Thursday, December 11, 2008

Submarine Christmas

Blunoz had an entry the other day that reminded me of "Christmas" on the boat.
One of the memorable underway Holidays on "Ustafish" was when the Chief stew burner brought the required artifical christmas tree for the underway but somewhere, somehow forgot ALL other holiday decorations.
So, the tree was un-boxed and placed on a table in the mess decks with it's lone naked glory.
The enterprising Submariners that we were; proceeded to "Decorate" it with a wide variety of material at hand. The red baloney rings from Mid-Rats, the Green cover, cotter pin and lanyard from OBA canisters expended from Drills, Various broken pieces of sound powered phones, and Misc drill props from both forward and aft. It was the sadder than that tree in Charlie brown's Christmas. And unlike the Charlie Brown Cartoon, there was no redemption at the holiday. It just got sadder and sadder with each addition by the smart asses on board until it was deemed a health Hazard by the DOC and stripped of it's "Ornaments" (The straw that snapped the camels back was the tightie whitie's fished out of the Chunky pump (cam sewage pump) and put in a plastic bag and attached to the tree).

This was the same Christmas that I was a member of the FSA (Crank)Div, and had moved, kicked, abused and other wise folded, spindled, stapled and mutilated the thirty odd fruit cakes that had been in the reefer since our underway prior to Halloween. Needless to say, didn't sample any of the survivors due to first hand knowledge of their care.

And this Christmas was one where our Division had a "gift exchange". Each member bought a gift for another via a name drawn from a hat prior to underway. The two most memorable gifts, 1. the ring that an ET2 filed out of a NICU bolt. He was either a cheap bastard or just lazy and procrastinated like the rest of us prior to underway and didn't buy the gift for his exchange. To his credit, I actually thought it was a cool ring once he was done. It was several days of filing on watch and off watch and then polishing with emery cloth. 2. the Phallic "Wife Pleaser"; again, designed and filed and polished by another ET2 from a broken shorting Probe. It wasn't actually part of the gift exchange, he kept it for personal reasons. But still the OOOHH and AHH's from the division when he lit off the red lights he rigged in the end of the handle that caused the clear plastic shaft and end he filed to glow in red glory..

Share your underway Christmas Stories,


blunoz said...

Great stories Nereus, thanks for sharing. I also had a shipmate who liked to file on hex nuts or other pieces of metal for hours on end to make things like rings. Hey, he never fell asleep on watch!

I have been very lucky in that I have never been away from homeport on Christmas. I've volunteered to take the duty on Christmas Day when I was single so that other guys could be home with their families.

I did spend a few Thanksgivings away, though, and I can tell you the Marriott in Guam puts on an AWESOME Thanksgiving dinner.

beebs said...

Back on the USTAFISH, we were extended a week to screw up Xmas. The mood was foul, to say the least.

Then there was the Guardfish on the rocks story. They ran around right off Pearl right before the holidays. CSP was so pissed he didn't send a tug for a couple of days.

reddog said...

We spent the entire bicentennial Summer submerged, underway on nuclear power. Nobody was as proud of the country or as proud to be American as we were.

All the Christmas' I spent on board in the Shipyard. I would rather have been at sea.