- Oct 21, 2010
You must teach creative writing!My third ship was an oiler. Not long after checking aboard I asked the CMC if the oil slick on my coffee had been happening for very long. He had been aboard for nine years and knew everything. He was an old bosun’s mate who wore a combo cover instead of a ball cap and it was always canted to starboard. He had hands like grizzly paws, leathery skin, and a face like a catcher’s mitt. About the coffee he said, "Doc, when you spend as much time on tankers (sic) as I have, you'll not only expect it but learn to love it. Plus, it's good for my skin." He turned and walked away leaving me shaking my head.
Mess decks coffee on my previous ships occasionally had various tastes, smells, and appearances but this coffee had an actual oil slick. I was later treated with an oily shower complete with a petroleum odor. I had no preventive medicine technician (8432) onboard like the AOEs had so I was the preventive medicine guy. After some digging around I was told by the water king, the BTCS, and again the master chief that life on an oiler included oily water, and, DFM was leaching into a water tank that we don't like to use but sometimes have to. It's OK they said. INSERV and COMLOGRU 2 know all about it so just relax and enjoy the ride. So I did. Relaxed and enjoyed my time aboard the Navy's First and Finest Fast Attack Oiler, the USS Savannah AOR-4.