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navychief

Hollywood showers

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This story will bring back memories to all you old swabbies out there.

 

The first time I went aboard a carrier was in '73, on the USS Saratoga. At the time, she was in REFTRA (Refresher Training), off the coast of Gitmo, Cuba.

 

Back then, carriers had their own MAA (Master at Arms) force, which was basically the ship's police. Outside of the showers, there was often a member of the MAA force, who would stand there with a report chit book.

 

He would monitor when sailors went into the showers. Because of mandatory water conservation for the steam catapults, a "Navy shower" was required by all hands. You got into the shower, turned on the water and got wet. Then you turned it off, soaped down; and then turned the water back on, rinsed off, and shut the water off. If any sailor took a shower longer than that (known as a "Hollywood shower), the MAA would have a report chit ready for him when he got out. Not good.

 

Sometime in the early 80s, I think, some ex-Navy type developed a handheld nozzle for the showers that you had to push a button to get water spray. Besides being a pain in the arse to use, the spray was more like a mist that was so fine, it stung, and it left you feeling like you didn't even get a shower. Combine that with the fact that quite often the water supply would either go to full hot steam, full cold, or completely off without notice; all made for a less than desirable experience. I recall that the water always smelled of JP5 jet fuel. On one occasion, not only did the water supply go off, but so did the electricity. In fact, the Sara went totally "dead" in the water for a few minutes. Adding insult to injury, was the incredible heat that built up when the ship's airconditioning (such as it was) went off. Imagine being covered in soap, shampoo, and then no power. The head was pitch black darkess. It was an adventure just finding your towel, and then having to dry off the soap and try to make it to your rack without bashing your shins on the knee knockers.

 

Ahhhh, such are the sweet memories of shipboard life!

 

Chief W.

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Nope, they use the same water supply. However, the living conditions (although better) are still cramped, especially for the junior officers.

 

No way around it, when you have over 5,000 personnel on a ship, the quarters are going to be tight!

 

Chief

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You mentioning the water smelling like JP5 brought it all back chief. In fact, in my 2 years on the Independance, we never had hot water once in the aft end of the ship where my berthing was. Not once, not even when we were tied up at peir 12 for cryin out loud. Now imagine taking a COOOOLD shower in Norfolk, Va. in January. We didnt need saltpeter in our chow...

 

Yup, chiefs right. But hey, its an adventure! NEVER forget that and you'll survive...

 

<tries not to laugh>

 

...snicker...

 

...snort...

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

 

<Walks away laughing deleriously, wiping tears out of eyes...>

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I need to change my Avatar. I need one of the Citadel and the Navy.

 

Gues what guys! My vision is pilot qualified in the Navy! Not fighters, but helos and the like. And if I decide to do LASIK, it'll be fully qualified. Or, maybe there'll be something better in four years. Either way, I'm gonna fly. Halleluja!

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Chief, you left out one detail. How about the 2 inches of standing water on the floor of the head that was always there (at least in our berthing area). LMAO So much for Shower Shoes, you needed waders! When you had to go um #2 just remember not to drop your droors all the way to your ankles cause they will be soaked when you pulled them up.

And the John Waine toilet paper was Priceless. Rough, Tough and dont take Sh** off of nobody. LMAO

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Hey Seawolf

 

So true about the standing water. Also, do you remember having to search for a head because the one closest to your berthing was closed for field day? That constantly happened. I remember having to walk half the length of the ship to find an open head, and by the time I got back to my rack, I was wide awake and could not sleep. All squadron personnel's berthing was on the O-3 level, either under the Arresting Gear, or forward, under the Catapults. The noise was deafening. When anyone would ask me what it was like to sleep there, I would liken it to a semi-truck landing on your roof every 30 seconds. Only, I think it was louder than that!

 

Chief

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I rember reading Hunt For Red October and when Jonesy comes to captain about with the tape recoder the captain is happy he lets him have a Hollywood shower, now I know what it means, thanks chief!

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Hunt for Red October... thats the movie that made me want to become a submariner.

:D :D

 

Cheers,

Jay

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Yeah kind of embarressing walking through the hanger deck in your skivvies, flipflops, and a towel looking for a shower. LMAO

I would imagine its even worse now with females on the ship.

 

As far as the O-3 level goes, you nailed it! My first time on I was stupid enough to sleep on the top rack with all the pipes and electrical right over my head and the first time I tried to sleep it was quiet and then as I dosed off BAMM! SWOOSH! SQUEAL! and itwoke up hitting my head on the damn water pipe above my rack, and dont try to roll over during the night. Unless your very skinny once you get in your rack you have two ways to sleep- on your back or on your stomach and you have to get out of your rack to switch.lol

Of course after a few days your so tired your forced to live with it and sleep anyway.

Man those were good times. :wink:

 

 

 

 

Hey Seawolf

 

So true about the standing water.  Also, do you remember having to search for a head because the one closest to your berthing was closed for field day?  That constantly happened.  I remember having to walk half the length of the ship to find an open head, and by the time I got back to my rack, I was wide awake and could not sleep.  All squadron personnel's berthing was on the O-3 level, either under the Arresting Gear, or forward, under the Catapults.  The noise was deafening.  When anyone would ask me what it was like to sleep there, I would liken it to a semi-truck landing on your roof every 30 seconds.  Only, I think it was louder than that!

 

Chief

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Hell on a Sub that's almost as good as a steak dinner.

 

 

I rember reading Hunt For Red October and when Jonesy comes to captain about with the tape recoder the captain is happy he lets him have a Hollywood shower, now I know what it means, thanks chief!

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Hey Seawolf

 

You know, I never got used to the noise where I could sleep. I bought a huge box of the yellow foam rubber-type ear plugs, which I kept in my locker. No ear plugs, no sleep, period. And even with the ear plugs, I was lucky to get 3 to 4 fours of sleep. What with all the drills (GQs, Man Overboard, etc...) it was virtually impossible to really sleep, unless we were in port, and it was a Sunday; remember?

 

I wish I could return to those days, and see some of those ports without all the beer I drank back then. My memories of those places is not too clear, because my brain was so fogged up from drinking back then!

 

Chief

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Yeah I hear ya. My dad was like that when I was a kid he would come home from a deployment and I would see him snoozing on the couch with a pair of mouse ears from a cranial on his head.lol

 

I guess I was lucky, I was a and always have been a heavy sleeper and although drills and so forth would wake me up I kind of got used to the noise from the arresting wires. It might be worse on the front with the thump of the sled, but in the back you get the thump of the plane to so they are both about the same. As far as sleeping on the ship in port, well I was an airdale so I always flew back with my crew (S3B) a couple of days before the ship pulled in. I would think you would want a hotel or something after being on that boat for so long.lol Unless you pulled duty or something I guess.

Anyway, I do miss some things about being on the boat every now and then and although we used to complain like hell for having to go to the boat deep down thats why we joined in the first place. I was single at the time so I always looked forward to it, being married with kids changes that real quick.

Every now and then at work (FBO here in Clearwater) a couple of T45s or a couple of FA18Cs will pull in for the weekend and I catch a whiff of JP8 and close my eyes and think about the boat. Sounds stupid, but certain smells, sounds, etc make me miss it sometimes. :wink:

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I was an airdale too. All of our berthing compartments (or "Coops") were back under the arresting gear. Even after I made CPO, the Chief's berthing was in the same area.

 

My last cruise was on the Sara. I chose a bottom rack, and near the door, so I didn't have to deal with a set of racks across from me. It was relatively quiet (if there is such a thing aboard a carrier!).

 

Years ago, RTC Orlando was closed down. I wish I had been there, because I have been searching to buy one of the clothes lockers they used in boot camp for the recruits.

 

I recently had a bathroom added on to my house. I decided to make the bathroom look like a head on a Navy ship. I bought several items from scrapped US Navy ships. The sink and faucets came from the CHENG (Chief Engineer's) stateroom off a destroyer. The mirror frame is a porthole from a old destroyer. The window is a complete WW2 porthole (it has 3/4 inch glass!). I wanted to find a toilet from a ship, but that didn't happen. Oh yeah, and the faucets won't quit leaking (sound familiar?). To finish it off, I painted the head "haze gray"...hehehehehe

 

Chief

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Hunt for Red October... thats the movie that made me want to become a submariner.

:D  :D  

 

Cheers,

Jay

 

Being a submariner ain't all cheers and cheerio's either! :)

 

-Skater

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Hell on a Sub that's almost as good as a steak dinner.  

 

 

I rember reading Hunt For Red October and when Jonesy comes to captain about with the tape recoder the captain is happy he lets him have a Hollywood shower, now I know what it means, thanks chief!

 

Steak dinners are not all that uncommon on subs, but hollywood showers are. Hell, you'll have steak and eggs for breakfast more often than you will see vegetables, so protien up! ;)

 

-Skater

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rHey Skater

 

Am sure that is true. I wasn't able to pass the hearing test for subs, way back in 72. Didn't bother me, as I wanted to get into aviation anyway; but I always wondered what it would have been like on a sub.

 

Closest I ever got to one was in the harbor at Naples, Italy. The carrier would always anchor out about 2 miles, and we would pass by the sub that was part of the task force, tied up in the harbor. Of course, the destroyers would tie up to the pier!

 

Chief

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Yeah, My cousin was a "nuke" on subs and he used to brag about how good they ate, of course once I asked if he was able to get a tan it got pretty quiet.lol

He really enjoyed it though and from the pictures he has shown me from a couple of his cruises it looked like they had a pretty tight crew.

I still prefer carrier life though, it's probably the best place to be if you have to go to sea. I used to watch those escort ships bounce around behind us and think "wow, that must suck.lol" :wink:

 

Hell on a Sub that's almost as good as a steak dinner.  

 

 

I rember reading Hunt For Red October and when Jonesy comes to captain about with the tape recoder the captain is happy he lets him have a Hollywood shower, now I know what it means, thanks chief!

 

Steak dinners are not all that uncommon on subs, but hollywood showers are. Hell, you'll have steak and eggs for breakfast more often than you will see vegetables, so protien up! ;)

 

-Skater

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