest, the SUR quiz answer I was hoping for was just an explanation of how Rx power changed very fast when you started shimming, and how you had to be aware of what to expect.  No excessive yankie crankie as they used to say. 

Okay, now this should really give you guys a mind bending workout.  

List all the ways one can affect reactivity (including temperature, geometry and aging effects).  The more creative your answers the more points you get.

KP

12/20/05

Jason Nofsker Changes Email Addy:

King Paul,

Could you please update my e-mail address?

My name is Jason Nofsker and I am located in the sensitive 90’s section.

jason.nofsker@navy.mil

thanks!

12/23/05 

Greetings ...

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

Al Decker

12/24/05

Aground?

Didja hear about us “NOT” running aground? Had the privilege to be Engineering Watch Supervisor for this one. Just thought you’d like to hear we are still trying to keep 8 burnin, 4 turnin… ..unsuccessfully!

 

MMC

12/24/05

KP Note: We read the newspaper account of the event. The '83 boys shared their memories so why not share yours? (Or is the investigation still on-going.) Remember, this site is "req'd reading" for many operators;) 

Rusty Maxwell Aces the RP Question!

The ways that I can effect reactivity are as follows, at least at Palo Verde, as a Reactor Operator:

- first and foremost, you have to be licensed by the NRC to do so.

- reduce turbine load (raise temperature)

- raise turbine load

- initiate a dilution to raise temperature

- initiate dilution to raise power

- initiate boration to reduce power

- initiate boration to reduce temperature

- initiate a boration or dilution to maintain power and or temperature

- perform a reactor startup

- perform a reactor shutdown

- trip the reactor

- initiate a dilution, a boration, or a CEA adjustment to control axial shape index (ratio of power in upper half of core to lower half of core)

- place the deborating ion exchanger in or out of service

- insert control rods to lower power and or temperature

- withdraw control rods to raise power and or temperature

 - change steam load with either steam dump valves or turbine bypass valves

- initiate or change steam generator blowdown

- change S/G feed rate

 - change S/G feed temperature

- defuel the core

- reload the core

- control shutdown cooling temperature

- control refuel pool and spent fuel pool temperature and boron concentration

- dilute the RCS as the core ages over eighteen months to compensate for fuel depletion

- change RCS pressure.

This hurt my head, thanks!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rusty Maxwell

Goodyear, Az

Formerly EM1 RE Div.

81 - 85

12/28/05

MADDOGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

Nothing like being bored one night and stumbling into your web site. Please add me into the list. Seeing that list of name's bring back a lot of memories!!!

johntm@chartermi.net

RE03 1986 - 1990

John Madajewski

12/28/05

KP Note: Hey Mad Dog, what's with this half-assed email? I expected more from ya, pal! You're probably the most famous 3-planter to finally stumble onto the site so how about living up to your reputation!!!!! Great to hear from you after all these years.  Your sidekick Stohl is now just an email away.  I don't think Dicko's listed email is still active so I'll have to call him to tell him his protégé has finally been found. Let's hear from ya!!!!!  

Subs or Surface?

KP,

I am in nuke school and wondering whether I should go subs or surface. You're like a god to us nuke school students so I ask you, great Neptune of the neutrons, what should I do?

"Point 65 to Survive" Dave

12/28/05

KP Note:  Hmmm, I didn't realize that I was considered the Neptune of the Neutrons.  That is a noble honor I assure you.  Here's what I think. Go surface. I was always glad I did.  But I was lucky since I got the Big E.  If I was sent to another carrier I might not have been so happy.  What do you others think? This young nubblet seeks useful advice before filling out a request that won't mean shit anyway. What advice can others give him?  Also, check out nukeworker.com.  That's a site littered with bubbleheads and they'll (I'm sure) tell you why subs are better than carriers.  Best of luck!   

Caustic Returns ....

Hey there King Paul, Johnny Caustic here checkin' in. It's been a while since I sent you any goodies from my days on the pig, so here are some of my favorites:

The first photo is me standing in front of the door in Rx Berthing that went to the head. I think I was removing paint as a nub and had to wear the mask. The second pic is the pig oozing rust and God knows what else into the beautiful waters just off of St. Thomas in 1998 ish. The "Stab" publication was created by bitter nukes and basically made fun of authority figures and the Navy in general. Soon I will send you some content from my journal on the 1996 Med Cruise. Some of that stuff is sure to entertain some of the website's loyal viewers.

Johnny Caustic

RC14

1995-1999

12/30/05

rx-123005-1.jpg (66363 bytes)

rx-123005-2.jpg (38631 bytes)

  click to enlarge

Mark Rice Gets New Email Addy:

scoobydoo@intelliwave.com

12/30/05

Chlorides Gone Bad ....

I just thought I would share a couple of Big E stories with you. The first one takes place on Christmas Eve 2001 for everyone that was in RM14 they will know this to be the Christmas Chloride incident. During a starting up of RPFW system, the Sea Water valves were opened prior to starting the RPFW pumps, which we theorize that is the reason why we ended up with over 3 ppm Cl- in all 8 [steam thingies] in 4 plant. We were shutdown in the shipyards at the time and we had to station dual RMO to charge to feed and then drain and repeat. Needless to say I was in the plant charging to feed with Tim Harper for 23 of the 24 hours of my duty day, only to be relieved an hour late because the on coming duty section didn't realize that dual RMO were set.

Story number 2 takes place on the beginning of the 2003 Med run, we are just getting underway from the worst shipyard period probably in the history of the Big E but I will share that story at another time, but we have just got underway and we had not even started our trek across the Atlantic when a dump valve from one of the DU's in 2 AMR stick half way open dumping straight sea water into the DI main and eventually into 3 main condenser and then spreading to 2 main condenser, when all is said in done we have over 600 ppm Cl- in the 3 plant [steam thingies] and over 200 ppm in the 2 plant [steam thingies], so we are forced to shutdown the aft group and drain and refill all of the 16 [steam thingies] needless to say this took awhile and because of that we were on shower hours for several weeks. Well I thought you might enjoy that story. It is something that I will never forgot.

12/30/05

KP Note: I substituted a few words above to avoid scrutiny.  Even you guys that aren't BNEQ know what a steam thingy is, I hope.

Marsh Returns to Claim his long-lost nubblett ...

KP,

Just thought I'd send a quick note to the site to wish Happy Holidays to everyone. It was great reminiscing with you and Mark Groseclose. Not only were we in T.J. together, but now that I read back, It looks like we were on the same exact African tour as well. I have a memory of walking down some dusty Mombasa road alone, hungover, and late for my tour, when a van pulls over and I hear Rod's voice shout out "Get In!" Hence, I crawl in to happily find Rod and Rollo and, the craziness began. 

I see Mad Dog has appeared on the site. Great to hear from you Mad-Dog, and like KP sez, send us more news than that!! Now we've heard from just about all the 3-Planters of my era except for the elusive Dick-O. Note to Dick-O: please climb out from under that rock! We miss your tremendous wit and/or cartoon drawing. Maybe if I say the "right" thing? BARBEQUE! Or, better yet, REUNION! You definitely have my vote for having it in S.F., and, yes, I have an open door policy for old Navy Buds as long as my furniture remains intact. Hmm, come to think of it, I've been bugging the wife about getting new furniture. Maybe a dog-pile or two wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. ;-)

Richard Marsh

12/30/05

KP Note: You Bet!! Hey, mark this down guys ... reunion now pretty much set for third week in April.  Tell your wives now and hope they let you go. Lance Winters will host the event at his World Class distillery on the hallowed grounds of the old NAS Alameda. A drinking straw will be provided.

Carriers 1 Subs 0 ... (So Far)

King Paul, you might want to pas this along to the undecided nuke school nub. I was a submarine volunteer out of nuke school but ended up in the surface fleet. Over 20 plus years I served on three bird farms (Enterprise, Ike and TR), the same cruiser twice (Arkansas) and I did a short stint on SSN 705 (Rickover). There is something to be said for both communities, but for far too many reasons to enumerate here and even taking my shore billets into account, my best duty experience was on carriers.

Thomas Kreischer RC14 '83-'85

12/30/05

Carriers 2 Subs 0 ... And Some Great RE Div Memories ...

Hey KP, I have been rummaging around different pages, in no particular order, on your most excellent website the last few days. I came across different items that made me want to share some of my experiences while serving aboard the “tuna prise”. I remember that term of affection, along with “the pig”. 

For those who are young and wondering whether to go sub or surface, I say go surface. I volunteered for SSBNs as my three choices on my dream sheet. I ended up on the Enterprise as she was re-staffing at the end of “Yard Pack 79–89”. All said and done, I was glad I ended up on a carrier, particularly the Enterprise. I could go look at the sun and sky and breath fresh air (during non-flight hours) whenever I wanted to, pending work and watches. I could also go off and be by myself, if I so choose to. KP, was the “O2” void still in use while you were there? It was a great series of voids that went straight back from a single entry point. The front part was for RE Div. storage. Beyond the first void, it went back two or three more and the only stuff in them was a ventilation duct or two. We turned the last one into our lounge, complete with lights, seating and music. I often wondered if the officers sleeping above us could here AC/DC being played through the steel decking at decibels I wouldn’t even consider today. I was glad that I was on a carrier and not a smaller surface ship. I have come across other entries that described the rocking and rolling of the “small boys” along side us and seeing squids tied off to railings as we did “un-reps”. Poor bastards! I stood on the hanger deck with nary a sense of movement as I watched them get hammered by the sea. The stories told by boot camp instructors about the horrors, “the fires every day”, the “gang warfare” on carriers never panned out on the Enterprise, at least not while I served on her.

As a former Forward Group Sup., One Plant LPO, and as a RE in general, I remember the salinity panels and issues. I came across the picture quiz this morning and knew immediately what the panel was. I don’t ever remember seeing that many red tags on any given panel, though. The salinity system was a PAIN IN THE ASS and it was RE Div.’s cross to bear. Any time an alarm came in the following order would come forth from EOS “go clean the salinity cell!” Never was the alarm indication believed initially. So we would grab our trusty salinity cell cleaning kit and do their bidding. I remember once while performing the salinity panel pms task of clean and inspect, I missed the step for selecting the distilling plant salinity cells to the other EOS salinity panel. These were part of the “slave and master” panel setup for the AMR cells. I caused at least one or two of the distilling plants to dump to the bilge. Lt. Todd P. Mairs, our div. Officer, promptly read me the riot act as we were under way and the air dales were in dire need of all the fresh water that was being made to wash their planes. The ship was in a crisis situation! I remember seeing hoses with running water laying intermittently on the flight deck while planes were being washed. The panels, cells, and distilling units were back up in short order. Chief Carter saved me! We acquired Lt. Mairs from RC division. By the time we had him “trained” as a decent division officer, Ens. Wooley relieved him. Ens. Wooley’s first act as our division officer was to give the division a sea bag inspection up on the hanger deck. What a joke! Who has a complete sea bag after boot camp? Of course, he will forever be linked to the S.F. Bay grounding. Those who have written to this site regarding his change after the grounding are absolutely correct; he was a more down to earth and pleasant individual to deal with! Nothing like a good enema to calm the soul.

Remember the name of the small panel on the other side of throttle panel? SGWLCS, I believe, “squiggles.” Sometimes I’ll throw that out a Palo Verde. It is called the “feed water control system.” I get funny look or two when I call it “squiggles”

Another fun aspect of our job was maintaining the O2 analyzer. What a pain! I always wondered how much the gold and platinum cells, we went through in abundance, cost. I was amazed later to find out while attending PPWO/PPWS training that the readings from O2 analyzers were being utilized for in-depth chemistry analysis. We considered ourselves fortunate just to get the analyzer to function and read somewhere in the indicating band so that our log readings wouldn’t have to be red circled. Who knows how accurate they really were. I remember wanting to run back to berthing at the start of a particular watch to get a piece of the O2 monitor that I had worked on and had left in my “pit”. I gave a report to EOS stating that I had completed my rounds in the plant and that I was going to the DG room to check on the DG and MG sets. I was going to do that and grab the piece I forgot and then come back and actually finish my plant tour. Part of the plant tour report was to give a reading on the reactor compartment rad monitor. I hadn’t actually looked at it yet. I gave the usual reading and was then promptly quizzed about the status of the monitor. It was actually broke at the time and I was unaware of that (bad turnover?). I was caught red handed! It was probably the only time I served on the ship that the monitor was broke. The EOOW gave me the look that said he had me dead to rights. That was as far as it went, though. I didn’t explain any of my game plan and thoughts. No point. It is a lesson I carry even to today.

Years ago in the nuclear industry one of the commercial plants was involved with a big investigation involving field operators not actually performing their rounds, gun decking, I think, is what it is called. Some or all of the operators in question were fired. That investigation spread to other commercial facilities, including Palo Verde. We called it AO (auxiliary operator) Gate. The lesson I learned from the O2 monitor event always precluded me from even thinking about “cheating” on my rounds or logs. There were some at Palo Verde who were nailed, although the proof was never conclusive as it depended on the security system, which was/is not perfect. It was an ugly scene!

Of course, nearest and dearest to my heart was the sound powered phone system. How many phones did I replace in the MMRs and RARs because they “somehow just broke into two pieces?” Amazing! I believe the same phone existed in #1 swgr the entire time I was on the ship. Not even a chip! Once in the middle of the 84-85 cruise, I got into a face-to-face shouting match with my good friend, John “Woody” Woodward, after he “discovered” yet another sound powered phone broke in LL RAR. “F—king mechanics . . .f—king electricians . . .” It went back and forth. The PPWS finally stepped in. John and I laughed about it all the time afterwards. John was a wonderfully talented individual. He could be heard often singing (he memorized the words to most songs ever written) in perfect tone and voice or doing almost perfect voice impersonations. He once did an impression of a combination of Dirty Harry and Jabba the Hut. I still chuckle to this day remembering that. He would have made a great DJ! I hated having to find faults in the SP phone system between the EOSs, Central Command, and the Catapults. What a bird nest! Once, I inadvertently hooked up test phone leads in a J-box in Central Command (or Command Central?) to the amplifier portion of the system. I had the phone up to my ear and keyed it. I heard a load squelch and as I was pulling the phone away from my ear, an extremely loud bang occurred. It hurt! I looked around CC and amazingly, it seemed that no one else heard the same explosion I heard. No one was looking my way. The earpiece in the phone no longer worked and my ear hurt for a couple of days. I think that it took a couple of years to go away all together. How could anyone else not have heard it?

Enough rambling for now. Happy New Year! Thanks again for this site!

Rusty Maxwell

81-85

12/31/05

KP Note: Great memories Rusty! I was FGS two guys removed from you. Vernier was your replacement (85 - 87), he was replaced by Engel (87 - 89) and then me (89 - 90).  As you read in my own memories, the salinity system was still a bane to the Forward Group in my time.  We still had that 02 void during my time; however, it was seldom used.  The couch and the stack of porno mags (probably from your vintage) were still there prior to the '90 yard period. 

Aground-Not!

I know about not running aground in Pearl Harbor around March 69. That wasn't "ground" we had to dig out of the main condensers that day, not according to the press release to the local papers.

EAF

12/31/05

Jim?

Dear King Paul, It is New Year's eve in Honolulu, and I almost started crying when I stumbled upon your website- seeing so many familiar names. I was a nuke from 1991- 2005 on the Roosevelt and Nimitz. I could not figure out how to become a member and post on your website. Help? Thanks,

Jim

12/31/05

KP Note: Just email in your stories.  I cut and paste whatever you send right into this here HTML page. Please refrain from sending in vulgar stories, though, since we Big E sailors are rather refined;)  

First CMO Watch

I qualified CMO on the 76 cruise just a day or so before we pulled into Mombassa.

I had joined the Navy planning to do 20 years, but in '75 I had decided that 6 years in the Nuclear Power field was enough. CMO was going to be as far as I went in the field.

My first official CMO watch was the day we pulled out of Mombassa. I believe I had the 00 to 06 watch in 1 MMR. On this watch we were to do a cross-connected engineroom start-up. This is really a pretty easy evolution in which you bring in steam and services from back aft. Nonetheless, this was my first ever CMO watch and I was nervous with anticipation.

I arrived on ERUL half an hour early and relieved the Cold Iron Watch. I decided to do a pre-lightoff inspection of the engineroom. MY engineroom. (I felt like Steve McQueen as Jake Holman in "The Sand Pebbles" when he first checks out HIS engineroom.) I toured ERUL checking to make sure all valves were in the proper position for bringing in steam, condensate, HP drains and aux exhaust. Eventually my watch team showed up and we went about the business of bringing the engineroom to life.

Anyhow, 6 hours later I got relieved and went up the ladder from ERUL to CTG flats. Both Rx's critical, SSTG on the line, feed pumps up and in auto, Main Engine warmed up and on the jacking gear. 1MMR was ready to go to sea. I was pretty damn proud of my part in that! I was 23 years old and had just supervised the start up of one of the enginerooms on the "World's Mightiest Warship."

PP

1/3/06

KP Note: I think I already admitted this but I really wanted to be an MM, principally because of "Jake Holman." What a great movie that was.  To be honest I can't remember my first engineroom/rx start-up that well.  I think I got yelled at by the PPWS for opening the "yarway watch" feed valves too fast or too slow or something of that sort. I do, however, remember vividly my first load dispatcher watch.  Thank you VW, wherever you are, for "hanging out" with me during that very nervous 4-hrs.

Re: Senior Chief Cook ....

Re: The former ET2 Jonathan Morris

AKA "Squid Vicious"

looking for "Captain Cook"

He was aboard USS Long Beach at the end of the 80's as a Warrant Officer. Prop on his collar, but a RC type. I encountered him a few years later in Vallejo, CA. He was Engineer on the SS Golden Bear, the school ship for the California Maritime Academy. The cadets who heard about it would ask, "we heard you sailed with Mr. Cook. What was it like?" They would laugh & agree that yes, that sounded right.

I may contribute (keep me anonymous for now), but I am only halfway through your site. Great job!

former ETSA (once ET2, non-STAR baby)

1/4/05

Carriers 2 Subs 1

KP,

To that guy wanting to know whether to go subs or surface. Dude, go subs.  Why serve on a target? Did you like boot camp? That's the real navy dude.  Subs is way cooler. Plus, on subs you eat better food and can [KP Note: rest of letter omitted because it contained a description of man-to-man sex and other nasty things men who are bored and under water might do to pass the time given that they have nothing else to do].

PK (ET1/SS)

1/4/06 

Last Letter a Hoax?

KP,

The letter  written by PK (ET1/SS) was obviously a hoax.  Any submariner knows that sub sailors don't engage in man-to-man sex.  Or, at least not unwillingly once they are qualified.  Those that don't qualify ... well, that's a different story.

"Horse and Cow" Hank

1/5/06 

Musings,

In the yards once again. I swore I never wanted to be on a ship going to the yards again. But since your tax dollars are paying me, time for another memory.

Another yard story. For those of us on the Big E during the yards(90-94), you will remember the fire starter. Seems this individual was responsible for at least 20 fires on board. Anything that burned was fair game. He seemed to favor the engineering block. Remember when NCIS came on board to investigate? Believe everybody on board had to make a statement or be contacted. I remember my turn. The agent asked me if I knew or had an idea who may be starting the fires. I told him I thought it was a NNSY worker. He asked me why I thought that and I replied this overhaul is the golden calf for NNSY. The longer we stay around the more money was expended to fix us. I believe the cost was $1 million a day while in the yards. Pretty good scratch in my book.

Eventually the profile came out for this guy...something about living with his mother, torturing animals, etc and the possibility he masturbated after lighting the fire then fleeing the space (this last statement figures prominently.) Eventually NCIS had there prime suspect, a topsider, and he was hauled off to Quantico. Believe he was charged with at least 10 of the fires. Very serious as "hazarding a combatant" still carries the death penalty.

Smart lawyer got him off without ever going to court. Simply put, his confession was thrown out as it was made under duress. NCIS claimed they had his DNA at the scene (masturbation) and he broke. They had nothing.

Other fires.

Paint locker fire in Hangar Bay #2. 250 OBA canisters later it was out. Scared the piss out of me but no one got hurt.

Fire in the steering gear room. This is notable as I remember the 'heroes' trying to get down there to put it out. Seems the word was out that NAMs were a certainty when you put out a fire. Here we are getting our OBAs and prepping to go down to fight the fire and running into Khaki (CPOs mostly) coughing and bumping into bulkheads trying to get down to the steering gear room. Actually had to stop at one point and escort two of them out. (I think both got nams anyway as almost certainly they 'helped' as evidence by being covered in soot and needing oxygen. Not much of a fire though...debris from welding above cause the fiberglass fire cover over the gears to smolder. Lot of smoke though.

PZR fire. Yep...never found out why one of the cables "short circuited" but it did and fell burning into a bin of anti-C clothing. CPAW at the PZR Shed hatch put it out immediately with CO2. Now pay attention....remember reflash watch is set for...30 minutes or cool to touch right. PPWO was bound and determined to desmoke immediately using installed ventilation.

Time for a QUIZ. 1. "What is rate (in CFM) when RX Comp exhaust ventilation is at high speed?" Question two is a follow-on to one. 2. "What happens when air being sucked through the PZR Shed door at the answer to question 1 passes over glowing Anti-C embers?"

I heard the announcement he starting ventilation...I screamed "No" to no one in particular and raced down the RAR in time to see the CPAW running away from the PZR. There is some justice to all this as it is not often anyone could say they sprayed sea water into the Rx Comp, the PPWO was removed from watchstanding immediately and the PZR shed got a brand new coat of paint to hide the burn marks.

1/5/06

Carriers 3 Subs 1 ....

KP,

I agree with Rusty that an important aspect of carrier service versus sub would be the ability for one to get off by himself. The space on the carrier affords opportunities for one to get away from everyone occasionally and have some time to 'collect himself'. I would have to think it would be hard to find private time and/or space on a sub. Rusty's entry touched on the fan voids. When I was on Ike in the mid and late 80's they decided that we had to empty all the stuff out of the fan voids. RE Div had an aux office in one. You would go through this door and walk about 100 feet through a narrow passage between two vent ducts before you would get to the back of the room where the space would open up. We had a pretty decent place set up there. I recall there was a catwalk all the way aft on the port side. I believe it was at the 2nd deck level. I would occasionally go out there at sea. I could be all by myself. If you wanted to go for a good walk or jog this was no problem. Often in the evenings the hangar deck would be open for jogging. Sadly, I didn't take advantage of this most of the time. Even if the hangar deck wasn't clear you could go up to the 03 level and get in a pretty good walk. Sometimes just getting up to the 03 level for a while seemed like a bit of an escape from the territory closer to the plants. I recall we had an ice cream shop up on the 03 level. Most nights at sea you could go up there and get a pretty good milk shake with oreo pieces or M&Ms in it or such. You might have to stand in line for 20 minutes or so. And of course there was vulture's row. You could always go up there. I get the impression that the highest caliber of nukes went to the subs. I have nothing but the highest respect for those who could endure living in those conditions. I graduated no.1 in my nuke school class (8503) and I was the first EM to qualify in my class @ MARF. So I think if I had requested subs I would have gotten them, but I don't know if mentally I could have handled it. I think I knew this, and that's why I picked the carrier. I didn't care much for being herded like cattle when we made a port call, nor did I care for the way we would tend to overwhelm the port city with our numbers. So the port calls might have been more to my liking on the sub. But you spend the majority of the time on a cruise at sea, so first and foremost you have to make sure you can handle the at-sea life.

Joe B.

1/5/06

KP Note: "...So the port calls might have been more to my liking on the sub..." What port calls would you see on a sub? Carriers must have always gotten the best port calls I would guess.

Time to Ramble On ....

Click to go to Page 44. 

 

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