Excitement continues to build as we enter the final stages of our transit. The tactical monitors in my Control Room that track the ship’s position now feature the islands of Hawaii. After looking at the west coast of Mexico for so long and feeling like we weren’t making much progress on our journey, it is nice to see the friendly waters of Hawaii and realize that we are only days away.
Most of the crew got their hair cut over the weekend. We have no professional barbers so what you get is short hair, style not so much. They say the difference in a good boat hair cut and a bad boat hair cut is about two weeks. Looks like I will be waiting two weeks.
Cribbage update: I was on a solid run with lots of skunks, including beating my Radio Chief, ETC Fournier. His father is a former submarine sailor so my ETC probably grew up playing the game. The match after my Radio Chief was against an officer who is attached to the USS NORTH CAROLINA, LT Durbin. He beat me thoroughly. I am now off reviewing the rules of cribbage tournaments. I am pretty sure that sailors from other commands are not allowed to win. If LT Durbin wins the tournament, that would be a big blow to crew morale. One of my Sonar Technicians, STS2 McIntosh, is currently in the lead and we are all counting on him to win the tournament.
One of the great things about submarines is we have really good food. That also helps to make us a little chubby during long underway periods. I find the exercise equipment gets a lot more use in the final days of an underway as sailors realize they have put on a few pounds and need to lose it fast. For those of us who had a few too many desserts, we are in full panic mode. Everyone wants to make sure they look good for the big arrival.
Other than preparing for our arrival we are continuing our work perfecting the crew’s ability to respond to casualties and conduct strike warfare. The constant training ensures we will be ready if called. My Fire Control Technicians, lead by FTC Brennan, are responsible for managing the strike warfare mission areas and have become quite proficient during the last two months of the underway. I also make sure my Junior Officers are fully engaged in the planning and execution. As Captain, I am always mindful that I must ensure my Junior Officers are getting the training they need to be future submarine Captains.
The plans are all in place now for our arrival. The crew has heard all of the great stories about the feeling of “Aloha” and is looking forward to finally arriving home!
CDR Ed Herrington