Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Straits of Gibraltar

More news about Sean:

Here's a letter from about a month ago when he first crossed through the Straits of Gibraltar.

"More action this afternoon . . . The ship in front of us told us that they'd almost run over a rubber raft with some people in it, and to look for these people in their wake. So, our bridge watch standers kept an eye out, and we almost ran over the raft, too. I got the word from Zak, who was in Combat Information Center standing a watch, about these five people who were floating around in a small, three-man rubber raft, and he said that we needed to throw Food Service into overdrive and get some box lunches, toiletry kits, water, fruit, and blankets ready for these people. What eventually happened was that we baby-sat these people for a few hours with our boat crew in a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), making sure they didn’t drift too far, while the local coast guard showed up. They ate the box lunches that we took out to them, in about five seconds. Apparently they were Moroccan refugees trying to row to Spain to find the Spanish Dream (like the American Dream, but with a cool accent and capering about in a Zorro costume). They either picked the wrong place to cross the Mediterranean Ocean (the best place would have been the Straits of Gibraltar, which is only about 12 miles wide), or the wind blew them waaaaaay off course. Either way, they were more than 25 miles from land, and they would likely have died of exposure if left alone. Initially, that’s what they wanted us to do, but then we told them how far away from land they were, and they wised up. Anyway, I got a couple pictures, although I wish I had a better zoom lens…or any zoom lens.

He still had hair then, although he's got serious "hat hair" going on. I like how this guy on the left has his gun aimed at Sean's crotch in the first picture and is aiming it at him as he takes the second. I know it's not intentional, but funny still. He was in Lisbon, Portugal for New Years and now I won't know until he reaches his next port. They are partying it up good in Europe.


Melissa said...

As Steve always says "Get off my nutz!" You could tell Sean to announce that to the gunner.

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