SEA STORIES

A suggestion from Ajax Deex, "When two or three shall meet, and old tales be retold.

 
Whenever classmates get together there are sure to be wonderful stories exchanged about our service experiences, our eccentric shipmates, and the quaint and colorful costumes we were called upon to wear. I'm not referring to self serving aggrandizement about inventing the Internet, but rather the Sea Stories that we all love to tell and we all love to hear.  It would be a shame if all those true tall tales were lost.  They added a richness to our lives over the years and will be a great legacy for our class.  How else will our children and children's children come to appreciate their heritage?  If you have a favorite tale, please share it with your classmates...with the emphasis on nostalgia, humor, and even outlandishness."

5/26/2016 "Searching for a Sport" by Art Bivens

 

3/30/2014  An email from Max Matteson concerning the "Boys in the boat"

 

3/30/2014 An email for Glen Sherwood relating a visit to Diane Cooke

 

2/26/2014 A letter from Pug McCarty to Chuck Fellows

 

2/12/2013         Two good stories from Fritz Ritz:  Flying Squadron  and   For God and for Country

 

9/26/2011            Something for the Dark Ages

                                        (By Frank Adorney)

  During my tour as Commanding Officer of NAPS the Navy Department instituted a program for minorities (Project Boost) to avail themselves into either USNA or the then popular NESEP program. This duo command structure was the perfect setting for conflict as the two programs dictated opposing doctrine. One very disciplined and the other as liberal as one could imagine. Having both programs on campus at the same time set the scene for constant vigilance 24/7. One evening I was watching the late   news on TV in my quarters just at the foot of one dormitory. Suddenly I heard an enormous roar of shouting “kill them”. I opened the window looked outside and saw streams of students jumping out the windows, running down fire escapes and racing toward the Tome School building. In seconds I was out the front door racing up the hill to catch anyone to see what was going on. The first candidate simply stated “we had an alert from the security watch get to the school”. I out ran most of the crowd and when I got to the school several hundred students were surrounding a moving van. The driver (a black man) was inside with windows closed and doors locked. I assessed the situation as not a “program clash” but that’s about all. I made my way through the crowd, identified myself to the driver and he rolled down the window. The yelling stopped and those immediately around the cab backed off a bit, but still in range of hearing me talk to the driver. I asked him what happened. He stated he wasn’t sure himself but he just loaded the furniture of my neighbor into his truck and was leaving. Obviously he took a wrong turn and had to turn around, when suddenly as he backed up to the front entrance, the area became alive with students, yelling and screaming “Get those expletives”. So I closed my windows and locked the doors. I turned to a student leader close by and asked him his story. Well, number one it was football season; number two; we were scheduled to play Army Prep and three; the driver’s truck just happened to back right up to our huge anchors by the school steps. In that the prior week our lads had made a trip to Army Prep and sequestered their army field howitzer, they might expect a visit from Army. In protection and expecting retaliation the students organized an alert system should the Army be so bold as to retaliate. Realizing this was a big mistake in ID, though very effective, I explained to the driver and all to hear we were sorry and he was free to go. He gave me a big grin extended his hand for a friendly shake and said ”Man I’m sure glad I’m not Army”. The response from the students and team members of both programs was loud and clear “Beat Army!” We won the game.

 

 

 

 

From Jack Davison, 7/7/09, "

In conformity with the suggestion of Ajax Deex,here is my interesting experience.

During June and July of 1957 I was in the VAW-12 detachment embarked in Saratoga (CVA- 60) with Carrier Air Group 3 while engaged in fleet exercises preparatory to the Northern Europe Strikeback exercise.Part of the day's exercise involved trying to intercept a surface raider represented by Northhampton, flagship of the OTC, our former commandant,known irreverently to us as Pirie Barbarossa from the whiskers that protected his facial skin. One afternoon I was turning back toward home plate for my scheduled recovery when Iwas directed to go several milesout of fthe way to investigate visually a contact suspected of being the raider. Dutifully I chugged off and observed an innocent  merchantman. On my way home I noticed that I had less fuel than I expected to need. I squeezed my pucker string, and the rpm and mixture for maximum endurance and flew steadily on, reporting my low state. Upon arrival I was given an immediate Charlie and entered the pattern. Fortunately I made one of the best Roger passes of my life, practically on rails, and caught a good wire. The plane director signaled me to raise the hook and fold my wings, and directed me forward. The next one taxied me all the way to the bow, propellor practically over the water. He signalled to chock me and gave the cut engine signal. As I reached for the mixture to pull it back to idle cutoff,the propellor ever so quietly stopped turning, Ever thereafter my unvarying response to "Can you extend?" was "Negative! LowState!"

No tankers then to bail out the improvident.

 

Jack Davison

 

From Dick Gantt, 5/25/09. "Good morning,

  Departed Île Royale, French Guiana on Mothers Day after hauling 100 feet of chain and the anchor by hand. (Edythe forgot how to turn the windlass on and due to it not being activated it had no power.) Not a good beginning but the start of an exhausting - to say it bluntly - week.

  That evening, May 10th, Celerity experienced an engine failure. Suspecting contaminated fuel Dick immediately commenced steering by hand since he knew that we didn'ave enough battery power to run the autopilot. (He was hopeful that he could keep the main GPS unit operating by turning everything off and not have to rely on the handheld GPS unit.)

  Five days later we crossed our '94 outgoing track near Man-of-War-Bay, Tobago. Didn't stop, as we knew that there wasn't any help for us there. Continued hand steering the last 83Nm to Grenada. GPS operated until 4.3Nm from Prickley Bay our Grenada destination. Contacted the local Coast Guard requesting a tow. Were towed just inside the bay, but it was our lucky day. Joe Welch on S/V Watercolor heard our Coast Guard call and came to our rescue. He offered to make arrangements for Celerity to be towed into Prickley Bay Marina. Soon three men in their respective dinghies were at our side and within minutes Celerity's bow was attached to a buoy and her stern to the side of the fuel dock where we are still located.

  Saturday, being a weekend, we had to wait until Monday before Racardo who would pump out our dirty diesel could be contacted. But that was OK...we were tired and needed some rest and a shower.

  Monday we cleared into Grenada and the various people were contacted that could help us. Wednesday Celerity's tank was cleaned and Thursday the local mechanic changed the two fuel filters but the recently charged starting battery wouldn't start the engine. (Celerity's engine is always extremely hard to start after a fuel filter change.) Friday with a newly charged starting battery and after 2 hours of work Matt got the engine to operate. Thank goodness now we have a clean tank, new fuel, a running engine, and once again battery power in order to operate the cooler and the radio.

 Still plan on sailing to Trinidad, probably next week. Grenada is within the hurricane box so we don't want to leave Celerity here, as our insurance will not cover her in these waters. Plan to put the yacht on the 'hard' in order to dry out and begin the work on the repair list, like replacing the broken sink peacock. (Our repair list is LONG as you can imagine...but nothing is serious.

  It will be a fourteen-week passage from Walvis Bay to Trinidad, but we are taking our time and have stopped at some very interesting islands. Our once filled V-berth storage and tinned goods locker are almost empty of food. But we had ample; we are not going hungry.

 Grenada at this time of the year is hot and humid; reminding us of the sticky weather in Malaysia that Edythe didn't like. Expect to return to the States mid June.

  NEW cruising email address: <[email protected]> Stateside email address: <[email protected]>

  Fondly,

Dick and Edythe Gantt"