Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mighty MSP's Last Underway
on Nuclear Power

Mixed feelings about our final return to port (RTP) today. We just completed the last underway on nuclear power for the Mighty MSP. On one hand, it's nice that I'll spend the rest of my tour in port and going home to my family every night and not missing any more birthdays or anniversaries. On the other hand, the best part about being a submarine officer is being at sea doing the really cool tactical stuff on the point-end-of-the-spear (Sorry, I can't tell ya).

We flew both the Minnesota State flag and the MSP Battle Flag on our way out last week and coming back in today.

A lot of the families came out to Hickam AFB to watch us drive out last week...

...and again to watch us pull back in today.

We pinned on the LAST set of gold dolphins to be earned on the MSP yesterday.

The Chiefs cooked up an awesome surf and turf dinner for us last night (steak, crab legs, shrimp, corn on the cob, baked potatoes with all the fixin's). Afterwards we lit the smoking lamp and enjoyed cigars in the wardroom, chief's quarters, and crew's mess. Then, of course, we had to wrap it up with the traditional pizza night for midrats before pulling into port. (Did I mention the PRT is in two weeks???)

I think we managed to play cribbage after every lunch and every dinner. Plus, we enjoyed catching up with our wives on HIMYM. We watched one or two episodes after dinner each night, and there was a lot of laughter around the wardroom table. I think the most legendary episode was the Atlantic City episode with Barney playing that Chinese gambling game.

On the down side, the "boat crud" got passed around and I got hit pretty hard. My sinuses are all stuffed up and I'm coughing and have a sore throat. My wife LOVES it when I get a cold and lay in bed incessantly coughing (just a wee bit of sarcasm there).

Before I came down with the boat crud, I went for a run on the treadmill. I didn't plan it very well though. After the NEWPORT NEWS collision, the sub force changed what our minimum safe depth below PD is (those of you former bubbleheads know it used to be 150 feet). Well now, we start from a bit deeper, and as a result we use a pretty hefty up-angle on the ship to quickly drive us up to PD. Needless to say, I didn't take our PD plans into consideration when I went to run on the treadmill, and it ended up being a pretty hard UPHILL run for a little while there. I kept meaning to install some sort of a protractor with some string and a weight to monitor the ship's angle when I was on the treadmill, but never got around to it. Now, well... it's OBE. I'll make a note to self for the next time I go to sea - who knows when that'll be!

It'll be pretty weird saying goodbye to my Nav and my Weps next week. When you go into the shipyard for decom (decommissioning), they take away your Nav and Weps, and one of the JOs gets to step up and be the "forward department head."

So, I'm not looking forward to being trapped in the shipyard, but hey, I am excited to spend time with my family enjoying Hawaii!


Loping Squid said...

So, whats on the MSP battle flag?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics! Bittersweet I'm sure!