Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keeping busy onboard during transit


Things continue to be busy on USS HAWAII as we continue our transit. Submarines are multi-mission platforms and staying proficient in several different mission areas requires a constant effort. In addition to all of the training that we do to keep the crew sharp, our Navigator has taken on the additional job of "Cruise Director". As we sail through the various seas in route to Hawaii he is responsible for developing some activities to help the crew enjoy their limited free time. A favorite game is cribbage. I have heard that only fireman and submariners play cribbage. Winning the cribbage tournament onboard is about as big as it gets.

We had some extended time on the surface the past few days including the opportunity to work on our man overboard ship driving skills. The Junior Officers had a competition to see who could recover the "man overboard" the fastest. One of my junior officers posted the best time at just under four minutes. I am glad they didn't make me try to beat that time.

One of the things many of us do to pass the free time is exercise. As you can imagine workout facilities are limited on a submarine. We have three exercise bikes, a set of perfect pushups, some rubber exercise bands, and one set of dumbbells. That is not much equipment for 130 people. To help us manage our weight, the culinary specialist onboard provide a "healthy choice" option for each meal, usually a fish or baked chicken. We are all looking forward to arriving in Hawaii so we can enjoy the local scenery while we work out instead of staring at MK48 torpedoes.

The crew's excitement builds each day as we continue our journey to paradise.

CDR Ed Herrington
Commanding Officer


  1. Thanks for the update, Skipper! Those of us who can't be aboard appreciate every post you make. We think of you every day and hope your trip holds no surprises.

  2. After following your recent posts, I think you might be interested in reading Last Journey: A Father and Son in Wartime, by Darrell Griffin Sr. His son, Staff Sergeant Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr., was killed in action on March 21, 2007 during his third tour in Iraq. At the time of his death, Skip was writing a personal account of the war in an effort to rationalize the havoc surrounding him and his fellow soldiers.

    In honor of his son, Mr. Griffin Sr. traveled to Iraq to witness for himself the lifestyle of a soldier. Combined with his son's sensitive, at times philosophical correspondence, Mr. Griffin Sr. provides a unique and intimate perspective on war that is unknown to many Americans.

    If interested, check out a featured review from the New York Times here or another review from Barnes and Noble here

    Thank you and I hope you'll share my enthusiasm for this tremendous book that commemorates the life and death of a patriot.

    Best regards,

    Peter Desrochers

  3. Greetings from the other side of the Pacific!

    I was delighted to read about playing Cribbage, and didn't realise it had such a long tradition in the US Navy. Perhaps your Navigator can organise some timber panelling for the Officer's Mess, as Cribbage is a popular pub game in England and Ireland.

    If you're stuck for recreational ideas, I'm sure Engineering could modify those exercise bikes. And if you ever have to eject your 'warp core', you could take turns charging the batteries ...

    Warmest Regards,


  4. One of the things many of us do to pass the free time is exercise...
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