Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry

And so the swan song begins...

On Monday, the Submersible Death Trap left homeport for the last time with me as a member of its crew. It's bittersweet most joyous. As seems to always be the case on any underway of some importance, our departure was delayed by multiple days by material issues. But it's finally the beginning of the end.

I had the evening watch on Monday, and I stood it with the newest member of my division as under instruction, or "UI." Through the first half of the watch, it was beneficial; I had someone else to turn a lot of valves so I wouldn't have to do it myself. But once those evolutions were done, it was nothing but logs and downtime - and "UI" is slow at logs. I didn't really get on him; for one, it's not my style, and for two, I'm content to let him go as long as he doesn't threaten to break something or violate procedure. During the evolutions, "UI" left his cover on the deck, and didn't retrieve it during the rest of the watch. It was still there just afterward, and so I provided a thorough teabagging. Those in the know will understand, and everyone else can use the old imagination.

Prior to the second watch, I had to get up in my "oncoming" time for training. The civilian equivalent of this would be for you to get home after work and go straight to bed, knowing you have to get up at half past midnight to be at a seminar at 1:30 am. Once the training was done, I got about an hour and a half more sleep before taking the watch again. When I arrived, "UI" was reviewing the logs, expecting to be stationed again. I wasn't having any of it, and I grabbed the logs. Once I'd relieved, "UI" starts following me around like a lost puppy. I ask him what the hell he's doing. He replies, "am I gong to be stationed as under instruction?" I tell him that there isn't much more that any of us can teach him about the watch, a statement with which he actually agreed. I was amazed that he actually had his own opinion on something. What I didn't tell him was that if he was going to operate the watchstation at what seems to be the only speed of which he's capable, he wasn't going to waste any more of my time - he'd have to qualify and do so on his own. The watch was followed by a full hour of GMT. Officially, that's an acronym for General Military Training, but anyone with Navy experience knows it really means Gross Misuse of Time. And it was, as it was related almost entirely to things occurring on the boat after my departure from it.

Watch number three was a drill watch, and I knew for certain there'd be a fire in the engine room. This is always eventful, because as Reactor Technician, I am the first responder, running to the scene with a fire extinguisher and laying down carbon dioxide. Once that was done, I throw on a EAB (emergency air breathing) mask and wait the thing out. Yesterday there must have been some complications or something, because the drill ran longer than expected. You simply haven't lived until you have sucked on a rubber hose for an hour, an airline mask pressing on your temple and giving you a splitting headache. Once all that was sorted out, we still had one more drill to run, and that ran into the lunch hour.

At lunch, I pulled some chicken, but after looking closely at it, I decided against. Following after watch cleanup, I went to upper level and found LevelSeventy doubled over with a trash bag at his mouth. "UI" was in a similar condition. Looks like I win some bonus watch! Shortly after I took the watch back I was relieved by BilgeMonkey (the Reactor Operator in my section). That gave me some time to play a little Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on crew's mess; that drew a lot of attention. But it didn't last long; BilgeMonkey was needed by the flippin' cone. It seems the doohicky that tells us how fast we're going, the EM log (not to be confused with the blog of the same name), had pooped the bed. For some reason it was believed that a reactor controlman could bring some troubleshooting skill to bear on the situation. So I went back on watch for two grueling hours, while BilgeMonkey made no progress (and LevelSeventy laid in his rack). I was very glad I discarded that chicken.

Thankfully, we get a brief respite from this madness in the very near future. While it may be in a place with which I'm way too familiar, I'm still happy for the opportunity. I'll check in again from this as-yet-undisclosed location.

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