Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 4: Rank and file in the Navy

Day 4: I'm still very much wondering just what did I sign up for? After working all day in the PACU I am absolutely driven to get outside the "skin" of the ship. After all we are in Jamaica, I have a camera and I have a beautiful ship etc. to take amazing pictures of. So, imagine my dissapointment when the weather deck is closed due to "flight ops". Flight ops means the weather deck and the flight deck are closed to unauthorized personnel while they operate the helicopter, so that while they are operating the helicopter all heads and various other body parts remain attached and no accident happens involving the helicopter rotor. I am seriously bummed.
   HEre I should take a moment and mention in addition to not knowing my way around, I can't read rank on someones uniform. I know they are different but after that, I don't play this game very well. One railroad track is a LTJG, seriously they call this a "L","T","J","G" or Leiutenant Junior Grade. Two railroad tracks is for a Leiutenant etc. On the left lapel the insignia represents where they work, most medical people wear an oak leaf. And I might mention that this only applies to Navy. The Army and Air-Force aboard the ship use a different system, thanks guys.
   So I am scurrying around the decks trying to figure out a way to get outside and smell Jamaican air and see Jamaican sites. Sites other than hernia repairs and cataracts. A lone Navy man comes to my aid and is acting as a tour guide to get me out on the stern. He is very kind, and thanks me for my volunteer service aboard the ship. His lapels have some kind of "marigold" flower looking like thing. I'm really lost, I have no idea what that means. From this time forward I will refer to him as "W". ( I'm not really protecting his identity, just mine when you figure out how lame I am.)
   With his aid, I get outside the skin of the ship even though the helicopter is flying. I mention to him multiple times that I don't need to get outside the ship if it's going to cause any trouble. He assures me it's no problem, that no one will get in trouble. He assures me multiple times. Once outside the ship he asks if I can find my way back and when I tell him I can, he leaves. I happily take the pictures you see below, never the wiser as to whom "W" is.
   Each night we have a briefing when in port. We hear from different people about the weather, flight ops, how things are doing at the medical sites. etc. Before each person begins their report they say..."Commodor, shipsmaster, Captain, Captain" addressing the people most in charge of the ship. Just so you know, "W" hangs in that crowd, so if he says I won't get in trouble getting outside the ship, I bet he's right! Language isn't the only thing that is "foreign" aboard the ship. HOO-RAH!

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