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Old 10-21-2011, 08:16 AM   #43
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Riding the bow......

(note to Wayne the Marine..... Not a worry my brother. You can not ''get to me''..... You are my friend because we served the same ''Master'' a long time ago. Be safe)





RIDING THE BOW......
On several occasions when the weather was ''right'' me and Jim would venture up on the bow of the Norton while we were steaming at sea. It was a great distraction from the boredom to simply lean over the bow and watch the flying fish race along with the Norton riding the pressure wave off the bow of the ship as we sliced thru the ocean. On many occasions there would be porpoise riding that same pressure wave. They can literally go for miles and miles with little effort, seemingly laughing with that silly grin and playing touch and going no where just like the Norton most of the time.
Sometimes we would go up there during kinda rough seas and ''ride the bow'' like a roller coaster. Since the bow was furthermost on the ship and the ship usually rocks from the middle it was a kick to simply go forward and ride the deflection of the bow over waves. We seen no real danger in it because there was a ''back bar'' across the bow for us to lean on and hold to if necessary and it never really occurred to us that we could take a freak wave up to and over the bow without warning. On the Norton there was of course anchor chain holes where the anchors could be pulled up and there was two ''towing holes'' just behind the bow for putting a tow rope thru to pull the Norton if necessary. As I remember these two towing holes were probably ten feet behind us as we stood on the bow.
One evening we were ''riding the bow'' and the weather was rough. We were down in the Carib. So it was warm and the spray did not bother us. We were standing up there like two clowns when the Norton made a port turn and hit two freak waves. It was a pair of BIG ONE's and we never noticed it until we were in the first one big time. The bow rose up on the back of of the first one and stuck her nose deep in the second one. Really deep. Jim yelled ''OH SHUX'' ...''HANG ON SEAJAY, WE ARE GOIN FOR A REAL ''SHUX'' OF A RIDE'' and we did. The Norton stuck her bow deep into the second wave as the first one rolled under amidships and the bow went down like a submarine. We stood gawking at the ocean coming up at us and just froze. I know am probably wrong but I would swear that I could have reached out and touched the surface of the ocean as she rocked. Water actually shot thru the ''towing holes'' like a giant fire hose cascading back along the deck probably a foot thick. If the bow had ''dipped'', even a little, the water pressure would have killed us both. Needless to say we were both soaked to the skin from the spray and I think we both became Christians at that moment. We were literally ''frozen in place from fear'' and I dont mind telling you this.
When we came to our scenes we noticed a kind voice of a Chief Boa'sons Mate somewhere behind us encouraging us in true Navy fashion that we might remove our selves from ''his bow'' before we got splattered on the number one gun tub. He was very diplomatic in his manner and in his instruction and when we finally got our hands lose from the railing we proceeded aft from the bow in good military manner. (we ran like two turkeys) As we slogged inside he did instruct us of the real dangers we were in and he suggested that we refrain from this practice at all costs unless the ship was sitting still in the water. He was very nice about the whole incident and he never really raised his voice at all but he did say ''Shux'' one time.........



(you sailors know I am lying about the attitude and language of the Chief Boats because if I put down what he really said, well, you know)


Anyhow, that is sorta the way it was on the Norton one fine day, steamin' in a circle, a thousand miles from nothin', goin' nowhere........




Ok, No Foolin'. I am ready for our troops to come back home now.....
It is OVER.... We are DONE. ..... Lets leave now... right now....
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:47 PM   #44
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''Button it up tight and hang on sailor''

.
If you have never been on a Navy ship in heavy weather you have missed a real treat. The Norton was about 670 feet long and she was not a ''small ship''. You could look down the main deck and it seemed to go on forever but if you wanted to see it get real small real quick, hit some really heavy weather. Now by ''heavy weather'' I am talking North Atlantic weather in the dead of winter when the storms rage from all directions and never seem to end. On here you will hear Wes Pac sailors talk about typhoons and bad weather in the Pacific but I believe that when you cross between Iceland and England/Scotland in ''heavy weather'' it is worser than anything the Pacific could throw at you. The situation is that the North Atlantic kinda squshes down in that area and you are trying to put six pounds of water in a four pound sack as it were and there aint no place for it to go but ROUGH. (been there and done that more than once) With that in mind I want to tell you a Sea Story.


I wanna say it was 60 or 61 we were coming back from a good will tour to the Scandinavian countries and we managed to hit three real bad storms in that area. The first storm was kinda rough on our Marines. The second storm was ''worser''. Made you wish you had joined the Army and was walkin in the mud. The third storm was the ''worserist'' and make you wish you had joined the ''panty waste'' ''Sissie Fly boy'' Air Force puppies so you could fly over the complete mess and it was just about perfect for an old salt sailor.


Anyhow, we kept chugging along with things going from bad to ''worser'' and after a couple days they stopped setting up tables in the mess hall 'cause they would slam around into the bulkheads. Then they went around and took up all the salt and pepper shakers and the sugar jars and spice bottles like ketchup and mustard etc because they kept jumping out of the holders on the walls. Then they stopped serving soup because it would not stay in the bowl and if you got more than half a cup of coffee, you spilled the top section of it. THEN IT STARTED TO GET ROUGH.....
At a meal they would sling coffee pots from the overhead with coffee, juice and water in them so you had to be careful where you sat on the deck to eat our chow or you could get a brain compunction. Yes, I said ''Sit on the deck'' to eat. We would take one hand and hold the edge of the tray, one hand to eat with a spoon and one hand to hold your beverage. ''Hold it'' that is three hands........... Sailors are very adaptable and we would hold our coffee cup between our feet and eat with the other two hands. They mostly served lumpie stuff that would kinda stick to the tray. No soup beans, no gravy, no beef stew, no stuff like that. A couple of times we just got ''cold cuts'' and cabbage for supper because it was so rough.
The Norton would walk the combers and groan and moan. If you have never heard a ships voice, that is what it sounds like. Kinda of a low grunt and moan as she would warp over the big waves. Sometimes she would kick out a prop and it would shake the complete mess hall with a ''thump thump thump'' of the prop blades hitting more air than water.
Down in radio one where I worked some of the time there was a four inch metal post right beside of a teletype machine. I could sit at the teletype machine and listen to the post kinda humm and grunt as we wallowed over the big ones. After a while it started squeaking and then it rang like a bell when it broke lose from the steel deck with a ''bong''. Sometimes when the ship would rock the bottom of this post would move as much as an inch across the deck. Kinda weard. You had to be careful where you put your feet because you could lose a toe to it. Damage control came down and welded it back to the deck when we got in calm water.
We were in the bad weather for perhaps seven days and for at least three and probably four of those days we ran ''buttoned up'',,,,,, modified Zulu configurations on all water tight doors. That meant that no outside doors were opened for any reason and they were secured completely. We could not dump garbage or go outside for any reason. Even the life buoy watches were secured and brought inside. During the storms we lost a utility boat off the davits and it got busted up pretty good and we lost a giant roll of mooring cable over the side also. It was the roughest weather I ever seen on the Norton and the ''old salts'' said the waves were running at least 40 feet high and sometimes they looked like 60 feet. In the radio gang it didnt take long to find out which typewriters were improperly secured in the tables and which filing cabinets had bad latches that held the drawers securely shut. It was a heck of a ride and Mother Nature and the mighty North Atlantic can make a mighty Navy ship feel like a peanut hull in a storm drain ...
So it went on the Norton, coming back to Norva one winter day thru three storms .......


God keep our troops safe.......
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:08 AM   #45
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I really used to love it when we were in rough seas. As I never got sea sick, I had the run of the ship, no work was being done, no chow lines, and I got to eat as much as I wanted, as most of the guys couldn't/wouldn't eat. But it was a real challenge eating like you said Seajay. Our tables were welded to the deck and the seats were on a swivel so when it was rough you were swinging back & forth, then you had to hold on to the tray with one hand to keep the tray "level" & keep it on the table, then try to eat with the other hand. When it was rough out walking down the passage way on our little boat was a challenge, one step would be on the deck, the next was on the bulk head. There were times we would sometimes tie ourselves in our racks to keep from falling out. I was told if we took over a 35 degree roll, the ship would roll over. I've seen plenty of times when we'd take 30+ degrees. One thing I watched out for was when I was on the main deck, I'd avoid anyone on the 01 level, as everyone up there was sea sick, and didn't want a "warm shower" from above.

Once we were running plane guard for the USS Kennedy and it really didn't seem too bad. An AWACS plane crashed in the ocean, and we had to look for survivors. We slowed down to barely moving, and everybody that wasn't on watch had to go to the main deck to look for any survivors. We either saw a wall of water, or sky that night, and didn't find any survivors. I'm surprised that no one got washed over the side that night.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:13 PM   #46
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Hi, Sailors!

I've been following this thread since August (I posted my Mom's Navy picture-#10 post) and I'm getting a big kick out of all your stories...
But how about posting some pics of yourselves and your shipmates?
I'd sure like to see 'em if you've got any...

Francesca
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:26 PM   #47
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Note to ''tickranch''..........

''tickranch'' i was about the same way. I never got sea sick. Sometimes when we pulled out after being dock side for a week or so I would get a headache but not sick. Like you said my brother, eating was a challenge some of the time and like you said we could get all we wanted but no one took ''Vegetable soup'' (lol)......
Like your ship, the Norton had a maximum roll of 35 degrees and then the SPS2 radar unit was ''suppose to break off and the ship right its self''.... (if you believed that they would let you plant a tree on the quarter deck.
Going down ladders was fun also. we could time it just so and kinda ''float'' down a ladder and then amazingly kinda ''float'' back up if you timed it just perfect. When you got it wrong it really hurt your feet and knees.
Me and my buddy Jim went up on the ''Flag Bridge'' while we were in the heavy weather I posted above. It was the Admirals Bridge just under the Captains Bridge. Usually no one was there. We could stand up there behind the windows and watch the ocean for 180 degrees. On the bulkhead behind us was an ''Enclinemeter'' that measured the ''roll'' of the ship in degrees. It was a glass tube bent like a smilie face, filled with oil with a one inch steel ball in it. When the ship leaned sideways, the ball would roll and you could read the ''degree'' of incline the ship went to.
We were up there one day watchin waves crash into the windows and we were on the 04 level as I recall. They were running a zig zag course and when they went to ''zag'' it so happened that they turned the Norton into a wave and she started leaning, and kept getting worser. me and Jim grabbed the overhead and swung like two monkies watching the ''enclinometer'' crawl up. 20, 25, 28, 30, (oh heck)31, 32, 33 and it hung there. I looked at Jim and asked should we start repeating the Lords Prayer. He was too scared to talk... After what seemed like two hours the old girl kinda shook (because one prop was mostly out of the water) and started back the other way. Jim looked at me and said ''Good God oh Miss Michell, I thought we were going over.'' It took about four ''ciggies'' and a ''sip of sauce I had hid in my locker'' to get our hearts to slow down. We found out later that several sailors had been tossed around like dice and slammed into bulkheads and injured. One Marine fell down a ladder and broke his leg and tons of ''stuff'' was on the deck in the birthing compartment. That was the ''worstest'' roll I ever seen while on the Norton and I dont mind admitting, it scared the (blank) out of this sailor man. They said that if we fell in the ocean up there without protective weather suits, our life expectancy was maybe four minutes, maybe. That was probably the evening when we had ''horse thing'' and cabbage without the cabbage for supper chow because most of the ''chow'' ended up on the deck in the kitchen.
We talk about these things and I am sure the ''civies'' say .....''Yeah, sure there Sailor Men''......... ''Dont stretch the truth toooooooo faaaaaar Sailor or you will break it''.......... Me and you and a million others have had our ''feet to the fire'' more than once and ''If you aint been there,,,,, You just dont know''...........
Be safe my brother sailor and keep the wind to your back and a smooth sea ahead and for goodness sake ...... FOLLOW THAT STAR.......

Vets deserve the best... Thank a vet for your freedom sometime......
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:38 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca View Post
Hi, Sailors!

I've been following this thread since August (I posted my Mom's Navy picture-#10 post) and I'm getting a big kick out of all your stories...
But how about posting some pics of yourselves and your shipmates?
I'd sure like to see 'em if you've got any...

Francesca
Hee is my picture from San Diego. Had it done for my mom. It's an oil painting from the & Sea's Club in San Diego. We rented lockers there to keep our civilian clothes in as we were not allowed to keep them on ship.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #49
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NOTE TO Francesca..... If you like to read ''sea stories'' about the navy and other services suggest you go to my blog listed on the end of my posts and find ''Sea Stories''. There are many many listed there and it should keep you busy for a while. You are invited to read my blog at your convince and there are over 200 post listed on there from everything about a 2 year old boy I saved from drowning to the ''sea stories'' ... One thing,,,,,,,,,,, , Be advised that some of the posts may have (cough cough) somewhere in the text or at the end. These stories are embellished and should be taken with a grain of salt because they are primary for entertain but they are loosely based on real facts and experiences I had in the Navy. I will try to find a pix of me in uniform when I was a Navy Man so long ago.
Thanks for your kind comments and please feel free to read post on here or on my blog .....
God bless our troops and keep them safe .....
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:10 PM   #50
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Jeesh! That's ugly.

I mean the pile of stuff with the marshmallow on top.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:14 PM   #51
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Don't listen to him, Dennis!

Francesca

P.S.

How about a pic of some Marines, Wayne?

F.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #52
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Don't listen to him, Dennis!

Francesca

P.S.

How about a pic of some Marines, Wayne?

F.
Marines are jealous that our heads are round, they struggle their entire career to make a round hat fit on a square head.
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #53
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Marines are jealous that our heads are round, they struggle their entire career to make a round hat fit on a square head.
What? And let people know what I look like. I'm still as good looking now as I was when I was 18. (A few pounds heavier maybe!)

Ask Seajay how I look. He has seen me and he always tells the truth.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:02 PM   #54
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Okay! Here's one on my nice ride:



And this I really, really enjoyed until some idiot came out and blindsided me when I was doing 50 mph: This was taken 15 days before the idiot hit me and ran. He has completed his prison sentence and is a free man again.



And here is one when I'm not riding a motorcycle. (which is anymore)



Like you, I have boot camp pictures and you can see that I'm just as good looking now as I was then. (No comments about the "bull.")

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Old 10-23-2011, 09:15 AM   #55
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Pictures of Wayne the Marine explained ....

Here is an explanation of the posted pix of my friend Wayne the Marine.
Pix. number one. Wayne on what he thought was a stationary exercise bicycle without pedals. It seems Earlene decided he needed to lose a little weight so she told him to go buy a stationary exercise bicycle and he came home with a ''Motor Scooter''. It worked well until the tires exploded from being overloaded.
Pix. number two. This is Wayne on his Harley. Just a happy go lucky Marine riding down the wrong side of the interstate when some clown ''T'' boned him in the side. He gave up motorcycling shortly after he came out of the coma.
Pix. number three. Wayne got his settlement and decided to go back to the motorcycle place for a look around to maybe get a safer bike. It seems he turned South on North street and wound up at the cattle auction instead of the Honda dealership. The ''slick John former Sailor salesman'' told him that ''This is the newest and finest and safest motorcycle on the market and Wayne bought himself a ''Long Horn Steer'' to ride. He said the advantage of the Steer over a motorcycle was that he could sell the manure to people with gardens, kill the thing and sell the hide and the horns and he and Ms. Earlene could live for a year on the meat.
Pix four..... This is a picture of Wayne in his uniform and someone told him he was going to get a ''cookie'' for being a good boy and cleaning his weapon without being told. (he was very young back then and he looks nothing like that now. If fact, I aint really sure this is actually a picture of him cause he was never young)

Now, let us get serious. Willa and I had the great pleasure of camping along side my friend Wayne the Marine and his lovely Ms. Earlene for a few days down in Fort Mill.
Ms. Earlene is a lovely lady with sparkling eyes and a very quick wit. Fun to talk to and very intelligent (why she married Wayne mystifies me)
Wayne the Marine is a large man. Very much fun to share a sea story with and amazingly witty. He is super sharp and you better be on your toes in a discussion with him.
As to his ''looks'' ,,,,, you be the judge of that from the pix. Willa and I look forward to sharing more time with this couple in the future.
Little known fact. Ms. Earlene was a lady Marine when they met and married so you dont want to ''mess with her either''..... They have a son that followed in dads boots and is now a Major (I think) in the USMC.
May God bless you my friend Wayne the Marine and all who serve this great nation ........ I am proud to be your friend.
(end of ''nice nice stuff''..... Just think Wayne, with a little luck you could have been a Sailor like me) (ping)................cj...............
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #56
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Only 10 more and I'll have enough for a calendar....

Francesca

P.S.
Wayne's head looks round in this picture, Dennis
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