Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sundays Submerged

Here I am waiting for my wife, Carroll, to surface from her dressing room and announce, ”Are you ready yet, Its time to go to Church”. (The actual time to go has usually already past.) I got to thinking about Sunday on the Boats I was on 40 years ago and wondering how it is now. My interest in those days was not quite on spiritual development but there was always somewhat of a drive to attend church services fostered by memories of my Grandmothers faith in God and my wife’s active involvement.

Usually Sunday was just looked forward to because it was a stand-down day, no drills or field-days. There were only 2 of the 4 Boats I was on that I remember actually had a church service in the Crews Mess. The boomer, Andrew Jackson, had a temporary crew member, a medical Dr who led services on one patrol. On the Snook, SSN 592, we had a Chief IC-man who not only led the church services but was the boat’s couth patrolman, sort of an asst. COB for moral and hygiene issues. He was usually the one to present the XO’s disappointments regarding these categories and spell out the expected remedial action.

The Church service was always succinct: Opening Prayer, Sing Hymns, Read Bible, Sing Hymn, and Closing Prayer. It is interesting to note that the CO attended many of the services but I don’t remember seeing the XO there.

Chief Swiegert, I didn’t take the time to thank you at the time. You had a positive impact in my life, I thank you now.

(Cross posted from OK2B NOUGHT)


At 9:13 AM, Blogger forendy said...

Many memories of Sunday church services at sea over 21 years in UK boats, including the wind operated mini organ (powered by a footpump or the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner) little concentration on the hymns, but plenty on the antics of the wind provider. At least in those days the Royal Navy had funds for such luxuries, and we even had sufficient periscopes, torpedoes and escape equipment for each boat. Not like the penny pinching, politically correct, money wasting buffoons now "running" the elected dictatorship called United Kingdom.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I remember Sundays on my first boat as being a day when I could get some rest and "personal time" (I'm not religious). However, on my second boat (and more and more common, from what I hear on the waterfront) Sunday was a day to stick stuff that didn't fit/got canceled throughout the week, at least underway. We did GMT on Sundays, as it didn't fit into the weekly training plan (too much other training/drilling). Qual drills were usually on Sunday afternoons, in theory were only the on-watch guys but often for "realism" they would require a token response from others (no all-hands, but man all-nuke). Many engineering department leadership get-togethers (the deptartment LPO's/Chiefs/Division Officers with the Engineer). And with the schedule so packed during the week, it was also one of the few times you had to catch up on divisional work.

In short, Sunday at sea on subs is now another workday...the largely unscheduled (formally) but still very busy day to get done what you should really do during the week, but are unable to do because of the schedule.


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