>Tiger Cruise #2: Underway

July 1, 2009

Last night I couldn’t sleep because the rack was pretty uncomfortable. I tossed and turned, waking up every hour until 0600 when some guy’s alarm started going off every five minutes. Literally. I mean, it went off at 0600, 0605, 0610, etc, until 0620. I was just about to go find it and shut it off when John woke up, so we got up and got dressed.

He said that we were probably too late for breakfast on the mess deck, so we should just go to his shop, since he had oatmeal packets. We walked from the stern all the way to his shop, which is right behind the foc’sle. I watched IC3 Price sweep the floor, and then I met the other two IC-men in his shop: Perez and Patton. After cleaning, the XO came on the 1MC (shipwide intercom system pronounced “one-emcee”) and said that they were having a contest where we were supposed to guess how many padeyes there are in the hangar deck. I guessed 1860 I think. The prize was an XBox 360, but they haven’t announced the winner yet. Maybe tomorrow.

We had lunch: seasoned potato wedges and a hamburger. It was good. In the afternoon we spent a couple hours in the shop, and spent some time in the foc’sle learning about the anchors, chains, and mooring lines. I got to see the bell from the USS America, and I learned that those sailors on board who have babies born during the cruise, AND who believe in infant baptistm, can get their baby baptized in the inverted ships bell. Then they get the baby’s name engraved on the inside of the bell. We left the foc’sle and went up to the flight deck at 1400 to watch as we got underway. It was amazing to see this huge ship leave port and stand out to sea.

We walked around on the flight deck (3 football fields long!), went up to vultures row and had a long informational conversation with the mother of another sailor. Coming down from there we went back to the shop, and then went on a trouble call to the fantail. That was great, since we could see the cavitation from the screws.

We ate supper: pasta and red sauce, grilled chicken, green beans, salad, and apple crisp. I also grabbed an apple on the way out. We aren’t starving. This is evidenced by the fact that I lost no weight during the cruise, despite traversing the length of the ship a couple times a day and climbing more stairs every day than I care to number.

After supper we watched a magic show (pretty simple…easy to see how the petty officer was doing the tricks), and went to the shop. As we sat in the shop, I could feel the ship picking up speed, because we started rocking from side to side. I was this close to nausea…(as Maxwell Smart would say, “Missed it by….that much!”). It was more of an uncomfortable feeling, but it passed. Just before sunset I went outside to see where we were. I could only see land aft. We were in the ocean! The other sailors went to bed so John and I started watching a movie. About an hour into the movie, I was nodding off, so we went back to the fantail to see sunset. It was amazing.

I took a shower, which is an exercise in gymnastics, since nothing is supposed to touch the deck but your shower shoes. You get it done, though. I climbed into my rack for night #2 onboard at 2330. John got me some extra pillows and blankets. We are going to get up at 0630 tomorrow becuse flight ops starts at 0800!


About Steve Picray

I am a conservative Baptist Pastor in the midwestern United States. Every day I commit my life to Jesus Christ. This blog is my view on life. My prayer is that, by reading what I write, you will learn more about me, more about God, and be assisted in becoming the person God means for you to be. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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