The words, "Captain, please go to the forecastle," had come down over my bridge circuit from the Officer of the Deck, and then there had been something about the ship slowing almost two knots for some unknown reason. We were steaming westward through the Gulf of Mexico as part of a circular screen for the carrier U. S. S. Wright, at the time, and after having been up late the night before searching for a man reported lost overboard from the carrier, I was having trouble waking up. I remembered thinking that for a ship underway it was an odd variation of that familiar refrain "Captain, please come to the bridge!" Acting more on conditioned reflex than clear reason, I found myself padding barefooted up the starboard side of the forecastle, fumbling with a hastily donned pair of uniform pants, my pajama top billowing in the wind. Had someone said something about a shark on the bow? I could make out the figure of one man standing in the eyes of the ship looking down over the port side. He was the Boatswain's Mate of the Watch-it was he who had reported a big shark on the stem. He didn't speak as I came up.
Whale Shark on the Stem
By Commander Vining A. Sherman, U. S. Navy