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Response to lunatica (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 10:11 PM

15. Speaking of music: The Crystal Ship (The Doors) - we had a storm at sea

After R&R at Subic Bay (Naval station), Olongapo City, The Philippines, en route to Guam, we hit or were hit by a storm for a couple of days. The ship was an LST (Landing Ship Tank) built in 1945 in use in 1967, all rusted and leaky. Plus, LSTs are essentially long (football field), hollow tubes (used for carrying cargo or troops), some of which were known to snap in half. Also called "large, slow targets." So most regular routines don't stop for things like storms, especially not standing Watch around the clock.

IOW, you can’t just stay in your “rack” (bunk), have to observe regular hours perhaps with make-work/busy-work and depending on the schedule liable to be woken up for Mid Watch (midnight to 4 A.M.), and have to climb “ladders” (straight up and down stairs) while the tossing and slamming of the ship in the giant waves pulls leaden you with gravity or sucks you up in the absence of gravity.

So when we finally escaped, the Captain (actually a Lieutenant on this small ship) gave us a rare reward, declared “Holiday Routine” (day off from work), which aboard a ship with nowhere to go amounts to lounging around sort of sun bathing on the deck. So she sea was calm, sky was clear, sun was sun. And the Captain sent out crates of ice cold oranges from the Officers’ stockpile (we didn’t know they had). And somebody had a (cassette?) player and the song below wafted over us. To this day I have zero idea what the words said, just heard the sort of plaintive singer and the intoxicating keyboard interlude.


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