Saturday, December 14, 2013

Daily Analog Photos - Pacific Ocean Cruise

In 1970 I was on an ocean cruise aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. It had many of the amenities that luxury liners have, hot food, a place to sleep and ports of call.

At the first opportunity I purchased this wonderful Nikon Nikkormat at the Navy Exchange and said goodbye to the Praktica SLR that I had bought in the late 1960s
This camera accompanied me during my Navy days, from the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, across the US well into the 1980s when I retired it for a more "modern" Nikon SLR

It was built like a tank, it had a mercury battery for the light meter (which is no longer available) but since it is entirely mechanical, it could operate without the battery. This camera was used by many of the photojournalists during the Vietnam War. It was as good as the Nikon but without removable prism

Almost all the photos that I have been posting for my Daily Analog Photo theme were taken with this camera

A much skinnier version of myself  on the flight deck of the "Bonnie Dick"

Just recently I learned from a Wikipedia entry that we docked in Da Nang harbour to demonstrate the alleged pacification of the region. I'm reasonably sure that this was taken on that day. I remember that they fired a missile into the water to keep small boats from getting too close. They never told us where we were and there was no GPS to help.
My locker
It is obvious what mattered to me
Top Shelf - undeveloped film and some microphones (which were eventually stolen
Next Shelf  - canisters of exposed film, a few Navy Whites (badly folded and my Sony Cassette recorder
Next Shelf - boxes of slides to be sent home (and being featured on this blog) also paperbacks to read while waiting in the chow line
Bottom Shelf - Headphones to listen to tunes, a telephoto lens and the camera (which does not appear in this shot)

Rack 64
A restful sleep, this deck was right below the flight deck
The steam driven catapult traveled directly above our  heads which shook and made a hell of a noise
I don't remember a full night of sleep
We would our work clothes under the "mattress" to "iron" them
At least they had the decency to place a partition between the bunks so we wouldn't be breathing in each others face

The bunks were stack three high. I was glad I had the top bunk, since you would step on the others to climb up
My bunk was right in front of a black and white television that would show flight operations

For entertainment they would show episodes of Mission Impossible and Star Trek (I think) along with some tame movies (which I think were edited). Every so often the Captain would tell us to behave ourselves in Port.

Why show this link?
Jim Morrison's dad George Stephen Morrison commanded the Bon Homme Richard in 1963