We sailed this morning for Haiti.
What can you say about the first under way as a new commanding officer?
I was nervous. All morning, I kept thinking ahead to the various commands that would move my beautiful, nine-thousand-ton destroyer off the pier. We were moored port side to Pier 25, and I mentally walked through the orders that would launch us toward Haiti—make up the tugs, single up all lines, take in all lines, all back on both tugs, all ahead one third, right full rudder—and all the countless permutations and possible combinations of wind and current and tide that might affect the under way.
Dodging a Bullet
Haiti looms, malignant and slightly nonsensical, just over the horizon. The seas have picked up, perhaps to sea state four, with a significant chop and over twenty knots of wind blowing, although it is clear and beautiful and we can see all the way to the dusty foothills of old Hispaniola.
The ship motors along apace. Today's crisis was a very near disaster. A major fuel oil spill inside the module of number three gas turbine generator. A moment to explain: