We went from Hawaii to Olongapo Phillipines and then headed to Sydney, Australia and everyone looked forward to that and made grand plans. This is until we felt the ship rocking in all directions more and more. Then the jarring, nauseating slamming. Some guys puked across the floor which made others feel sicker too.
Battle-ready ships have a sharp keel to stay steady when aiming their weapons. A repair ship has a rounded hull to be able to carry more tools and supplies, thus the sickening WHAMs. I forced a hatch open to see what the storm at sea looked like. Fascinating! I clutched the rail as the winds were very strong and got soaked quickly as I edged aft. The waves spewed like horizontal waterfalls and splashed wickedly each time was were lifted up a giant swell and then drop like tons of bricks after it passed.
I loved it! What an adventure! Looking to the portside I was worse turbulence, red skies and lots of lightening. I made it to the starboard. I nearly swooned at the glorious sunshine and neon affects off into the distance. A swell of inky, angry se then reared so high I could not see over or past it. I went to my knees and grabbed the rai as hard as I could. It crashed into the ship and tilted it sideways. Then I us running into one at least as huge, going to hit the prow yet coming from the starboard. The ship nearly turned sideways; I kept my grip as my body flew out behind me. As it leveled back, I forced my legs back under me so they would not slam onto the deck. It worked, seconds before the weird slam.
WOW! DOUBLE WOW! Still, it seemed a smart time to go back inside. Right inside the hatch stood the gedunk machine; now I knew why they’d bolted it to the bulkhead! I got a Zagnut bar and made my way carefully down a couple decks where most of the guys had gathered. When they saw me with a candy bar, I bet at least 50 of them puked on each other. I walked on, trying to keep balanced. How exhilarating! In the morning we discovered the storm had busted a rusted part of the hull through and we were sinking.
I roamed the ship as the crew patched the hole with sharpshooters around to repel the sharks. I thought of when the multistate hoard of tornadoes hit my hometown of Louisville Kentucky when I was yet in my early teens. I stood on the front concrete step of our rickety house and watched the tornado wrecking part of the Fairgrounds and whizzing further across the terrain with debris being flung all around. I noted one beginning to form very nearby, a sharp pointy, twisting tip and went into the front yard for a better view, entranced and nearly disappointed when the yellow, clouded sky took it back into its bosom. All that time, the radio blasted warnings and Mama screamed at me to crawl under the kitchen table with my bawling little sisters.
The proximity of that near tornado busted the balloon-diaphragm of my syrup bottle barometer I made for upcoming science fair. Lesson? I naturally do not fear even excess danger as anything but true excitement. By the way, I won that science fair.
TOMORROW: Diego García, BIOT