I was up bright and early Saturday morning, to watch the finish of the 29th Great Cow Harbor 10-Kilometer Run, the annual footrace held in Northport. Though I spent my entire childhood in Northport, I had never seen the runners cross the finish line on Main Street. And I picked a hell of year, as race rookie Ryan Hall set a course record (28:22), two other runners came home in under half an hour, and my good friend Conor did well to finish in fifty-four and a half minutes - all on a spectacular day. I'm definitely running this race in 2007.
Sunday was Cow Harbor Day itself, headlined by the parade. I saw good friends, old friends, and friends I hadn't seen in a VERY long time. I was dismayed at seeing the Tiger Marching Band come down Main Street in T-shirts and jeans; my first thought at this sight was "they've gone soft." As a trombonist, I marched in four of these parades, and each time, we marched in our full (wool) uniforms, no matter the weather. I hung out until 3:00, at which point I began the drive back to Groton.
The following Tuesday (19 September), I was officially awarded my "dolphins," symbolizing qualification in submarines. I'm told this puts me into a select fraternity of men, but I tell you, I don't feel any different. Picture to follow, at some point.
The next day, Memphis got underway once again. We were scheduled to be away for twenty days, including a three day visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia. However, within thirty-six hours of leaving Groton, the Halifax visit was canceled and the underway was shortened by several days. To put it simply, if Adam Sandler had written a reggae song about a submarine instead of a car, he'd be writing about our boat. We would perform the weapons exercise we were scheduled to do, since we were already out to sea, but we'd have to return to homeport immediately thereafter. We ended up cutting the underway short by nine days, pulling back in Sunday afternoon. And more stuff broke yesterday, delaying some major testing. My division gets into it big time next week, after the Columbus Day weekend.