Stand-Down Ends, Getting Ready for Dry Dock – June 2005

On June 2, 2005 I got to play my favorite golf course in a tournament with my CO, the XO [who was a douche, but whatever, you know it’s golf] and one of the JOs with whom I had become friends. We played Klipper on the Marine Corps base, which was right by my house. I had played it many times and knew the course like the back of my hand. This was a good chance to rub elbows with the CO, XO and that JO.

When we got our carts, my name tag said LT Fish. I kept it. It was awesome.

XO: “Looks like you just got a promotion, Fish.”

I was smiling ear-to-ear.

As we were riding up the 18th fairway, my JO buddy turns to me and says…

“Fish, I noticed that you don’t wear a golf glove. What’s up with that?”

Me: “Yeah, dude. I don’t really like them. I haven’t worn one since high school golf.”

We got back to the clubhouse for a few beers (the Captain bought me a beer) and the awards ceremony. It turns out that we won the fuckin’ thing. It was for charity and all but they had door prizes for various things. I’ll give you one guess as to what our prize for winning was. Yup, you guessed it… four golf gloves.

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Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base, Hawai’i.

The boat finally moored at B-1 slip in the shipyard area of PH after a brief trim dive and stop at West Loch. The shitty thing about our dock is that we were going to be in SY for about a year doing a Pre Inactivation Restricted Availability, so we were going to be in DD #3, which meant that docking and undocking would take 3 times as long as the other two docks. DD#3 is shallow so we had to attach giant floaties to the sub, inflate the front ones push the front half of the boat over the edge, then inflate the aft ones, move the rest of the boat into the dock, then pump the water out of all the floaties to get the boat on the blocks. A pain in the ass.

Overall, the preps for our dry-dock availability were pretty smooth sailing. I failed a stupid quiz and they disqualified me for everything until I took some more training and passed a make-up quiz. It was just one of those things that they do to you on purpose just to make your life hell. Training and maintenance preps were the routine. I was gearing up to be part of a tagout team, working with shipyard guys, so I was elated that I didn’t have to work on the boat too much.

Everything was routine and I was settling in for a year-long intensive maintenance period of my life, when I got a phone call…

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