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El Paso, TX, United States
Still Wondering What's Next? Anything at Anytime (I) has/have had a rough start to the year. Sorry for the delays in Posts and I Promise to do better. No Excuses as Life Must GO ON! So Keep an Eye Open... Oh, if you would like to follow on Twitter I am @DanWins2007.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thinking of an "Ole, Graceful Lady" - USS Sierra AD-18

So far Anything at Anytime has done exactly that: Anything at Anytime. 

So why would today be any different?

USS Sierra AD-18
Destroyer Tender
Motto: The Ship with the Helping Hands
Commissioned:  03/20/1944
Decommissioned:  10/15/1993

She was not the most beautiful, nor streamlined ship you ever saw, But she was Ours!
When I first met this Lady of the Sea, she was anchored in Charleston, SC. 
Man, did she Look Big to me (I would later learn She was small, but she will always be Big to me).

She was supposed to be what is referred to as "Welded to the Pier" - meaning She rarely if ever left port.
I spent 3 1/2 years on board Her and almost 3 years was at Sea.  "Welded to the Pier", My ASS!
I learned and saw many things on board that Old Lady of the Sea. 

3 Med. Cruises, 4 trips to Boston (for special repairs on the USS Constitution (and Yes, the Constitution is still a part of the Fleet)), 4 Gitmo runs, 2 Hurricanes (Hugo, and Andrew), and many, many short runs for exercises and training. 

I got my first tattoo while on board when we visited Palma Mallorca (sp) Spain.  My first bar brawl in Naples Italy.  Made Friends with many locals of all the ports we visited.  Tried my first squid (no pun intended) pizza in Greece.  Real Gyros there also with fresh Lambs meat (actually was present for the preparation if you know what I mean - so I know it was Lambs meat).

Standing crazy watches in the engine room so that at times you could literally go days without ever seeing the Sun.  Sometimes, when out at Sea and standing those watches, I would go out at the end of a watch in the pitch dark (so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face when under cover) and lay on our small flight deck and just stare up at the stars and sometimes, just sometimes if I got lucky I could watch meteor showers (twice) or watch a satellite(s) traverse from horizon to horizon and catch them coming around a 2nd and 3rd time (several times got that).

I actually got to see dolphins escort us in and out of port, flying fish as we broke the waves, Whales as they would move with us at a distance, and the one that stays the Freshest in my mind even to this day almost 20 years later was a Whale Shark that was at least 60' long and it was right beside us within 30 yards of the ship.  That Whale Shark stayed at our side for over an hour.  Reminded me of a calf whale with its Cow Momma Whale.  Darnedest thing, yet Awe inspiring!

Just a little about the Old Lady of the Sea that I (at times HATED with a Passion, more on those days later) will always remember and Love. 

They say the first one will steal your heart, and She Did!

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  1. Nice post Dan, what tattoo did you get in Palma? I've been there but no tattoo for me.

  2. Grand pictures! You sure have an eye for a good shot! Extremely interesting Post too! I'm your latest follower. Nice to meet you. Have a great day!

  3. I'll bet you were a great Navel officer. Thank you for serving our country Danny. Great memories to remember and share with all of us.

  4. Trish - Wasn't an Officer - I worked for a Living (old enlisted Joke). But Thank you for the Thanks.

    Xmas Dolly - Welcome and hope you enjoy the reads/posts. As for the pics they came with the with the music upload, I can't take credit for that awesome work - when I take pics they are of some great stuff but somehow a finger always gets in the picture. LOL

    Mrs. Midnite I answered your question on your Mutterings page. If people want to know that answer they will need to go to your site and find it.
    She does have some interesting post folks.

  5. I also served on this wonderful lady and still remember the "Anchor Watch" like I was standing it now. One and a half years in the legal office - you didn't get in trouble and come see me did you? A sad day when she was put to rest, as well as my other ships - Forrestal and Saratoga. Retired now, but sure do miss the people and experiences.

    Fair winds and following seas Shipmate.

    Tim Dixon
    Captains Office
    1977 to 1979


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