sea rescues and other naval excitement

Thursday, September 10, 2009 |
My friend Ensign Mike is out cruising on a naval frigate somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere, and we communicate weekly by email. I introduced him in a blog entry and posted subsequent updates here and here. Today’s dispatch includes medical trauma, the morale of food, why Thailand is awesome, and sea rescues. Plus, for the first time EVER, current tour PHOTOS. Don’t tell anyone, but the pictures I’ve posted before were lifted from social networking and other various interweb sites. These ones, however, came through direct email from the man himself. Be amazed!

On medical ‘experiences’ and other joys of military healthcare:

I don’t have a blog, but if I did I would have posted about two days ago. The military absolutely freakin loves to give us shots. And that is what they did to me on Wednesday. Two of them. Now, I HATE needles. With a passion that burns inside of me. I used to pass out when I got shots, but I thought I was over that. I was wrong. I passed out. TWICE. Seriously. I passed out, woke up, and then passed out again. Maybe it woulda been okay if it was like a flu shot and a Tetanus shot. But oh no, it wasn’t! For someone who doesn’t like needles, getting stuck with SMALLPOX and ANTHRAX is a little overwhelming.

On food:

(coffee) I’ve been told that I should try and cut out coffee since it makes you dehydrated and were going to the Persian Gulf at the hottest part of the year. As in 120F hot. Yeahhh. But sometimes you just need it, ya know?

(random daily menu) In case you were interested this is what we’re having today...Brunch/lunch: turkey pot pie, BLTs, carrot slices, tater tots, strawberry shortcake (yay!), and knickerbocker soup (I dunno what that last one is supposed to be). Dinner: grilled steak, BBQ chicken, potato salad, baked beans, chips.

This photo is of the vacant mess (dining) area - it's pretty small, and everything's bolted down.

You wouldn’t believe how much good food can do for morale. Last week we had the best lunch menu EVER. Crab legs, steak, fries, baked beans, and the best fresh baked rolls you’ll ever taste! Freakin amazing! Unfortunately I had watch next, so I wouldn’t have had time to properly break in to some crab legs, so I had just the steak instead. Oh the memories!

Why Thailand is awesome:

So the Thailand recap. We were there for four days. I’m in duty section 3 of 3, so I only had one day of duty (technically. I’ll explain later.)

Day 1: Thailand is *the* place to get cheap suits, so me and some of the guys got fitted for custom tailored suits. Some of the guys dropped huge cash in there, buying multiple suits, blazers, shirts, but I only got one suit and tie. Then we went to the tourist part of [insert port city here] and got some food and walked around. We ended up going to see a Thai boxing event. It was cool, but it was a little weird seeing really young kids, like eight years old, fighting for money. Apparently I was the only one who felt this way.

One of the busy city streets in daytime.

Day 2: More walking around. Ate at a Mexican restaurant (Why would I eat Mexican food in Thailand? I don’t know.) Really chill. The guy I was hanging out with is really not wild and crazy, even more so than me. (We have to go out with a liberty buddy or we don’t go out. It’s been really hard to find someone exactly at my social level.) So just hanging out. Outside the pier, there was like a marketish thing with booze, food, and souvenirs. I don’t know if it’s always there or just when ships pull in. There were four other US Navy ships there at the same time. I bought some souvenirs and called it a night.

Day 3: Duty. Couldn’t really leave the ship, but I was able to go down to the pier and by some chicken on a stick and some fried rice.

Day 4: Was gonna go out again, however one of the pieces of equipment I own got serious messed up so I was there until 5pm fixing it. Liberty expired at 2359 for everyone cause the next morning we were leaving so I didn’t have time to go in to town.

The next day we left. I got to drive us out. They let me do this one cause it was relatively easy and I’m still new.

Just your average day…

I forgot to mention on one of those days with really bad seas we kinda rescued a small fishing boat in distress about 100 miles or so from Sri Lanka. We got out the helo and air lifted them out and on to the ship.

The helicopter conducting the sea rescue.

So...excitement, eh? That’s it for this Ensign Mike post. Coming next time: seasickness, a change in route, and the news from Bahrain.


Anonymous said...

All I could think of reading the rest of this blog post is how you must have missed out on some damn good crab legs. haha


Leah l'Orange said...

i feel like such a voyeur, delving into his little story here! but thanks for posting this, C. very cool. and i just love saying the word "frigate".

Alyce said...

I really enjoyed reading about his experiences in the Navy. My nephew is a cook on a submarine, and my brother-in-law just enlisted in the Navy, so it's always fun to hear about other people's experiences in the Navy too.

I second Aimee's comment about the crab legs - how sad! :)

She said...

Very awesome post!!!

Loved the part about small pox and anthrax! I think I would have most definitely fainted for that one too-- have you ever google searched small pox? If you haven't, I suggest not too. ;p

Ditto for ebola!

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