How to get the Chop fired

Ok guys, time for a sea story.  Unfortunately, these aren’t going to be WWII diesel boat stories, I’ve only got 8 years in and I’m not that salty.  I was reminded of this incident as I was making lunch for my son and myself.  As any good father would, I have instilled a deep love for bacon in the boy.  So naturally, when I told him I was gonna make burgers for lunch, his automatic response was, “You’re gonna put bacon on them, right?”  That’s my boy.  Out comes the bacon, and as the delectable smells are wafting up from the sizzling skillet, I remembered a time underway when we ran out of this very precious commodity.  We were gearing up for a change of homeport from Rotten Groton, CT to the paradise of Pearl Harbor.  To do this, we were going up under the polar ice cap and come down through the Bearing sea.  Kind of a long trip, we had lots of toys to test out while we were up there on top of the world.  This meant lots of food to take with us.  Therein lies the cause of our Loss of Bacon casualty.  On submarines, even the relatively larger Nuclear fast boats out there these days, there is no extra room.  Everything on there has a purpose, and little thought is given to crew comfort(better than zero thought like the Ruskies do).  Chop, our Supply Officer, started to take the non-perishable extra food items and stow them all over my pristine Engine Room.  His minions (the cooks and store keepers) start cramming stuff wherever they think is an out of the way spot.  They had good intentions, really they did, but cooks don’t spend a lot of time in the engine room and don’t realize that the random cold pipe that they are laying stuff on, is not going to stay that way forever.  Navy engine rooms are all very similar, Hot!  Lot’s of steam, lot’s of high energy systems, hydraulics, the list goes on and on.  We come through, fix their mistakes and life is good.  Their work is done, everything stowed for sea, looks great, especially that clever hideaway for a 300lb bag of precooked bacon over behind the hydraulic plant.  Now the hydraulic plant doesn’t get very hot, but it is vital to keeping the entire boat operating and requires hourly logs to be taken on it 24/7.  Well that bacon bag just so happened to be right were us mechanics needed to walk by to perform our log taking duties.  We immediately saw the problem and informed the Chop that this random bag needed to move(we had no idea it was full of bacon).  He told us it’s fine, go ahead and climb all over it, not gonna hurt a thing.  “Roger that, Sir”  And so we do.  24 times a day for a month and a half here we are climbing, standing, walking all over this bag, doing our job.  This white linen bag started to get noticeably flat as time wore on (due to the sealed packs of bacon splitting open) and then started to turn green, no smell though surprisingly.  It’s not uncommon for that shade of green to occur on white things near the hydraulic plant as old oil from the bottom of our boots starts to congeal.  That’s what we attributed it to anyway.  Then one night the bag was gone, the cooks came and got it to use up forward.  The next morning there’s no bacon for breakfast or the morning after.  The Skipper asks, “Hey Chop, what happened to the bacon, I thought you told me we had enough for this trip.”  In typical Junior Officer fashion, he immediately starts pointing fingers at us for walking all over it and ruining the Skipper’s beloved bacon.  An official investigation was launched, complete with a fact finding mission(affectionately known as a “witch hunt”), and a Critique was held to determine why we had lost several thousands of dollars worth of bacon.  When the smoke settled, Skipper was still pissed at Chop, serving him with a near career ending Letter of Instruction for his failure and we were exonerated of any wrongdoing.  Needless to say, the rest of the mission was still a blast and if we knew the Chop was in earshot, we never tired of asking the cooks if there were any bacon for breakfast.  So the next time you fry up some bacon, make sure you savor every second of it.  I know I do…

Dive! Dive!

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