We're back here in Mayport. I am enjoying the liberty, of course. But neither I nor any of my co-workers are enthralled by the yo-yo nature of our schedule. At the start of a day, the only thing we can be sure of is that the situation at day's end will be completely different.
The Post-Navy Roadtrip is...go, go, GO! The way ahead on this came to me in an epiphany on the midwatch, just about two years after I first conceived the idea. I'll combine the "best of both worlds" - the original departure intent (specifically 19 May, the very day I secure my freedom and the return of my soul), and the shortened length I had contemplated while anticipating a return to college - that is to say, about five weeks. I came to realize that this trip is nearly as important as the separation itself - I've been working and saving for it for so long, and I am not about to lose it now. Besides, if I don't take the trip, then the Garmin my family got me for Christmas would completely go to waste.
You might have heard about a collision between two Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz last week. One of them was a submarine, USS Hartford (SSN 768). As you can see, she is not well:
There has been a lot of speculation elsewhere as to just what happened in the wee hours of last Friday morning. I'm not going to add to it; my only sentiment is to be grateful that there were no serious injuries on either vessel, and that both ships were able to safely make Bahrain. Like the fatal event on Nebraska six months ago, it's a blunt reminder that we do a dangerous thing, and that we must always do it carefully and deliberately.