Wednesday, August 23, 2006

4 November 1955

The day began with a wintry chill reminiscent of the Illinois I had not seen in a year, & will not see for almost another. The small typhoons which always blow through the ship’s hatches were enough to wish ourselves back in bed under thick Navy blankets.

I got up around seven, when the voice box near my head blared “Now up all late bunks.” It took quite a bit of willpower to force myself out of the top rack; when I jumped down, the metal deck was not much warmer. Breakfast consisted of two half-pints of fresh milk, a “luxury” not to be found in the Med. The ship will also have to go on water hours beginning when we left port. This will be hard, but necessary, as lately the ship has been consuming 39,000 gallons more per day than she is able to produce.

About 0830 I caught my last glimpse of America. I’d gone up onto the hanger deck to get the liberty cards from a box on the quarterdeck. Because it was so cold, I only took a fleeting glimpse of a bright day and yellow-white sand.

Quarters for leaving port were held about 1245, & the ship got under way at five minutes till one.

The only other time I went topside was to empty our wastebasket, at five this afternoon. Evidently we are already far out at sea, for the water is deep blue & the waves comparatively larger—and the United States lay somewhere out of sight, attached to the ship only by an ever-lengthening wake.

No comments: