1984

7 January 84

Just a quick note. The New Year's eve/day at Bob Willis's house was outstanding for everybody, Mario, Bob, Eric and myself; well worth the six-hour (actually 8 Hour) drive.  The following week was spent at sea on our ORSE workup.  This weekend is starting off well; I've seen my uncle Jim, mom and dad, and Sheila. I just finished roughhousing with Sheila, tickled her mercilessly, and dragged her into a self photograph.



18 January 84

Returned from ORSE workup. Hard to believe will be leaving for seven months soon. My obligated service will just be just about over by the time I return.

6 February 84

Got an excellent on our ORSE, something one in every 20 subs manages. Almost worth the two weeks of drilling. Almost. Hard to believe considering the problems we had. Shorted TRPI module forced us to shut down the reactor for 14 hours, deiselling on the surface.

Spent some time last weekend with my parents.

Also stop off to see Sheila; she's massively depressed. Hates school. Not sure why she is so unsure of herself. Also spoke with Margaret and Madeleine.  Love the Rubega family...

13 February 84

Had a three-day weekend the last two days. Visited Eric in Ithaca, NY. Had a pretty good time but there were a couple of somewhat bizarre moments. Also stop by the Margaret's apartment for the evening. Fun, but I was klutzy as usual spilling my drink.

7 April 84

The end of our first week at sea heading for the IO; not bad, things are much more relaxed and than during local operations in Block Island sound area. The amount of time allows much a more spreadout schedule. I qualified surface officer of the deck today (yesterday actually shifting to Greenwich time has my time since massively confused). It's 2:30 AM Zulu time; 9:30 in the evening back home).

The captain handed up a little weekly schedule for goal setting for all officers. Sounds silly but thinking about it had better decide on some goals myself for this deployment. Very long-term goals. Two hours a day professional development, one half hours a day working out, seven hours a day sleep, six hours a day watch, one half hours a day eating, an hour for showering and miscellaneous activities leaves five hours a day for random activities.

8 April 84

Just finished my shellback initiation. For crossing the equator. Stupid, very stupid. I should never have done it. The previous night's activities were reasonably innocent. Just a little good-natured joking around. I thought the actual initiation would be the same. Should know better.

10 April 84

Still exercising and getting eight hours of sleep a day. The rest of the day is getting whittled away with training and other tasks. Hard to complain about. I actually feel awake almost continually unlike in port, getting by on five hours of sleep a day. I have a feeling it will end soon.

16 April 84

More steaming along, playing hours of Zork III with the Navigator (an excellent game). Also have a game of diplomacy going on. Thus far spending about six hours a day on  pure Navy jobs. I don't know how long it will last; we are getting close to the ops area. Just a chance to read the "rank have to make to order" book, a compendium of amusing stories and nasty insults back in the engineering spaces. The engineer has confiscated on-site orders for the book out. Still haven't started reading any of my textbooks; too much Zork three with the navigator. Oh well plenty of time.

20 April 84

Past Madagascar closing on Djibouti or however you spell it. The end of the third week at sea. You can see it in people, tatters around the edges.

I've notice of everyone on board has started journals. Are they expect that life will suddenly become more exciting in the Indian Ocean with 100 other sailors stuck in a 300 foot long tube?  Like me?

29 April 84

One month that sea; the last week has not been a good time. Now that we are on station we've shifted to the three section watch rotation. Radio also hand a few problems causing the Captain To go in his words nonlinear. End result was lots of work very little sleep and a lot of chewing out by the captain.

I miss the people back home. It bothers me that things back there changing I don't know anything about it.

1 May 1984

I'm coming to the conclusion that I may be spreading myself too thin over the things I want to do, or perhaps it's just bad organization. Time to try settling down a bit. My exercise program is going well; I feel like I found routine that works for me. But read one chapter cosmology before bed; then then McPhee reader after that. Try to read one chapter of intro to computer graphics at the day. Get a printout of GC-2 to work on for programming. And study one half hour French each day.  Maybe not that last part.

7 May 1984 4 AM

It finally happened; I've more or less been forced to move forward instead of standing watch as Engineering Officer Of the Watch (EOOW). We are now rotated through with the senior officers. I hate the control environment; the rig for red, the pressure, the formality.

I've noticed an increased tendency to dream recently, whether from the continuous lack of sleeping, the psychological pressure, or something else I'm not sure. I managed to remember my last dream. I was at a University, with Jeff Goldsmith, Tom Gage, and Sheila (who were also students). They all shared a spacious modern home. We were taking a cab back from the computer lab (except Jeff, who stayed behind) when I realized I had driven to the lab in the first place and had left my sports care, the Firebird, there. When we arrived at the house Tom paid the cab driver. The fair which I was worried about was $70. Somehow I ended up with the change. Then I was laying down on the couch in the house. Tom and Sheila were sitting in armchairs. The room was warm wood with large picture windows. I had said something which Sheila didn't like. I answered something back and she replied "What about you? We're cousins here!" Implying somehow that I should be more open with her. Tom said "so what are you going to do with your life?". I replied get a job or get someone to pay me a lot of money to attend a University.  I thought that was highly amusing and laughed; they laughed with me.  I have no idea what it means.

14 May 84

On the watch I just finished we had a steam leak, arcing in the turbine generator brushes, leakage past CH 16, a broken auto volt fine adjust and other assorted casualties. Yuck.

17 May 84

Took a shower for the first time in four days. About average for the last month. Secure the showers and washing dryer and you don't have to pump Sanitaries overboard as often. Not a good deal morale wise but what the hell. Most of the crew's clothes haven't been washed in three or four weeks.

Got my second family gram today. "Easter Bunny left something for you; I will have it tied to to a bouy so you can pick it up. Gram, everyone here for Easter send their love we send ours mom and dad.

I miss Eric's laugh. Small moments come back occasionally; a flash of Cornell, watching the Man with two brains, Eric's spontaneous pull back hand slap bend forward head jerking laugh. Putting his whole body into the humor of the moment. Bill. I remember his story about Steve and he picking up to good-looking girls by convincing them that they were rich. Al Barr's old RPI home, walking up the street and the crisp morning air having stayed up all night. Bob Willis Mario and Rob Hendrie in the student union after marathon D&D session. Coming out of a movie in the communications center, meeting Eric and Marty drunk out of my mind, and confronting V'ger (Jason).  An all-night session at Jack-in-the-Box with Jay Cross,  Jeff,  Mario and who else? Flint getting arrested at the second Boskone. Holding Sherilee.  Alex's  black cat. Sid's gray one. The New Year's party with Jeff and Sue in 82.

21 May 84

Support, port and starboard watches, training, and battle stations occasionally as well just to keep things interesting.  Shower is fully open finally. Captain's making jokes "the salinity cell is broken? Get all the officers up" chuckle chuckle.

23 May 84

Told the commanding officer this afternoon that I wasn't career designated. That I was leaving in May 85. He seems to think this is due to being pressure from the deployement and I'll reconsider when I find that the great jobs available on the outside (of Corpus Christi SSN 705 that is). He recommended I wait until after I qualified engineer to submit my letter of resignation so that detailers can offer better opportunities.

25 May 84

Mombasa night. We were supposed to pull in today. Since that was canceled they decided to have a special dinner to keep morale up.  Didn't work.

3 June 84

We are now on our way to the other side of the Indian Ocean after new incoming submarine. Looks like we'll be out here until the end of June. In the meantime the high speed of advance and the subsequent lack of anything for the junior officers to do in the control room has not surprisingly resulted inů No change at all to the officer watch bill. We are still in port and starboard watch rotation.

9 June 84

On the wrong side of the Indian Ocean mostly due to the Dallas breaking their towed array. The officers are in true port and starboard with reconstruction after watch (took three hours last night) and Commanding officer's lectures, fire control tracking party, and all the other merry little way as to guarantee no sleep for the officers. 70th day at sea. Chasing a Charlie class submarine. A little early but I am going to open Margaret's number five package. It's wild Cherry passion pacifiers! With the note "to prevent your fellow officers from having to put up with crazed fumblings in your sleep".

13 June 84

Finished book one of Godel, Escher, Bacht; good stuff. Also found out that we will be out until the 25th at the earliest, possiblly until the 3rd of August. Received a note from dad. Lieut. Junior grade Dickie. Hi David. Expect you will be in Port soon. If allowed to give us a call. Should be tons of mail waiting for you. Uncle Bob and family were here for the cookout on 23 June. Miss you, dad.

21 July 84

A long time (compared the last few months) since my last entry. Diego Garcia is not the hotspot of the world. The only memorable thing about it was that for the second time in my life I drank enough to blank out. For the first time in my life I drank enough to get sick. Mail was nice but somewhat depressing. Everyone else is so happy. Makes things seem worse by comparison.



31 July 84

Death destruction and deadly radiation. Not much time to write. We started out in port and starboard watches during the transit (four qualified officers of the deck in control for a transit). We want straight port and starboard for tracking the USSR sub +2 hours of reconstruction after watch. It's really wiping out all the officers. Most of the time spent in control is utilized to stand around and drink coffee. I also have the added pleasure of having to be in radio for perscope scope depth evolutions.

7 August 83

The end to to a truly hideous week. Battle group ops North Arabian Sea. Between setting up for battle group ops, standing watch, and having the Whiskey-3 break, I had 48 hours up, two down, followed by watch with Mark Wooten; was severely trashed by the Commanding Officer after literally staggering around for four hours trying to stay awake. Got a note from dad Lieut. Junior grade Dickie. Sure wish you had a phone on board. Computer land has a sale on IBM that ends September 1. Oh well, you must have millions saved by now unless you have expensive mermaid on board. Dad."

Finished Margaret's care package with all the funny notes and joke gifts. The last package had Band-Aids with the note "to bind up all your little wounds and we get home to us we can't wait!"

15 September 84

Forgot to mention that somewhere in the last month or two I've been promoted to lieutenant! We stopped off in Diego Garcia the ninth through the 11th. They lost the mail and Wiskey 3 problemshad me on the sub for all but six hours. But now are headed for Perth, Australia.



25 September 84

Just prior to station the manuvering watch departing Perth Australia. An interesting visit and an necessary sanity break. Perth is friendly and very Americanized. No really unusual things  except for the animals.  On Garden Island, where HMS sterling and the USS Corpus Christi are stationed, their are "Tamers," little kangaroo like creatures. Nocturnal, about the size of a small dog, and very strange. Thousands of them hopping around the island.  One vineyard tour and had a chance to see some of Perth. Visited Perth zoo in Kings Park. Shoppe, slept (the first day in Art and I went down to the Prince Hotel to check in; we didn't return for 3 1/2 days), wandered. Went to a few nightclubs. Have mandatory functions Friday Saturday and Sunday fun way to shoot the day talking with 70-year-old retired military about the good old days. Met a few nice people. Overall a nice break.



8 October 84

On the way home. Not much exciting happening. Working about 12 hours day. Exercising for 2 and sleeping for eight.

5 November 1984

Spent last Friday with my parents, Saturday on the sub, Sunday and Monday at home in New Hampshire, Tuesday in New York City with Margaret, Wednesday to Sunday in Maryland with Mario Eric and Bob Willis (Eric didn't show until Saturday). Started Engineer school on Monday. It's boring as hell.

5 December 1984

The last month has been fast and furious. Thanksgiving week in particular. The weekend before I picked Jeff up at the airport and drove into his mother's. We spent Saturday their. I had four hours of sleep Thursday getting everything done, about 3 on Friday (stayed over Margaret and Ann Shaw's. We were up talking until 1:30, and I had  to get up at 5:30). We drove to RPI Sunday and when we hit Troy it was like coming home. I spent Thanksgiving in NH with all the Rubegas and Dickies and Hodgesons. A lot of fun. Christmas, Bill was there,  back home for the first time in a year. We drove back to Groton Thanksgiving night and I went dancing at Waterfalls with Margaret, Shiela, Bill, Ann, Patrick. Friday was Madeline's birthday; the Rubegas are a riot when they all get together. Gave Madeline a hard time about teasing me about drinking Bailey at my father's country club ("it's an open bar"). Saturday I drove Bill back to New Hampshire and spent a few hours there. Last weekend I drove home again and had a mellow and fun time with Bill,  mom and dad.