How are things in the past? We just crossed that imaginary line on the global and fell so far behind the west coast time that we actually jumped ahead to the 19th of August a few days ago. I could explain how, but it would require a ton of math and physics explanations that would just confuse everyone. Actually, it comes from the fact that we crossed the international date line and in turn skipped a whole day around 0100. We did that on Monday, skipped Tuesday and it became Wednesday. We did experience Tuesday, but only for an hour. There is an old Navy joke about crossing the international date line. It basically goes that a surface ship was leaving Pearl (or San Diego), there was a junior sailor who had gotten himself into some trouble ashore. Back onboard he stood in front of the CO and lost some pay, received extra duty and restriction and lost advancement. As part of his punishment he was sent down to the galley to scrub dishes. A few days later this sailor’s CPO goes to check up on him and caught him singing this song, “They can take my stripes, then can take my pay, they can take my fun, but they can’t take my birthday away.” The chief thought it was weird, but it kid was in great spirits so why tell him to knock it off. The CPO went up and realized that this sailor’s birthday was at the end of the week, which was about the same time they were supposed to pass Midway Island on to their first Port call in Guam. For the next couple of days everyone that ran across this sailor saw him singing the same song while scrubbing away at dishes. The thing that had this kid really pumped about his birthday was that the ship use to give a specially made cake for those with a birthday on that day. So it came to be the night before this sailor’s birthday, he was really going at it singing his song. In the berthing, in the shower, at work, and then just before he went to bed. When he woke up he went on down to the galley and asked the cook if he could get his birthday cake. The cook said, nope your birthday was yesterday and pointed at the calendar which showed it was the day after his birthday. So the Navy did end up taking his birthday, cause they crossed the international date line.
Just before we crossed the date line we sailed around the approximate location of Point Luck and did some flight ops for a couple of days. Mainly to keep the aircrew current. The biggest thing and strangest thing for me about this deployment vs. previous on the other coast is just how much time we haven’t been near land. It has made the mail situation a little weird. I haven’t gotten anything since our first day off the coast of Maui. Since then we haven’t seen any mail. We have had our VRC-30 CODs onboard for the last week and half. Which is different for me compared to a East Coast deployment. There the COD’s only come onboard as we transit the Red Sea after going through the Suez if not that then as we transit around the Saudi Peninsula and enter the Gulf. Rumor control has it that there is a healthy amount of mail waiting for us near the next port call Can’t wait, the wife has send out a couple of care packages so I am on the look out for those. Plus all my regular mail that tells me even my creditors love me.
One of the other fun things we are dealing with out here is heat and humidity. SJS, remember those lovely Norfolk Summers where you’re running from A/C in the hangar to your car’s A/C and then home where you have A/C? Where you walk outside with a pair of so heavily starched uniform that you need to ram a fist down the pant legs and sleeves just to put it on, only to feel it melt as you walk out side your house? Oh yea, man that is what it is like out here right now. The word of the day is Dihydrogen Oxide and plenty of if. The safety message of the month is being brought to us by the good folks of air conditioning. Seriously there have been a few near misses and fainting spells from folks who are experiencing heat stress. So the supervisors are working hard on telling people to hydrate constantly and to stay in air conditioned air. During flight ops, the safety folks and various others are being stressed to immediately head down into cold air spaces and begin hydrating right after the launch or the recovery. We are even talking about doing up ratios of time up on deck versus time in cold air. Nearly all of us have Camelbacks (or something similar), for the hydration thing the joke is that if your not doing the pee-pee dance every hour then you have a drinking problem.
Well that is about it for right now.
Article Series - Postcards from Deployment
- Postcards from Deployment
- Postcards From Deployment: HOA
- Postcards from Deployment: Doin’ the Ditch
- Postcards from Deployment: “The Song That Never Ends”
- Postcards from Deployment: The Day After the Day Before
- Postcards from Deployment: Deployment Stress
- Postcards from Deployment: Of Midpoints and Ground Hog Day(s)
- “Now Hear This — Mail Call, Mail Call…”
- Postcards from Deployment: Now Liberty Call – Asia (Eat Your Heart Out Skippy-san!)
- Postcards from Deployment: Of Wogs and Shellbacks…
- Postcards From Deployment: Now Liberty Call — Hong Kong
- Postcards From Deployment — Oh Those Cruise Mustaches!
- Postcards from Deployment: Homeward Bound
- Postcards From Deployment: Almost Home