Martin Widenhouse took his bride of one year on an anniversary sail along the York River. He’s a boatswains mate in the US Navy with a dream assignment coming up.
“I’ve been serving on the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, and now I’ve been assigned to Italy to work in Intelligence with an admiral. I’m an interrogator. The post is in Naples, for three years. Rachel is going with me too.”
I looked at him quizzically as if to say Holy Cow. Martin grinned, “Right? It’s like an extended vacation, with a little stress added.” Rachel works in development for Avalon shelter for women and children. I asked about capacity. “We can handle up to 50 at a time, spread among different places on a campus setting of housing.”
Martin has spent considerable time on the bridge of the Ford, where he was responsible for security watches on the open water. He was appalled at the rash of two accidents at sea by Navy destroyers two years ago, and he said security has tightened up considerably.
We saw a Moran tugboat snuggled up to an oil barge, and I explained that the indent precluded the need for a dozen lines that used to be super tight to keep the bow of the tug fast to the stern of the barge. “On the carrier, it takes a crew of 60 to dock the ship. Thirty are on shore fastening lines to the bollards, and 30 more are on board with the lines.”
Eventually I sent them up to the bow with their wine to enjoy a spinnaker run downwind. We sailed like that for more than an hour in a gentle breeze that made the day warmer. They were entranced.
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