Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Military Meme for All My Friends

It's a slow duty day here on the ship, so I thought I would play with fire and start a meme of my own. As someone once said, those that aren't part of the solution are part of the problem - but it's almost always more fun to be part of the problem.

This one is is designed to ilicit sea stories, or whatever those of you in the military services (as opposed to the naval services) call them. Members and veterans of other services feel free to substitute TAD/TDY locations for ports. One last thing, don't forget to fill in the "whys", because that's the best part. On with the meme....

Number of ports I've visited: 25-30, mostly in the Mediterranean, but also in the Caribbean, Middle East and U.S. east coast.

Most recent port I visited: Nassau, Bahamas. Nice, but hot and muggy in the late spring and summer. People were very friendly, but everything was expensive - $4-$5 for a basic beer most places.

Port I never want to see again: Djibouti, Djibouti (Djibouti ... Djibouti ... Djibouti- is there an echo in here?). Who ever thought the tip of the spear would get stuck in the "Crack of Djibouti?" Squalid, smelly and metaphysically unpleasant. It's a great place to learn to appreciate the basics, though, like running water and three squares.

Three ports that were the most memorable:

Valetta, Malta. I never got to actually get out and see the city, but it sure looked nice from the pier. My ship pulled in and I spent the first night swilling beer with the Brits aboard HMS Illustrious. The next day I was stuck aboard the ship as CDO when a bunch of lunatics started flying airplanes into U.S. landmarks, and we put to sea with haste.

Haifa, Israel. Great people, wonderful experience. I visited as a Midshipman in the summer of 1987, and we had to wear our uniforms on liberty - no shit - but the Israelis loved it. I learned the Israelis know that if it weren't for the United States Sixth Fleet, there'd be no Israel, so we couldn't pay for anything. Free food, free beer, free...well...for the childrens' sake I won't discuss any other "freebies" I may or may not have gotten. Woo hoo!

Palma, Spain. Major Mediterranean resort, relatively cheap, great food, lots of history, awesome weather and most excellent eye candy.

Okay, time to tag some people. Let's start with Chapomatic for the periscope depth view, CDR Salamander for a sanity check on my picks, Skippy-san for the pure entertainment value and Scott D. for an Army perspective.