Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Smokers in the Gulf of Aden

 Anyone remember smokers?

Rough gist: The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet has reached the Gulf of Aden, one of the most dangerous seas in the world. The cruiser will spend a few days there training. As the cruiser passes through the Bab el Mendab, the Gulf of Aden lies ahead. But the cruiser doesn't have to worry about Somali pirates that the sailors are vigilant against. There have been a couple of times in the past month when Somali pirates mistook warships for civilian ships, with disasterous results. The crew is read history and stories about the region during meals over the 1MC.

Marines stand four hour watches on deck. After watch in the 40 degree heat, the Marines do PT. Dozens watch as they do hand to hand combat on deck. A Marine explains that long-range combat can turn hand to hand at any minute, so they practice. The gunners' mates won a competition, their Captain lifting a 24kg weight more than 100 times.

By the end of the week, the ship will be on course for India and they'll start reading up on the Indian Ocean.