And so we turn to Patrol 13 of USS Michigan. Before we left, I knew it would be my last run on her. I was headed back to Virginia Beach and POSEIDON Fire Control School in the spring.
On the 4th of October, I was in Port Townsend with a couple of friends, spending my last day of liberty seeing that beautiful city. There I saw the newspaper with the picture of the Soviet K-219 submarine on the front page. One of my friends asked me if anything like that could happen to us. Was I scared?
“Of course not,” was my confident reply. To both questions.
When I was very young, maybe seven or eight years old, I tried to plug in a lamp in the living room which had a frayed plug. In a massive display of sparks and shock, I took a rather bad burn to my wrist. I remember being terrified and shaking and begging Mom to take me to the Emergency Room. I was sure that electricity was killing me.
Years later, in A School, I learned that electricity is a force for good, but that it requires respect, not fear.
The ocean requires respect.
As we left Bangor on the afternoon of the 19th, we thought it would be just a regular patrol. No stops, no tests, no inspections. Just 80 or so days of boredom with an awesome Half-Way Night Show.
Thirteen days later, it wasn’t boring anymore…