Nearly Seventy days
underwater and not seeing the sunlight or meeting anyone new could indeed
be trying at times. Some forms of light heartedness could help ease the
Nearly everyone kept
track of the number of days remaining left on patrol. The real countdown,
although, began at "Half Way Night".
"Half Way Night"
was the official celebration that would be celebrated with skits, special
foods, unusual dress and other varieties of simplistic entertainment.
"Half Way Night"
also meant you were now on the downhill side of time remaining on patrol
and you were "getting short". There would begin to be an air of excitement
and levity generating in environment.
During Halfway Night Festivities
The XO having
a moment of laughter with the crew during "Half Way Night" Festivities.
Some of the leaders were not necessarily as outgoing as was this XO. Though
he was serious concerning his job and responsibilities, a good XO being
second in the chain of command, would seek to help bolster the crews morale.
I recall one Half
Way Night skit we performed. Our skit was "Old Mcdonald Had A Farm". We
had the cook hard boil us two eggs. The third egg was not hard boiled.
One of us was the chicken laying eggs, another was the farmer (me) catching
the eggs coming from the chicken. I was dressed in my bib overalls I had
brought along. Another person was the singer/narrator. As the eggs come
from the chicken I had tossed the first one (hard boiled) to the Chief
of the Boat (COB). The second (hard boiled) was for the XO. The third was
for the Captain. You can picture the results after it had been tossed about
fifteen feet. Good thing for me he was an easy going Captain.
Here is the
Rizz having one of those moments to help ease up the pressures of patrol.
Stanley, sitting in the forefront continued on in his studies in spite
of the distractions. The Rizz was another of those quality leaders who
would strive to help the morale amongst the crew.