Monday, November 10, 2008

Fish Food

I started to write a post about how awesome it's been to have my old college roommate Ryan in town for a visit this weekend. It had been a LONG time since I'd seen him. All sorts of memories and funny stories came to mind, and what started out as a simple blog post was evolving into an epic novel of sorts.

I decided you didn't need to read ALL of my Ryan stories in one night.

Surprisingly enough, Ryan's wonderful wife Jennifer told me something new this weekend that added a whole new dimension to one of our college adventures.

Ryan and I both loved to sail and were on our NROTC sailing team. Together we took 2nd Place in the Trojan Regatta sailing in a 420 class boat. We used to sail a lot on San Diego bay. By day we'd take water guns and water balloons and have water fights between boats. By night we'd take friends across the bay and tie up at Anthony's for dinner.

For Spring Break of our junior year, we teamed up with two other midshipmen and sailed a 27-foot Lancer to the Coronado Islands. The winds were in our favor and it only took us about 4 hours to sail down there off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

Chris (front), Bill (at the helm), and Ryan (in the back)
en route to the Coronado Islands

Bill checking out the south island.

We sailed along the southern island and anchored out the first night in the lee of the middle island. The next day we sailed up around the northern island.

We rounded the northern tip of the island and got running downwind. Each of us took turns at the helm while the other three guys took turns jumping and doing flips off the bow and grabbing a line trailing behind the sailboat as it went by.

It. Was. A. BLAST!

I had my scuba mask on and would hang onto the line for a while flying through the water. There were a LOT of sea lions on the northern island, and several of them came out to swim with us.

Okay, fast forward 15 YEARS to our kitchen here in Ashburn where Jennifer proceeds to inform me that we were jumping and splashing and acting like sea lions... in a mating ground for great white sharks.

(Silent pause as information processes in noggin...)



Keep in mind, that was long before cell phones and mandatory ORM training. I'm not even sure we had a bridge-to-bridge radio. We were a LONG way from getting any sort of medical help out there.

Man, am I glad our XO at the NROTC unit didn't have to write THAT Unit Sitrep!

Aside: A Unit Sitrep is a message we send to tell the Navy top brass when something bad happens. We want the top brass to hear the bad news from us before they hear about it from some reporter sticking a microphone in their face and asking, "Admiral, how do you feel about those midshipmen getting eaten by Jaws? Why haven't you instituted a training program to prevent such accidents from happening?" We don't want the admiral giving the news crew the deer-in-the-headlights stare and not having a clue what they're talking about.

Anyway, it was great to have Ryan, Jennifer, and their adorable daughter here this weekend. They were here for a house-hunting trip and out looking at houses all day, but we shared a lot of good beer, good wine, and good memories in the evenings. The Navy's kept us stationed on opposite sides of the globe for a long time now, so it'll be nice to be in the same neck of the woods for once.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! And love the stories! Its nice to learn about friends you meet in adulthood and hear of their adventures. I especially enjoyed the one you shared at lunch! *chuckle*

Glad you enjoyed your visit with old friends!