Mediterranean Cruise routines

by The Boatswain | November 14th, 2006

As usual in the Navy, our duties were either constant work or plenty of leisure. Most of the Med ports are too small for a carrier to enter so we would anchor out – A favorite port was Marseilles, in France, as it was a big city, with access to many of the other Mediterranean ports, beaches, etc. Of course, anchoring out meant we had to ride boats ashore, but we carried boats on large dollys, in the hanger deck, would pull them with a tractor, on to an elevator and up to the flight deck, then into the water. The boat detail was one of my responsibilities —

Anchored out!

Anchored out!

Hoisting an officers boat.<br />I'm somewhere in the crowd, running things!

Hoisting an officers boat.I'm somewhere in the crowd, running things!

On this particular tour we got into some rare snow weather and it was bad enough to stop boating and leave men stranded on shore! I had been on Shore Patrol.  Me and a couple of hundred sailors were on the pier all night, building fires in trash cans and anything we could think of to keep warm. Not much trouble with drunks that night and by daylight it calmed down enough for us to resume boating.

Note the snow on the deck.

Note the snow on the deck.

Once the crew was all aboard, we’d hoist the boats out of the water and into their cradles, stow then down in the hanger deck, and secure them in place. (I’m the one on the left!!)

Hoisting a crews boat on the USS Midway (CV-41)

Hoisting a boat on the USS Midway (CV-41)

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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.

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