Sea story: Showing the flag in Alexandria (1974)

“On the bridge! This is Lieutenant Hine, Lieutenant Lonquist has the Deck!”

“This is Lieutenant Lonquist. I have the Deck.”

“Aye, aye, sir!” the seven men on the bridge watch shouted.

Sixth Fleet BadgeI headed down the starboard side toward the signal bridge. The sky was brilliant with stars, but no moon. We were cutting through the smooth, dark waters of the Eastern Mediterranean at an easy 20 knots, heading East-Southeast.

I felt a mixture of excitement, elation, and exhaustion as I headed for the door leading to my stateroom, eight decks below. Tomorrow, we would be arriving in Alexandria, Egypt, for the first official visit by an American warship since 1958. Sixteen years is a long time in Mideast politics, and a lot was hanging on this visit.  Continue reading