"Mr. Charlton, it is zero three hundred, time to get up for your
It was the messenger of the watch staring at me to make sure I was awake. As in most shipboard or barracks bunkrooms, we did not permit alarm clocks, since they would disturb many people who needed their sleep.
uh, thank you."
(A few minutes later) "Good morning, chief."
morning, Mr. Charlton. Did you get any
sleep with all that racket in the
you. I'm beginning
to learn to sleep like a submariner."
"That's funny. We couldn't hear you from the
goat locker. All that pinging must have drowned you out." Goat locker is what they called the stateroom across from mine, where five Chief Petty Officers slept.
I laughed as I climbed the ladder to the conning tower.
When I got to the conn I said "Good morning" to George, who had been on watch since midnight. We studied the operation plan, and he reminded me of the massive scope of the exercise in which we were the only target. As if I could forget with all the sonar coming loudly through the hull all day and all night.
"I'm exhausted," he told me. "They're throwing
can into the water
now, because they know that we'll be
hide from sonar better once the sun comes up and starts heating
the surface of the water. There are a dozen
ships pinging, two close
aboard. If they start
dropping sonobuoys from aircraft, then you'll
have started to get traces on us. If a helicopter dips a sonar
for us, we might not survive the exercise until the
scheduled completion at dawn.
"OK," I said. "I relieve you of the deck and the
George turned, "Quartermaster, in your notebook, Mr.
Charlton has the deck and the conn, submerged."
"Good night, George," I said. "Get some