Sea story: the rug merchant meets his match (1974)

1973-tangierWhen USS Little Rock (CLG-4), the Sixth Fleet flagship, pulled into Tangiers, Morocco at the end of January, I had a more important mission than building US-Moroccan relations (which I helped do anyway). This was one of the few ports where my wife Carol (a singer with the Sixth Fleet Music Show) would not be with me. She had issued clear-cut orders to come home with a handmade, wool Moroccan rug. Not some little runner for the hall, but a full-sized beauty to lie beneath the entire living room ensemble. Continue reading

Sea story: Man overboard! (1970)

1970-bainbridge heavy seasGranted, it’s a hackneyed line, “it was a dark and stormy night.” But it was. For almost a week, USS Lawrence (DDG-4) had been making her way across the northern part of the Atlantic on a great circle route from Europe. Although not a small ship, she was taking green water over the bow regularly, as she crashed into each massive roller before rising up and over the crest. Visibility was a philosophical concept, and daylight was something vague in the mist and wind. Continue reading

Sea story: Second-Class Summer (1967)

1967-pri-flyIn the summer of 1967, I was given my one shot at leadership ashore while at the US Naval Academy. As a Midshipman Second Class, I was a squad leader in a cohort of other 2/c midshipmen (rising college juniors, for those needing a conversion) going through summer training. At the Naval Academy, the summers before our Third Class and First Class years were devoted to afloat training, the 3/c filling enlisted billets on ships and the 1/c trying junior officer roles. Continue reading