Sailing on the Barrett.

by The Boatswain | January 3rd, 2007

The trip on the transport, from San Diego to Subic, was a pleasant one. We stopped in Hawaii, where we were met by Navy friends who gave us a quick, short tour of the island. (I’d been there many times, but it was brand new to my wife and kids!) We were there only a day, then we sailed to the next port, the island of GUAM!

We arrived at Guam on our anniversary date, with typical weather for the area, pouring rain! We managed to get a baby sitter for the kids, and Ellen and I had an evening dinner at the local officer’s club…… (I looked for pictures of the trip, but am afraid that the only one’s I have are on an 8 mm. film and of poor quality.)

When we crossed the International Dateline, as usual, there was a typical ceremony, with Ellen and the kids getting initiated into the LINE CROSSERS ORDER! Bob missed out as he wasn’t feeling well, but Dorrie and Carl got to kiss the Royal Baby’s belly, (getting smeared with all kinds of goo in the process.  In Ellen’s case they only made her kiss a hand! Not as messy.

We finally sailed into Subic Bay and the gang got their first view of my new “command”.

USS Mark (AKL-12)

USS Mark (AKL-12)

Jack Page, the CWO I was relieving, had already setup our new housing arrangements, with food in the refrigerator and a maid already hired, which was a blessing, as we moved in quickly. Our maid, Nina, was a jewel, married and with children of her own and lived in the town of Olongapo, just outside the gates of the base. Her husband was also our gardener and took care of the place once a week!

Our half of a dupex house.

Our half of a dupex house.

Ellen, aided by Nina, and, sometimes. the kids, was busy getting settled in, while I was busy getting familiar with the ship and then having the “Change-of-Command” ceremony attended by the base commander and various other officials, confirming me as the new skipper.

Reading my official orders as the new skipper.

Reading my official orders as the new skipper.

This started our official duties at the base. As skipper of one of the ships based there, I was required to attend many functions and parties at the officers club. Ellen had to attend them as my wife and also attend many wives functions! Our maid would baby-sit. There were so many functions that Ellen wondered if we would EVER have any time to ourselves!!!

Van and Ellen in front of their home in Subic.

Van and Ellen in front of their home in Subic.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About This Site

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'.

Categories

Archives

Family and Friends