After boot camp, and a year of additional technical training, not to mention a month in the yards, I’m finally haze gray and underway. Anyone else out there been to sea?
For some reason, this thread title brought to mind a scene from Overboard, where Grant is staring bug-eyed straight ahead, and saying, “We’re at sea, and I’m a god at sea.”
I did 7 days on the USS Pelileu in February (from Pearl Harbor to Camp Pendleton, CA). I must admit it had it’s drawbacks but overall it was the experience of a lifetime. Of course, this is from a civilians point of view, I could imagine liking it alot less if I was one of those Marines that had been there for 7 months.
Spent 4 years in the Navy in the late 70’s. Went to sea for exactly 20 days, we went to Matzalan and Acupulco. One of the advantages of being stationed on a submarine tender. Kind of wish I could have seen more of the world. You are going to learn to eat powdered eggs, canned milk, and mystery meat patties. Have fun!!!
I spent 3 years on a destroyer based in Norfolk VA. Enjoyed being underway; was less pleased with life on a ship that’s not moving. But definitely a worthwhile experience overall.
One specific regret concerns a hobby I took up much later – birdwatching. What an idiot I was to have all sorts of chances to see pelagic (= far from land) birds, and to have paid exactly zero attention to them.
I’ve worked on a freighter on the Great Lakes. Nice scenery thanks to the frequent stops.
Did 3-1/2 years aboard the USS Cape Cod (AD-43)–a ship that is, sadly, decommissioned now. Did two Westpacs, along with various shorter underway periods. Every now and then, I get nostalgic for Navy life. Some of the best and worst times of my life.
The downside of having been stationed on a tender was that during deployments, you spend a lot of time sitting in one place so as to be available for services. The first Westpac included four months in port in Yokosuka, Japan and the second, 3 months anchored 11 miles off the coats of Muscat, Oman. But we did manage to squeeze in some port visits here and there. Beppu, Japan; Pusan, Korea; Pattaya Beach, Thailand (Oh BOY, did I have some good times there!), Singapore, Hong Kong, The Philippines (I almost cried when they shut down Subic), Hawaii…fun times.
I also loved watching sunsets at sea. Nothing in between you and the horizon, it’s really beautiful.
One month aboard the USS John Rogers, DD-983, and seven aboard the mighty might USS Saipan, LHA-2, with several thousand of my closest friends. For a ground pounding Jarhead like I was, it was an experience. Enjoy the absolutely black nights, the huge moon, the sunsets, and the sight of land every once in a while. You’ll remember it forever.