Sea Stories - Page 53 - RC Groups
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Apr 10, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Sorry I should have been more specific of the size and tonnage capacities, you were/are, of course, correct.Just thought that idea of 10 ships and the only one that could move would be while being towed through a shipyard.
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Apr 13, 2010, 01:29 PM
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Every ship or any other organization has those individuals, you know the ones you look at and wonder why they are wandering around without a keeper. People who are so lacking in common sense that they can, at times, be a danger to all those around them. Now I don't know about big ships but I know that on two small destroyers I knew one on each ship.
My second ship this guy was Scotty Turchen (sp?), this guy was a brick or two short of house. Under naive in the dictionary it would have his picture. Scotty was a genuinely nice guy but just not all there. Since he had no skills and seemingly no ability to learn any they sent him straight to first (deck) division, hey no brain needed to chip paint right? Scotty was one of those guys that the LPO would assign a keeper to, just to make sure he didn't screw something up.
You couldn't give him a regular paint scraper (with two sharp ends) because he would stab himself with it on the back stroke. They put him with me and I had to stop him from using a chipping hammer of a boat davit lift cable when we were in Long Beach.
“Well look it is rusty! That's why I was trying to chip the paint off”
Now if you looked at the cable it did look rusty, a little. Cables that need to be exposed to the salt environment are “slushed (that is they had a coating of light grease applied to prevent the salt from penetrating to the smaller wires of the cable)” and the grease had attracted the variety of flying paint chips and debris from an adjoining sandblasting project. But still.....after two years aboard (note; slushing cables was a favorite form of punishment for the CPO to inflict on the stupid, or those who do stupid things) and having slushed that cable several times he should have known better. When the 'rust' just smeared rather than chipping off that should have been a clue, so he hit it harder.
Guess what happened then? Since I was supposed to babysitting this knucklehead and he had probably damaged to cable before I stopped him. We (Scotty and I) got to watch while they paid to have a crane remove the boat (they couldn't trust the cable so they had to crane it off into a cradle), then we got to remove something like 200 feet of cable from the davits and winch drum lay it out (still slushed), clean it (this required scrubbing it with dry-cleaning solvent and a hand wire brush), inspect it minutely. Then after it failed (because of the 1/4” dings in three places in the middle), we got to get a spool of cable, lay out the new one, inspect it minutely (trust me he got nowhere near this part of the job), slush the new cable, then feed up through the sheaves (pulleys) into the davit and watch while they paid to have the shipyard lift the boat to where the davits could bring it back aboard.
Slushing cables is a miserable job you get a bundle of rags and a five gallon bucket of grease. Take a rag in you hand and grab a handful of the grease (known colloquially as baby sh#t, for the color)and smear it on the cable filling the crevices to prevent corrosion. You will universally loose a set of dungaree working uniforms, no questions asked it will kill your uniforms. From the skin out you will get it everywhere. Coveralls are no help (On the first ship I had to install/slush new cables (hey I was the new guy)) even with a Tyvek suit (the cable just ate it) I ended up getting rid of the dungarees. Most guys keep a set of almost worthless clothes just for this (you know the stuff just before you use for a grease rag). Scotty was so bad they made him strip to his skivvies before they would let him come aboard, then they jumped my butt for letting him roll in the grease.
Like I said Scotty needed a keeper.....
Apr 17, 2010, 02:50 AM
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This post may be a little racey

Sex education when I was active duty was a little different that you would receive in school. Personally I think the military (I have friends in all braches of service and all received the same basic thing) did sex ed right, they knew that your average recruit is under 20 years old far away from home and will more than likely try to find companionship for sale in those places. Since they knew it was inevitable that people would pay for sex they at least taught us how to be careful. (having said all of that I never, never, in 6 years active paid for it overseas and was smart enough to find Americans)
Scotty T. was a virgin when he joined the Navy, being away from mommy, living on the boat, he basically had no bills so he always had money (which usually made him very popular with those who spent for example (hey I was 19)). He discovered that attentive, female companionship can be purchased in most locales in the world for reasonable rates. He chose to find the professional young ladies and engage their services whenever possible, even the occasion 'nooner.' Unfortunately for young master Turschen the blood flow to the larger of his reasoning devices (located between his ears rather than the one further south that normally did his thinking) seemed to equate professional services for Love (the kind where you spend your life with that person and let them drive you crazier (you had to be little crazy be in love in the first place)).
The first time he hired a lady's services he proposed to her after paying her fees for the entire night. She refused.
A year later he found another of his professional steady 'dates' and he proposed to her. Other than the fact this woman had calloused shoulder blades, looked like she was 50 (she was barely 21), and had a little teeny tiny problem with smoking crack cocaine (about $100 a day), she was lovely. Swore like a Marine (when they could still swear), drank like a sailor. For his own good several of us staged an intervention and took away his cash (at this point he would literally only cash about every other pay check and the rest would just sit in his locker waiting for him to give it to her). We would give him enough that he could engage her services for a couple of hours and a little (very little) tip. If we hadn't numb brain would have been paying her several hundred dollars a night just for her companionship. She would show almost every day (never did explain how she got on base or to the ship on the peir (both of which required ID checks)), and tell her 'boyfriend' that her power had been cut off, or that the rent was due, or she had had to pawn her television. Scotty would plead with keepers of his cash and give her some, never all of what she wanted, but some.
Unfortunately for her we went on deployment and Scotty discovered love in Pearl Harbor, again of the professional kind. He floated back aboard the next morning barely touching deck blindly in love, ready to ask permission to marry her. (the Navy requires that you file a request to get married) Scotty couldn't spell worth a damn and Lepley (the leading petty officer of the division) wouldn't turn it in till it was right and legible (almost impossible due to the small sizes of spaces (even typewritten won't fit in some), all of use found other things to do and were too busy to help him. Pearl only lasted for four days (and nights) and we left with our heartbroken loverboy aboard. Numbuts also committed one of the clasically stupid maneuvers of all time and left the ship the last night (he had the duty, and was towed home by the shore-patrol).
When we got to Hong Kong Scotty was restricted to the ship and was unable to partake of the local professional talent available there. So much worse for the local economy, trust me.
Then we went to the Philippines, now back then the carriers and their escorts would visit the Naval base at Subic bay four times a year and the local economy lived and died by the U.S. Navy. The local bar strip was known as MagSaiSai, it had 24 bars and four whorehouses in less than two miles. Scotty was in paradise he could find the love is life for really really cheap and as long as he was faithful to her she would to him (till the ship left at least), and when he got back they of course expect the sailor to be faithful to them (never seen that anywhere in the world).
Two days after we got there he returned aboard from an evening out and informed us that he had found a local pastor and gotten married! Now at least this one did not give you full body shivers to look at her. But the rep of the Filipino's was that if you marry one you could expect to bring about 10 of them into the country when you got back. Scotty took another bust for 'forgetting to ask permission to get married first' (the reality if the request is a formality but it does allow the captain to do some 'investigating' to prevent sailors from marrying crackhead hookers for example).
We finished the cruise (after a visit to Perth, Australia (that made the whole 141 days in the Indian Oceam almost worth it), and again to PI. Scotty brought all his in-laws aboard (seemingly an entire village), we could all see this one coming. Scotty was so in love that he paid to have his bride fly to Hawaii and meet us there for the four days at Pearl. The last day we were there she asks him (on the mess decks (he had duty that night and she was allowed to visit as his wife, with her new dependent ID), if he would fly her sister to the states when they got home. Scotty looked deep into her, actually rather, beautiful brown eyes and said “of course, I will.”
This set the pattern and by the time I left the ship some 6 months later Scotty had found a cracker-box apartment for his family (him, her, two of his sister in-laws) and was expecting his mother in law to come live with them (to chaperone the two sisters). There were some rumors after I left the ship, but was still in San Diego, that the wife and sisters in-law were all back to plying their former professions when the ship was out.
We all saw that one coming a mile away.
Apr 19, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Wherever you are and whomever you are with good luck man and I hope its all working out for you. Remember like Mom always says the best things in life are free…

And of course thank you for sharing Foo.
Apr 19, 2010, 05:33 PM
"Take the Cannollis"
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Stories we can't tell........

Yes, there are many many stories that just can't be told on this forum, no matter how you may try to formulate a more polite way of telling them.

Aw, come to think about it, you probably wouldn't believe them anyway.

Foo, have you ever seen " The Compound " in Turkey ?

Apr 20, 2010, 01:41 AM
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Heard of it but we never had the time to get there.
Did get a chance to see the prison they based "Midnight Express" on (in operation for only 600 years)
Apr 20, 2010, 01:47 AM
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Never made it there though we did hear a few stories (maybe I did the last night I don't remember!).
We got a chance to the see the prison from the movie "midnight express," which the Turks said had only been in operation for 600 years.
Apr 24, 2010, 02:07 PM
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When last we left off we (the Ingersoll) we were in the Indian ocean and I had been stuck on babysitting duty with Scotty T.
We (the ship) were standing picket duty. We would turn our radars on and be the “eyes and ears” of the battle-group The reality of modern warfare is such that if you can see 140 miles with your radar it can be seen or tracked at well over twice that distance. The solution for this is EMCON (EMissions CONtrol), where radios and radars are turned off the reduce the electronic signature of the ship/group. So the carrier and rest of the group would go EMCON and we would sit out there and send them our data.
Just a couple of problems with this idea, our main air search radar died about a day out of San Diego, and the other is that we did not have a helo to get us parts, mail, movies (the stuff a modern ship really runs on). They eventually got us a helo we could use (it took two tries). Since the plan was that we would be picket for the entire IO period and had been some 6 months before. The radar problem was not satisfactorily resolved until after the cruise (the captain refused to file a CASREP (CASualty REPort, report that some major piece of gear has broken down) .
Now for the crew (except the combat information center guys) is pretty slack time. As long as you stay in range for the data link and in your box (2500 square mile (50 X 50) box) they did not care what we did. We would crank the engines every four hours and move the windward edge of the box (so we would drift back into it afterward), other than that bridge watches were basically standing around. Topside working uniform consisted of T-shirts (with real sleeves) and “IO shorts (hemmed cutoffs (which most people had gotten done in PI before we left),” with normal safety shoes and hats. You had to wear a decent uniform for watches.
We got a lot of painting done and some other things taken care of during the 121 days in purgatory (just above and below the equator). But mostly it was just boredom, watching the big Russian patrol aircraft (NATO codenamed BEAR) coming to see us looking for the carrier and tracking us by our electronic emissions.
About the only exciting part was working against an Air Force bomber wing out of Barksdale LA. The B-52's were only told that we were in range of their aircraft, forward deployed to Diego Garcia (Afghanistan is right now from that base now so that tells you how far they could reach). They would have electronic warfare aircraft support and simulate a low level attack on a destroyer that would simulate defending itself. If they could pick up the carrier they would try that one too.
So we went to EMCON (shut everything down, or so we thought) and did our best imitation of an electronic hole in the water. The EW (Electronic Warfare) support for the Air Farce consisted of a Navy P-3Q (commonly called a Q-bird), this is a P-3 Orion with several hundred EW sensors, they fly missions lasting over 13 hours listening for anything (ANYTHING) the bad guys transmit from data links to sideband from generators (brush noise like from out little motors).
Turns out we weren't as shut down as we thought, turns out that the little radios the sounding and security watch carried (commonly called wiffcoms (Walkie talkie High Frequency COMmunications), which could barely be used from one end of the 596 foot long ship to the other) could be tracked at some 25 miles! The Q-bird called in the BUFFs (B-52's, Big Ugly Fat Fellows (in mixed company)) and they scrambled into the attack.
I was standing lookout when CIC (Combat Information Center, usually just called combat) reported that sonar (used passively for listening for submarine and marine noise like engines/propellers) was getting an intermittent contact and because it was at 450 knots the system was kicking it out as an invalid contact. I was asked to look a certain bearing and I got on the Big Eyes (large binoculars mounted on a pivot) and looked I saw something but was unable to identify it. The lookout on the other side was asked to track a contact on the other side of the ship, he reported something but was unable to identify it either. He and I got together a second later and talked about it for a minute, then it occurred to me (who had seen the unlimited hydros run at Lake Washington run) that we were looking at rooster tails. I grabbed the mike for my headset and reported that we had at least two extremely low flying, large, contacts incoming! Forty seconds later the rooster tails revealed themselves as a pair of large black and camouflaged bombers screaming in at under 200 feet. Five seconds after we reported the visual contact (about 15 miles) our own EW (electronic warfare) guys started screaming that we had multiple fire control radars from all bearings. Turns out that the first two guys we saw had slightly muffed their TOT (time on target) and jumped the gun, they were the first of 16 attackers we saw that day. If they had been carrying regular bombs we would have been sunk any number of times. One of the last aircraft (probably the wing commander in retrospect) came in higher a slower and informed us of the score (really bad) and that the worse news was that his aircraft had not been fitted for anti-shipping with Harpoon missiles. Full load-out with Harpoon (or worse yet Tomahawk) is something like 48 missiles per aircraft. They would have probably made a good dent in the entire battle-group if they had found them.
I talked to the Air Farce guys in Diego Garcia a week or two later (we blew up an engine and had replace it there). They informed me they hadn't had that much fun in years. Their boss had let them fly faster and lower than usual, and that with the radars off they just followed the Q-bird and their own EW suites in on the attack. Personally I thought that if this was just practice I don't want to annoy these guys for real!
Last edited by fooman2008; Apr 24, 2010 at 02:13 PM. Reason: forgot to sign it
Apr 26, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Oz (god love them, especially the girls)

The USN has a tradition (left over from the old grog days) that if you spend 90 days at sea continuously you get two (3.2% alcohol, about a normal Budweiser) beers. Since you cannot drink them aboard, usually they will lower a boat and leave it hang from the lift lines while moving slowly. You can drink less but never more than the two beers! After three months your alcohol tolerance is pretty much gone, so two beers will effect you a lot more than you think.
After getting our beers, about a week later, we had one of our main engines eat itself. It suffered from some kind of main intake stage turbine failure. This caused a failure in the impeller and it started throwing blades. The blades of a gas turbine are made of titanium and extremely sensitive to balance, if they lose a blade it will destroy the rest of the stage. The only real armor aboard a Sprucan is around the engines, which are encased in a thick aluminum box (usually referred to as a cell), to prevent damage to rest of the ship in case of a turbine failure or damage. In our case before they could get it shut down it embedded three of the blades into the two inch thick cell.
We had to go to Diego Garcia for an engine change (this took four days). I have previously told all of this.
Then more drifting around the Indian Ocean punctuated by a terrifying two trips into the Gulf to 'escort (read be a target for the Iranian Air Force)' re-flagged tankers. We were never quite sure if we going to get hit or not and we literally couldn't shoot back until a threat had been visually identified as coming (from the Iranians). This is maybe 30 seconds in those tight waters......
Our parole after surviving this wonderful time was four days in Perth, Australia. We thundered in there (all thirteen ships in the battle-group), and hit that town like a bomb. The Aussie's greeted us with open arms and made everyone feel welcome.
We were nested up (tied up next to another ship that was alongside the pier) outboard a guided missile cruiser (Biddle I think).
The first night they had a reception, we figured it would be hoes-deuvers, on toothpicks and fruit-punch, WRONG! It was huge shrimp and American beer (3.2). The police kept the local rabble-rousers (nuclear protestors) at bay for the evening and it was great.
The next morning the ships were open for visitors and I got a chance to give tours all day. The public was great, polite, asked good questions (only about three time did I get asked about nukes aboard (“While this ship is capable of carrying special weapons, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of special weapons aboard this ship, at this time.”)). The protestors, were peaceful and watched carefully to make sure they did not come aboard and do something silly. All went well until some dingbat protestor threw a road flare onto the focsle of the cruiser, narrowly (by literal inches) missing a woman with her baby in her arms. The knucklehead was last seen being rather forcibly reminded what a nightstick was for by the local police while being escorted to a black mariah.
It while I was giving a tour that I met a girl(s). Now the 'word' said that the local women loved sailors but I had been in other ports where they said that. This time they were right, the ladies loved American sailors!
I met Carrie and her friend Lisa at the reception then gave them a personal tour the next day after normal tours were over with, they bought me dinner. We went clubbing and I ended up at her place (Carrie's), the next morning she said I could use her car (she worked for Social Security (the equivalent of Welfare in the U.S. She explained) while she was at work, she even filled it with gas every morning for me (I would always put a little in before I got her at night (so it wouldn't cost her as much)). Fortunately I knew how to drive right hand drive (the Aussies drive on the wrong side of the road like the British (just kidding), especially shift gears. So for the next three days I had wheels and gorgeous company.
Perth was just spinning up to the America's Cup and man was that town crazy they loved the tourists showed it in their attitudes. I would visit again in a heartbeat if I had the chance, it even made the IO (Indian Ocean) period worth it.
Aussies are some of my favorite people (especially the women!).
Apr 26, 2010, 10:47 AM
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HeavyCruser9's Avatar
Yes we R quite fond of them 2 mate!! Great tales Foo!! I was reading in the Australian Naval review they were looking back at The Mighty Mo's last visit 2 Sydney, they expected about 50,000 to turn up for tours over the weekend of her visit... Only for about 250,000 to roll up the first day !! Needless 2 say things were slightly chaotic !! Every Aussie Port she turned up at the crowds of people wanting 2 see her out numbered the protester's by 1000 to 1 !!

Cheers Bruce
Last edited by HeavyCruser9; Apr 26, 2010 at 10:59 AM.
Apr 26, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Yeah while the cops were unfailingly polite (witness several shipmates asked to leave clubs while intoxicated) they were a lot less so with the protesters. The woman with the baby said she could feel the heat of the flare on the back of her arm as it passed her. She had a few choice words for them on television that night for sure!
The engineroom types posted a man under the ladder going down there to make sure no one got a heel in one of the ladder treads, there was another minor flap when a young lady noticed the snipe (engine room types are commonly called snipes) under the ladder and thought he was there to look up her skirt. She and her mother were quickly invited to lunch in the wardroom (officers mess) and the captain posted a sign on the engine room door telling the young ladies what the CPO (Chief Petty Officer, i.e. senior enlisted men) was doing under there. We also changed our introduction to tell the ladies with high heels and advised that the ladders to the engine room were open treaded and could be hazardous. One of our sisters across the harbor failed to do so and they got escort an ambulance crew aboard after a visitor hooked a heel in one.
Apr 26, 2010, 09:19 PM
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HeavyCruser9's Avatar
Low pipes R great fun 2 mate!! Bounced my brain pan a couple of times visiting CG-70 USS Lake Erie in 97' (atleast I think it was 97'.....Amnesia from the brain bouncing!! LOL)

Must remember 2 duck!!

Apr 27, 2010, 02:25 AM
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I am 6'5" so doing the low overhead limbo is part of shipboard life. It was funny whenever my dad or brothers (both of whom clear 6' easily) would come aboard we all learned that whenever the person in the lead ducked or moved their head to the side you better also (too many years of visiting dad's ships as boys).
Apr 27, 2010, 09:00 AM
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HeavyCruser9's Avatar
I'm just under 6'4" myself mate ( but skinny as a rake!! LOL) walking into low hanging stuff is a way of life around here at the shops everything is hung at just the right height 2 get anyone over 6'2" I reckon!!

cheers Bruce
Apr 27, 2010, 09:36 AM
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one of the funniest things in the world is to watch a sailor after a week or so at sea when they get back into port. You get used to lifting your feet over the 'knee knockers (the passageways through the bulkheads about 8" high)' and start lifting your feet over all of them, so they lift their feet the 8 inches just crossing a doorway, kind of funny to see.
An old sailors riddle; how do you tell the drunk sailor on his way back to the ship on the first night inport? Answer; he is the only one walking a straight line (you get used to the deck moving, even the biggest ships do)!

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