The first thing we had to do was find a decent place to live. The place we were in was clean, but very small. We went house hunting and visited friends who had bought places and finally found a set of brand new houses in El Cajon, which we thought was just a division of San Diego. We’d been looking at three bedroom places, but were told “for only $5 a month more” we could get 4 bedrooms, so that’s what we settled on.
It was only 13 miles to the Naval Station at 32nd street where I was attached as a Tug Skipper.
My tug was part of the Waterfront Operations Office, which included Tugs, Yard Oilers, Garbage Scows, etc., all for servicing the Navy ships that came into San Diego Bay, one of the busiest ports on the west coast. Tug duty was 24 hours on (we stayed on the tug) and 24 hours on standby. When on standby, we could go home, but were “on call” in order to assist the duty tugs if needed. Of course we were also on our tugs during regular working hours, but normally DID get weekends and evenings off.
I’d been there almost a year and we were enjoying the duty, when along came another item to change things. I received a notice received saying “The Congress of the United States takes pleasure in appointing you a WARRANT OFFICER, W-1, in the United States Navy”. Another promotion and this was a major one.
The one thing we didn’t like, though, was hearing that, since Cuba was considered shore duty for Warrant Officers, I would immediately be eligible to go to sea!