USCGC Morro Bay: “By your leave…” three minutes an counting

Continuing the CGC Morro Bay series this is entry number sixteen. To see all of the Morro Bay’s posts go here! Also remember to check out PAD NY’s FB page and the FB page for the USCGC Morro Bay for similar content.

Morro Bay Entry 16
This entry is from the underway journal of Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Wyatt, commanding officer of the Morro Bay.

Question: how long would you hold a salute to get a laugh?

For BM3 Jeremy Timothy the answer is almost four minutes.

Here’s some back ground: it is tradition in the Coast Guard to salute the commanding officer when entering and departing the bridge. Because Morro Bay frequently operates in busy, narrow waterways with limited maneuvering room I spend a lot of time on the bridge. As a result, on most days, I get saluted a LOT. You should also know that I’m prior enlisted so while I understand the reason for military salutes and I render them with respect toward my superiors, I’m not a big fan when they’re being directed my way. Of course the crew is aware of this and it’s become a game of “how many times can we salute the CO (commanding officer) today?”.

During the transit I was on the phone with the ice officer at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie (hereafter known as the Soo) discussing ice conditions, our ETA to the area and their expectations from the ship, when BM3 Timothy approached wanting to go below (off the bridge). Normally he would just salute and ask “by your leave” I would salute and tell him to go. The entire exchange would take less than five seconds.

Today however, I was on the phone and looking out the forward window. Now, BM3 Timothy claims he said my name to get my attention when he came up behind me and saluted, but I didn’t hear him and personally I think he snuck up stealth-ninja-style with mischief in mind.

Since I didn’t answer or return his salute, he just stood there and waited …

… then waited some more …

… and for just a little while longer.

Eventually I hear muffled laughter coming from the direction of the helmsman. Since that isn’t normally a humor-inducing assignment, I turned to see what was going on and saw the entire bridge watch struggling to keep from busting out in laughter while BM3 Timothy dutifully, and very quietly, continued to hold his salute. In fact they timed the incident; he was waiting for three minutes and 55 seconds.

I’ve determined that sometimes it doesn’t take much to entertain my crew, but I guess it could be worse. The lesson I take away from the story is to always check my six from time to time, even if on the phone.

Copyright © 2007-2011; This post was released on 15 January 2011 at 17:44R. (Digital Fingerprint: 5e6541bd23rre ( )
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