October 30, 2012

Have You Met Sandy?

There she is. 

We live far enough away from the east coast that moderately gusty winds are all we will see from Hurricane Sandy. My dear hubby, on the other hand, is right in the thick of it. We have been able to keep in touch via email and brief, broken-up phone calls. He keeps reassuring me that they are perfectly safe and I keep praying, convinced that they are not. We are a well balanced team, he and I.

I talked to Matt this morning. The storm is still raging, but it looks like the worst is over. Matt was on duty yesterday and all through the night. He had to walk the lines (massive mooring lines) at least once an hour. Outside. On the pier. In the wind and rain. With waves crashing over him. Let me say that again. WITH WAVES CRASHING OVER HIM. Yeah. Just the kind of thing a wife likes to hear.

He did have a couple funny stories to relate. Both involve working to secure the lines. At one point he and and one other were really struggling to (Here's where I admit that despite 23 years as a Navy wife I still don't remember most of the technical terms.) wrap the line around a ... thingy.  A voice behind them asked what he was doing. Thinking it was another guy from duty section he responded in true boatswain's mate fashion - a.k.a. my hubby can cuss like a sailor. 

"I'm trying to get this #@%$@ line wrapped around this #@$&! Why don't you grab a hold and help instead of @#$! standing there?" 

The voice replied, "Hellooo. Captain."

Sure enough it was the C.O. He laughed it off and told Matt to carry on.  Personally, I think he should have lent a hand - captain or not.

I think I enjoyed the second story better. Yesterday they lost a line and had to get a new one attached. Eight less experienced sailors were hauling on a line trying to pull the heavy thing across the pier and attach it to a cleat (?). Handling mooring lines looks something like this:

Disclosure: This is not my husband's ship.

Only it was not a pleasant, sunny day. The weather was more like this:

Disclaimer: This is not my husband's pier.

They were taking too long, and tired, wet, and cold, Matt's patience washed away with the crashing waves. He had had enough. That was the moment he, as he calls it, "went Bosun on them". He grabbed the line away from them, told them to stand clear, and single-handedly hauled the line to the cleat and in a flash had it secured. The sailors stood, gaping at him. News travels fast and by the time he got to the foc'sle (area  inside the ship where he works) he was greeted by several seamen on their knees, bowing to him.

"We don't need to secure the ship to the pier. Just have Boats (his nickname) stand outside holding the lines!" 

It was a moment of silliness in the midst of a very tense day.

My husband is very strong, but he assures me this was simply his greater experience that allowed him to move that line on his own. "Anyone can do it if they know how." I tend to react more as the young seamen did. My hubby is my hero and I am amazed at the things he can do. Here he is on the ship:

My hubby. My hero.

We are keeping everyone still in Sandy's path in our prayers. I pray that the good Lord will send those in need an angel to lend a helping hand. Or at the very least, an experienced Boatswain's Mate.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Marcena! I love both of these stories! That's the Matt we know and love!

As always, great, entertaining writing!

Therese said...

I agree with your mom. I love the way you tell stories too. I love the picture of him too.