Friday, November 9, 2018


The Sweep was my fourth ship. I was taut early on (yes yes, I know how to spell taught but what the hell?) My first day, the CO confirms my letters of Officer of the Deck which also means Con and hands me the deck while telling me to snuggle up to that bouy, number 5, as I recall. He comes back up from Combat and tells me no. What I need to do is have the ship embrace that buoy in the San Diego Ship channel while he and they initialize the GPS hunting 3M nav system from Hell.

Snuggle up we did. One of the things I can do well is drive a ship. When the skipper came back up out of Combat and asked where was the buoy, it was enough to point, down.

When the big movers got underway, outbound we didn't play. We'd leave the channel to the carriers and LPH and LHA. Those things are really dangerous.


rick said...

Conning a ship well is one of the simple pleasures in life. I still have the Surface Warfare Association commemorative pen I was awarded at SWOS (PAC) for being Top Conn in my class. I promptly lost all that experience as I spent the next two years converting uranium to steam on ENTERPRISE. After passing the Engineer board, I took a topside tour on SCOTT (DDG-995) and promptly posted the best time for a man overboard drill. Never did get to practice big boy pier approaches like we did with the YPs, though....

HMS Defiant said...

You are quite right. One of the greatest pleasures in life is conning a ship in narrow waters and bringing it to moor at a pier without tugs or shot lines. Just being able to drive up, toss the lines over, sometimes toss your own line handlers over the side to put the mooring lines on the bollards. Twin rudders, twin screws, no never every back down more than one foot of pitch (anything more in reverse just blows all the head gaskets on the Packards.) We used to go alongside the barges in the Persian Gulf, Wimbrown 7 and the big one which used 4 point moors so you had to siddle in to get alongside without running over one of their anchor wires. Driving from CIC in the minefields was a hoot. I would try to give just one rudder order over the sound powered phones and then order it amidship and see how close I could get to laying us on the next track. We could measure our location in feet and I found I could do rudder turns within 3 or 4 feet of next centerline track. They don't make them like anymore.

I worked for 3 months at SWOSPAC after SURFPAC took the old building over and used it as its HQ. I also remember when SURFPAC's buildings were those dumps (temporary buildings built for WWII) that I think they shoved EODG1 into.