Archive for August, 2007

  Leave Begins Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 27Aug07.

I just started some well earned leave today, and will be traveling in Japan and China, so I don’t expect to post anything until next Wednesday at the earliest.

  Rosemary Says, “Write!”

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 24Aug07.

Rosemary left me a comment on another post demanding some writing and triggered a key business rule: when one of three loyal readers makes a request, you’d better listen. There are two things that are worth noting before you read any further. First, it’s after 10PM here in Japan and I’m momentarily guided by the wisdom of Mark Twain when he cautioned, write when drunk, edit when sober. The former I can guarantee, the latter…well…maybe tomorrow. Second, if there are little ones that might be “shoulder surfing” while you read this post, send them away. Now. The material and language in this post might get a little too salty for innocent eyes.

So, I spent my workday trying to do the job of two people. That’s been the case for the last two weeks, but today it was exacerbated while I tried to complete my “to do” list before checking out on some well-earned leave. The usual flood of “get this done before you leave” taskers and “could you please sign this before the boss comes back” items was interrupted by the presence of divers and work on five single-valve-to-the-sea jobs. These jobs mean you’ve only got one layer of protection between you and a watery death, so they’re always a little unnerving. Oh, and these weren’t wimpy, why-did-I-bother 6″ openings; they were potentially gaping, two-foot holes between air-breathing Sailors and the suffocating deep. Just for perspective, a two-foot hole, thirty feet below the surface of the ocean, would fill an average back yard pool in one short, scary minute.

The first three went fine, but somewhere along the line we parted a belly band on a cofferdam. A cofferdam is a temporary patch of sorts, installed by divers under the ship, to provide an extra layer of protection when doing this type of work. Well, the contractor loosened the last four bolts, but the flange didn’t break immediately. When it did, however, the briny deep started pouring into the ship. Fortunately, we stuck to the procedure and only loosened the bolts, rather than remove them. Also fortunately, the contractor was using a pneumatic impact wrench and was able to quickly tighten the bolts; but not before the water was knee-deep. Eventually, we pumped the water out, finished the work and I was off the ship.

CINCHOUSE is away, mind you, fulfilling a dream of climbing Mount Fuji. She was much disappointed a few weeks ago when the Little Typhoon that Couldn’t bore down on the homeport and unnecessarily forced the cancellation of her trip. After some hasty planning, however, she was off and I was left with minding the Agents of Chaos by myself. A picture of them is posted below, decked out in miniature Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force uniforms. Yes, they’re adorable, but they’re not nearly as innocent as they look.


The Agents of Chaos
I got home to recover them from a neighbor who was graciously watching them for the day, and went off to get pizza and a movie for a “boys night”. While at the corner store, I run into two shipmates, who invite us all to a barbecue. Good deal – nothing to buy, nothing to cook, nothing to clean up. Back at the apartment, I get the boys packed up and off to said good deal and everything is going well, that is, until the beer starts flowing and the local neighborhood Pure Romance “consultant” starts selling her wares.   

I told you to put the kids to bed.

I and the boys then discovered the first business rule of Pure Romance: sex toys sell best with alcohol. The more chu-hai you add, the more money you make. Luckily, the youngest Agent of Chaos, fondly known as “Fruit Bat”, started begging to go to bed in a way that only a three-year-old can.

There are two upsides to the day, however; Rosemary asked for more, and I got an e-mail from the editor of a major national magazine politely declining one commentary I submitted, but requesting to see more of my writing. Could be much, much worse.

  Weekend Open Post

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 24Aug07.

  Naval News Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 24Aug07.

NATO steps up monitoring of Russia

NATO vessels are closely monitoring the sea trials of Russia’s latest submarine, following Moscow’s increasingly provocative tests of Western airspace.

In the latest twist to worsening East-West relations, Nato submarines and surface ships, which may include Royal Navy vessels, are trying to gather information on the new Amur class boat being tested in the Baltic.

The greater-than-normal scrutiny is, in part, a response to Russia’s decision to resume long-range bomber flights close to Nato airspace which has revived memories of Cold War confrontation between the two blocs.

Twice this summer, Russian Tu-95 nuclear bombers have been spotted heading towards British airspace off Scotland, prompting the RAF to send intercepting aircraft to warn them off.

On another occasion, Russian planes came within striking distance of the US Pacific airbase of Guam.

Multi-nation Naval Exercise on Schedule: Navy Chief

Even though the Left parties have decided to stage protests in major eastern coastal towns against the upcoming five-nation ‘Malabar’ naval exercise, the Government today said the planned manoeuvres in the Bay of Bengal will be held as per schedule.

”It (Malabar Exercise) is on,” Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said of the exercise slated to commence from September four.

In all, 24 warships from India, the United States, Singapore, Australia and Japan are taking part in the naval exercise. The warships include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and a nuclear-powered submarine of the US.

Adm Mehta pointed out that the Indian Armed forces were ”completely apolitical” and worked in the national interest.

Asked about the Left opposition to the defence exercise with the US, he said it was in the interest of national security that the Indian Navy engages navies of different countries across the world.

”The Indian Navy stands to benefit a lot from the exercises that we conduct with various navies, including the US navy.

Indonesian ship runs aground on Australian beach

An Indonesian naval training ship, with 18 sailors onboard, ran aground on an Australian beach on Thursday after being battered by a severe storm with 100 kmh (62 mph) winds, police said.

The three-masted KRI Arung Samudera, which was headed for Sydney to take part in a parade of tall ships at next month’s APEC leaders summit, ran aground on Rainbow Beach in Queensland state around 3.00 a.m. (1 p.m. EDT).

When dawn broke the crew abandoned ship and waded ashore.

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