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Ole 'Chief X'
Memories of Gary
We were on the maneuvering watch, leaving Groton, CT. Weather conditions were less than ideal, it was rainy or foggy, I don't remember which. The OOD was a Ltjg from another boat (riding us for qualification), I was standing watch as lee helmsman and there was a CPO in the Ops/Nav dept. who was not the most masculine guy in the world, who was standing watch as Contact Coordinator on this particular day.
While maneuvering in Long Island Sound, a passenger ferry impeded our passage, causing us to answer a backing bell and take action to avoid collision. The OOD ordered the Contact Coordinator to report the name of the ferry which had caused the near collision. 3 times I heard the OOD call "Contact Coordinator, bridge, report the name of the ferry."
After the 3rd time, I spoke into my sound powered circuit and said "Bridge, helm, the name of the fairy is Chief X." The regular helmsman automatically repeated my transmission, before he had time to realize what I had said, and then looked over at me with a wild look and his face like "What have I done?". As the seconds ticked by, we knew we were doomed. Then the bridge circuit crackled with the response "Helm, bridge AYE!" In the background we could hear the CO laughing. Nothing more was ever said about the incident. In retrospect, I think it helped take the edge off of a tense situation.