A Tender Tale
I've been driving all night, my hand's wet on the wheel;
There's a voice in my head that drives my heel;
It's my baby calling - saying "I need you here";
And it's a half past four and I'm shiftin' gear;...
We've got this thing, and it's a called RADAR love;
We've got a wave, in the air: RADAR Love... Golden Earring
As usual, the Proteus was short handed when it came to "sea" personnel. So many of us would get "volunteered" for duty in various at-sea watches throughout the ship. Since I was now a little more senior, I didn't get "volunteered" for Engineering this time - instead - it was to the Combat Information Center - or CIC. On the Proteus - the CIC is - ah - minimal - It's really just an over-grown plot room; with a Master PPI repeater (RADAR Scope with the main RADAR operating controls remoted on it); A gyro-repeater; log repeater (ships speed); and a Dead-Reconing Tracer (DRT) - a device which takes in speed and direction from the gyro and log - and actually traces the ship's movement onto a chart or map. Our DRT had zillions of gears and dials and adjustments so that the scale of motion can be set anywhere from 1" = 200 yards (for harbor and similar use) - clear out to something like 1" = 20 miles - for open ocean track. We left ours in the 1" = 200 yards mode - and only used it for man-overboard drills. Anyway I started out as RADAR watch - and started learning plotting, and other neat stuff. Certainly made the trip from California to Hawaii go quickly.
We got to Hawaii - and did some training - shakedown - testing - more training... and a lot of liberty. Not that we weren't really working hard - but the crabs (civilian workers) didn't work nights or weekends - so it was on to the beach. Four of us rented a car from a certain car rental company - and we decided to do some sight-seeing. We drove all the way around the island. Problem is - the roads don't go ALL the way around the island. Hertz - er - that rental company was very gracious about it - seems somehow the transmission ran out of fluid. They came and towed us in - sternly chewed my butt (I was driving) and sent us out with another car - on our promise that we would stay away from the NW corner of the Island... Hawaii - what can you say? Paradise? Almost - the prices of stuff there does tend to bring you back to the "real" world...
© 1997 Common Cents Computers