Med Cruise 1977

Med Cruise 1977.

Between March 31, and October 21 of 1977, the Charles F. Adams was part of the sixth fleet in the Mediterranean. Called a Med cruise, it was an intense period of time. Being a Destroyer, the Adams was able to visit many ports, and that was part of our purpose in being there – Show the flag. However we still spent over 90% of those six months underway – at sea, driving around the Med. Most days underway involve 8 hours of watchstanding – looking after and working the ship. During the other 16 hours, you had to accomplish your actual job, which for me was maintaining the Missile Radars and computer complex, plus all the other housekeeping things a ship requires. Fortunately, there was not much else to do, so after spending 14-16 hours either on watch or working on the equipment, it was still possible to get a full 8 hours sleep, well at least 6 or 7. And it was good sleep. I loved sleeping on a ship. Rock a bye baby. In the other spare time, we ate, read books, and watched stale outdated TV Shows.  But, port visits were different. Every third day in port you had duty, which meant you had to stay aboard, and do your job. The ship still needed attended to, watched over, and operated. The other two days there was normally, however, time to go out and explore.

A digression.

The ONLY time a US Navy warship engineering plant is shut down, called cold iron, is in it’s own home port. Any place else, any time else, the ship is essentially “steaming”. The boilers are operating, the generators are making power, and it is ready to get underway in a very short time with no outside help. That includes the crew. While two thirds may be off the ship, one third is there to provide minimum manning. In some potentially hostile ports (Such as Haifa Israel) we were on a two section duty – only half the crew can leave while inport. This is called, naturally, Port & Starboard duty sections. The US Navy takes great pains to ensure it can operate fully independent of any other countries influence -  hostile or not.

Anyway, port visits. Some were Mundane, some were bad, but many were really fun and interesting. And most of them we were very welcome (of course, we spent lots of money).  I experienced many cultural differences around the Med. And many languages, however, communication was hardly ever an issue. A large number of the people of most of the countries we visited spoke English, and some hand gestures and body language is universal – although some can also be unintended insults…

Below is a short list of where we visited.

ROTA, SPAIN
INPORT CIVITAVITCHIA, ITALY
INPORT GAETA, ITALY

TRAINING ANCHORAGE IZMIR, TURKEY a
INPORT ANTALYA, TURKEY
TRAINING ANCHORAGE  SOUDAH BAY, CRETE
INPORT PALERMO, SICILY
INPORT ISTANBUL, TURKEY
TRAINING ANCHORAGE LIMNOS, GREECE
INPORT NAPLES, ITALY
TRAINING ANCHORAGE SOUDAH BAY, CRETE
INPORT HAIFA, ISRAEL
INPORT KUSADASI, TURKEY
TRAINING ANCHORAGE LIMNOS, GREECE
INPORT ATHENS, GREECE
TRAINING ANCHORAGE AUGUSTA BAY
INPORT TUNIS, TUNISIA
KITHRA ANCHORAGE
INPORT ATHENS, GREECE
INPORT CONSTANTA, ROMANIA
INPORT PALMA, SPAIN
INPORT TOULON, FRANCE
ROTA, SPAIN
ARRIVE NAVSTA MAYPORT

I am still filling this page out. There are a few ports whose visits are worth a story…

 

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