The Wide and Blue Pacific!

by The Boatswain | December 26th, 2006

The Pacific Ocean is wide and occasionally very wild, but sailing on her brings occasions of joy, too. Her tropical waters are warm and inviting and often us carrier sailors would get to swim in her like the picture below (and, NO, it’s NOT the Bennington, but we did the same.) On particularly hot days, we’d often lie to, (just stop and drift) lower an elevator, put a couple of boats in the water for safety reasons, and hold swim call! VERY refreshing!

Swimming in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

Swimming in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

Or, if we were lucky, we’d get to make a Port Call in Hong Kong where there were bargains galore and good Liberty. (Today, since Hong Kong is no longer under the British, the major Asian port is Singapore.) Because of our size, we always had to moor to a buoy in Hong Kong, using one of the ship’s anchor chains, which is a BIG job in itself! (see picture.)

Mooring to a buoy in Hong Kong

At sea it was an endless training exercise, especially for the flight deck personnel and the air crews. Day & night the pilots honed their skills, making them the best fliers around! However, in addition to refueling, we also had to get together with supply ships and, using the portable flight deck crane as a tied down support, we’d shoot over a line, pull in the rigging and bring supplies aboard in cargo nets.

Using the Line Throwing Gun

Using the Line Throwing Gun

Van at the Cargo Net

Van at the Cargo Net

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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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