What is it about shipyards and holiday weekends
Once again, the good folks at the shipyard managed to hem, haw, find problems, delay, and shove our latest evolution into the July 4th weekend.
Amazing how that works. Overtime, braddah...
Now I'm not griping (well, OK, I am a little)...I understand why (we have a hard deadline for turning over the Reactor Compartment, it's set in granite, and due to delays in various support systems our setting of plant conditions got delayed...beyond our control). I have been doing this enough to know that sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and "get 'er done".
However, we've spent the last two holiday weekends in shiftwork. This makes three. I'm not making Christmas plans...
I'll say this...our command is very, very good about making it up to the crew. I've been on boats with commands that either simply said "suck it up" or said "we'll make it up to you" and...well..."forgot". This boat puts it's money/liberty where it's mouth is.
It's part of the job to do the hard jobs on the undesirable days. Part of the "Saturdays, Sundays, and Nights" of SSNs, I suppose.
It's odd, in a way...I've had duty or been in shiftwork over a couple of July 4th holidays, and rather than really be resentful (I'm a sailor, there's going to be some grumbles...a b*tchin' sailor is a happy sailor, right?), I remember back to a July 4th duty day when I was EDPO and a good friend of mine (and fellow first class...c'mon, the Goat Locker was sure to be off that day :) was Duty Chief. We sat out topside on the pier for the fireworks show and at the end looked at each other and he said "just think...someone like us a couple hundred years ago made that possible".
So this July 4th, remember...days off are great, liberty is something every sailor looks forward to, but it wasn't a long weekend that won the war back in the 1700s...or any of 'em since.
I'm never thrilled about working on a holiday...but deep down, I know why we do, and when it's all said and done I really wouldn't want to give up what we have for a few holidays off. There are always more, and despite how it sometimes feels you don't really draw the duty every holiday.
Now all you other submariners I'm sure pulled your share of holiday duty/shiftwork/sea time. How and/or what did you do to make it pass a little better? Like for me with Christmas in Freemantle, Australia...let me tell you, the Aussie sub that hosted us put on a Christmas dinner on our boat that would put a top chef to shame (I had duty, figured if I couldn't be home with the family I may as well take duty and let the single guys have a day with a local Aussie family). The dinner was so good, guys stopping in from liberty were not only staying aboard to have chow, they were getting their buddies to come back for some (no kidding!). And there was that July 4th where my buddy the Duty Chief and I cornered the duty cook and explained reality to him...he was going to break out the ice cream and cookies the MS chief had hidden away in the freezebox or the ship's qual card just wasn't going to get signed (we were evil, I know...but we did have plenty of ice cream, and MSCS was only slightly angry with us...we only had to scrub the decks in crew's mess, not strip and wax...).
Any good holiday stories on duty/at sea?
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