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A line locker, in my experience, is the place on a boat where all manner of miscellaneous line and rope is kept.  It’s like the “junk drawer” in your house.  I haven’t used this title in over three years, but when I get behind and have a set of unrelated fotos, it seems a needed catergory.

So . . .  since yesterday’s post had a foto of  Indy 7, which Harold Tartell’s wonderfully detailed in a comment, I went back to fotos from two years ago that I’ve never posted.  Behold the stern of Indy 7’s mother ship, Brooklyn Navy Yard’s own CV-62, USS Independence, which as of two years ago still

languished in Bremerton, WA, next to another Brooklyn vessel, USS Constellation, the last carrier built anywhere other than Norfolk.    Indy 7 . . . behold your mother.

The next three fotos come from John Watson.  Here’s another shot of the Chinese-built Algerian corvette Soummam 937.  Here–scroll through interesting fotos of other “small navies” –are some fotos of Soummam at the shipyard in Shanghai.

Also from John, recently the Massachusetts Maritime Academy T/S Kennedy left the sixth boro after work at GMD Brooklyn.

Here’s John’s Friday morning foto of Horizon Producer, in service since 1974;  by Saturday, she was outbound for San Juan.

I took this foto Friday morning, mostly curious about the two tanks on the afterdeck.

A few weeks ago here I ran the “fish flag.”  In response, Capt. Mark Helmkamp, manager of Ocean Tug and Salvage Ship class for the Military Sealift Command wrote the following:  “I had APACHE paint the “Fish Flag” on her bridge wing in reference to the Navy ASR’s – particularly the CHANTICLEER Class that I rode as a young officer – as the T-ATFs picked up that Navy mission along with the T-ARSs when the ASRs (CHANTICLEERs and PIGEONs) were decom’d.  The Fish Flag was flown during Submarine Rescue Chamber ops – the McCann chamber – designed by Swede Momsen, [my note:  who grew up in Queens].  The ASRs used to exercise the SRC to a ‘false seat” a few times a year after laying a four-point moor using the “cloverleaf method” that preceded GPS. . .

 We also had the Fish Flag painted on the bows of the ASRs…this goes back to the SQUALUS rescue. . .

Currently, SALVOR [T-ARS-52] is eligible to paint the Fish Flag too as she has worked the SRC for training.”

The MSC poster below shows sibling vessels of Salvor.

When I visited Apache in Little Creek, I also saw Grapple ARS-53.

Grapple was involved in the recovery efforts for Egypt Air Flight 990 off Nantucket in 1999.   Click here for a complete set of missions performed by T-ARS Grasp, including the recovery of JFK Jr.’s Piper 32 and remains.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Unrelated:  Thanks to Walter Scott for sending along this obit.

Knowing what I knew, Maurania III headed up to the North River–where recently she raced– could only mean one thing, especially

given her accompaniment by Ellen and Elizabeth, also wearing the canvas frocks.  What it meant was that

USS New York  had done its local doing and was

bound for sea.  We’re two days off the one decade anniversary of

quite the tragedy.

By the way, I’m with Bloomberg on this one: please stop calling it ground zero.  Let’s move on because time has moved on.

Also, for the record, we have a local election in my voting district, and I will hang up every time pollsters call and ask if I feel less or more secure now than before 9/11.  It’s a stupid question.  IMHO, be vigilant, but there NEVER is such a thing as complete security, although I’m grateful for those who endeavor to keep us secure.

Period.  Hope you liked the fotos of USS New York leaving for sea after paying respects.  Fotos by Will Van Dorp.

It was 2330 (11:30PM) when we were called for the Midwatch. USS Tringa (ASR-16)  was enroute Rota, Spain from New London for a regular Med deployment, steaming due East at latitude 32 North on a Standard bell at 13.5 knots. Night watches, unless some particular evolution was taking place, were generally pretty quiet. Frequently, quiet conversations would take place between watch standers, which might not take place during the day. As Navy sailors, our conversation would range from topics touching on our future operating orders, to women, to ports we might visit, to the bars in the ports, back to women and other relevant issues.

I hadn’t yet qualified as OOD yet, so I was standing watches with George, the Tringa’s Warrant Engineering Officer. This watch, the bridge conversation included the legend of the Flying Dutchman. Not long after that, we picked up a visual contact on the horizon. “Combat, Bridge, whaddaya got at about one three zero?” George punched up the Combat Information Center, or CIC on the 21MC squawkbox located at the centerline conning station.

“Bridge, Combat, we got nothin’ Sir. What was that bearing again?” The lilting voice of a sailor from Virginia, and one of our better radar operators, floated back on the 21MC.  “Combat, bridge. We got somethin’ at about one three zero degrees. You sure you got nothin’?” George was not typically long on tact, but he was being remarkably good this night.

“Sorry Sir. We don’t have anything.” The radar operator was being honest, and sounded a bit stressed. A quick look at our own radar repeater on the bridge revealed that there wasn’t anything out there. But there was. On the horizon, growing larger by the minute, was a ghostly white visual contact. As it grew larger, it began to take on the look through the binoculars of a T-2 tanker, running without lights. Worse, the bearing was not changing, although the range was clearly decreasing – a recipe for a collision at sea. There was a slight inconsistency, in that the “angle on the bow” was not “dead on,” but no matter. We couldn’t just explain this one away. By the time the tanker’s bridge features were becoming fully distinguishable with the naked eye, George turned to the portholes to the pilot house.

“Captain to the bridge” he said. Whatever it was out there, it didn’t make sense, and doctrine dictated that when the bridge was in trouble the Captain should be called.

“NOW CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE! CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE!” At 2:30 AM, a 1MC general public address system call for the Captain on the bridge can be a chilling sound. It means that the ship is steaming into trouble, and that the best mind and the greatest experience is required to make sound decisions to avoid disaster.

To our Captain’s credit, he arrived in the pilothouse, in his underwear, in rapid time. Shortly after he arrived, and just as we were about to explain the unusual visual contact we had with no radar return, the moon broke out from behind the cloud formation which had made it look like the bridge of a tanker.

To his further credit, the Captain thanked us for inviting him to watch the moon rise, commented on what a memorable experience it had been and turned in again. Needless to say, bridge conversation for the remainder of that watch was rather absent.

Foto and story credited to Chris Williams, who served as a reserve officer on two ASRs in 1968 – 71.   Billets included First Lieutenant / Diving and Salvage Officer and Operations Officer.

Here was Relief Crew 13.

Now . . . about Irene, here’s a link with advice for recreational boaters from Adam of Messing Around in Sailboats . . . .

Anyone have thoughts and reflections as Irene approaches?  First priority is staying safe, but if you get any pics of Irene and the water, I’d love to use them.

A thrill of looking at naval vessels is their uniformity.  To the layperson, which I am, this poorly shot foto shows the stern of a warship of some sort.

Uniformity means anonymity;  it does not mean pusillanimity.  Warships exude power.

But still, imagine my surprise–if wikipedia is correct about this–when I learned that this vessel–USS Simpson (FFG-56) is one of only TWO total US naval vessels presently commissioned that  can claim to have sunk an enemy vessel with its shipboard weaponry . . . aircraft are not “shipboard weaponry.”    Can you guess the other?  A clue is that it cost less than $4000 to build.  And foolish me ..  . I didn’t even get a proper foto!  In the foreground is an unidentified USACE vessel.  Learning the secret of  FFG-56 was similar to seeing–and then immediately knowing the back story of–Turner Joy last summer.

Yet another shot of C-Tractor 5 hooking up to

move USS Klakring off the dock.

Here a launch hurries over to attend to booms after Klakring departs.

Also in port was CG-69 USS Vicksburg, again . . . uniform but powerful would be an understatement.  .

I wish I’d taken more fotos, but copious fotos or no . . . I shall remember and appreciate my visit to Mayport.

Oh . . . that other currently commissioned US Navy vessel that has sunk enemy vessel usiing shipboard weaponry . . . is USS Constitution.  The vessel it sunk was HMS Guerriere, which although was battling for the British was French-built, taken by the British as a war prize in July 1806.

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August 2022