America and West Indies Station
1930 – 1932
Is it true that after a night out a certain rating cut off the tag ends of a piece of spun yarn, threw his knife into the sea,
retained the spun yarn scraps and then asked his messmates if they thought he was getting ‘wetter’ every day?
Whilst at Coco Solo we saw an American submarine coming in, with awnings spread forward and a motorcar on deck.
What secrets will the next war reveal?
Commenting on the British film, “Splinters in the Navy,” an English weekly paper says:
‘Those who prefer to see the Navy in its lighter moments must go to the New Victoria.’
We think this is quite unnecessary.
Who was the Petty Officer who discovered his Castilian was Greek to the Spanish Countess at Frisco when he tried to partner her in a Spanish Duet?
Who could solve the mystery of the empty wooden cover? Is the sail maker still laughing?
Call that an iceberg? I was in a ship once that tied up alongside one and it was so cold that the Captain landed the ship’s company for a route march.
Who walked up the spare gangway on the jetty at Rio and does he remember being told by the O.O.W.
to make certain in future that there was a ship at the other end?
Attractions at our Final Concert:
“True to the flag” - By the Signalmen’s Dramatic Co.
“Ohm sweet ohm” and “O’er the waves”- By the Wireless Warblers.
Why the Dauntless was not renamed ‘Wales’ as she is so full of leaks?
When will ‘Whoopee’ trousers be introduced in Bermuda?
Were the strong wines and rum of West Indies responsible for so many ratings passing their Standard Swimming Test?
What were the turtles doing when they sank?
Are the Police Stations at Costa Rica and Buenos Aires comfortable?
These are a few things we didn’t hear:
Music in the Cabarets of Ireland Island.
‘Hands to bathe’ in Culebra Cut.
‘Grippo’ refuse ‘Home Brew.’
I’m sorry I can’t because I’ve got a girl at home.
What a thin Regulating Staff!!
The drink ashore is good. Take plenty.
The Anchor’s weighed - By the Durban’s glee party.
Peso! Sol-o-mio, Dollar Princessio, O Lendusaquid!
The Dome Stick
The smart young Signalman of about eighteen summers saluted smartly as he tendered a signal copy to the Officer of the Watch,
who placed his telescope in the crook of his arm as he smoothed out the paper and read the signal ‘Please send boat for Dome Stick.’
‘Dome Stick - Dome-stick! Now what the deuce is a dome stick! - Side Boy!’
‘My compliments to the Commissioned Shipwright. I would like to speak to him - Quartermaster!’
‘Call away the motorboat - come alongside Port side’
‘Now I wonder what!! You sent for me, Sir?’
‘Ah yes, Mr. X, now about this thing; I’ve called the motorboat away - what hands do you require, if any?’
‘What thing, Sir?’
‘Not mine, Sir’
‘U-um! Er - thank you, - Side-boy’
‘I want to see the Supply Petty Officer - double!’
‘Motorboat alongside, Sir.’
‘Very good quartermaster. Tell the coxswain to remain alongside. Ah! Here’s the Supply Petty Officer. Now - about this dome-stick?’
‘This what, Sir?’
‘Ain’t got none, I mean never heard of it, Sir’
‘Oh, my sainted Aunt - Side-boy!!’
‘I want to speak to the Commissioned Gunner T, the Commissioned Gunner and the Director Gunner and hurry!!!
Now I wonder what the devil this thing is. Why should my young life be blighted by - ah, here come the knowing ones.
Which of you gentlemen is going to bring a ray of sunshine into my dreary life? Who wants a dome stick?’
‘A what Sir?’ (in chorus)
‘Not mine,’ said the Commissioned Gunner T.
‘Not mine,’ said the Commissioned Gunner.
‘Nothing to do with me, Sir,’ said the Director Gunner
‘You all deny any knowledge of the beastly thing?’
‘Ye Gods!! All right, thank you - Side-boy!!!!’
‘Take this signal to the Engineers Office and ask them if they know anything about it - fly!!
What’s the use of a dome stick anyway if nobody wants it?’
The O.O.W. paced the deck as he waited for an answer
‘Engineers Office don’t know anything about it, Sir.’
‘No of course not. Nobody knows - nobody cares. Now I wonder if it has anything to do with Echo-Sounding gear?
Take the signal to the Navigating Officer and the Torpedo Lieutenant - quickly!
I pray that the gods may smile upon our endeavors this time.’
Some more pacing takes place
‘The Navigating Officer doesn’t want to play, Sir, and the Torpedo Lieutenant has some perfectly good golf sticks.’
‘But I said dome-stick.’
‘I know Sir, so did I.’
‘All right - never mind. Now what the devil? Ah! It may be another fiendish contraption for taking mathematical measurements or
working out balloons. Take this – ‘valuable’ piece of paper to the Instructor Lieutenant-Commander and enquire if he is batting.
Heaven help sailors on a night like this and I hope that the rabbits in the possession of the maker of dome-sticks die - every one of them!’
‘The Instructor Lieutenant-Commander suggests it should be put down as an ‘X’ Sir.’
‘X? - X? Oh yes! Of course - the unknown quantity.’
‘Any orders for the motorboat, Sir?’
‘Not yet, quartermaster. Tell the coxswain to remain alongside till I have spoken to the Commander.’
The O.O.W. disappeared into the Commander’s cabin and a few minutes later emerged and strode onto the quarterdeck..
‘Side-boy! Tell the Master-at-arms I - ah! There he is. Master-at-arms!’
‘Detail ten hands, with a leading hand in charge, to man the 1st cutter in dress of the day - in ten minutes time.
They may carry their overalls with them. Quarter-master!’
‘Pipe fo’c’sle-men turn out - lower 1st cutter.’
Striding to the ship’s side he called to the coxswain to come inboard.
The coxswain of the motorboat mounted the accommodation ladder and saluted the O.O.W.
The O.O.W. issued his orders.
‘In ten minutes time a working party will man the cutter. You are to tow the cutter inshore.
Wait there till the working party has embarked a dome-stick - then you will tow the cutter back to the ship - understand?’
‘Yes, Sir,’ said the coxswain, trying to look very intelligent.
‘Bless you, my children,’ said the O.O.W., with satisfaction, as later he watched the 1st cutter with the working party in it crossing
the harbour in tow of the motorboat. As the motorboat neared shore she eased speed and the coxswain hailed the cutter.
‘Hullo,’ called the leading hand of the working party.
‘I’ll drop you under the crane in case the bloomin dome-stick’s heavy.’
“Under the crane?’
“Yes, then I’ll tie up alongside the landing steps and wait there until you’re ready.’
The cutter was slipped under the crane as the motorboat circled round and drew up alongside the steps.
Glancing up as the motorboat stopped, the coxswain saw a steward, with a basket on his arm, waiting on the landing stage.
‘Hullo!” what are you doing here this time of the day?’ queried the coxswain.
‘Doing here?’ said the steward in disgust, ‘I’ve been waiting for hours. Did they say anything onboard about sending that signal?’
‘Oh, so you sent a signal, did you?’ asked the coxswain suspiciously.
‘Yes. I got our signalman stationed at the Vice Consulate to send it.’
‘Oh! Did you? Right - jump in, big boy. It’s men such as you that make us coxswains what we are!
And it won’t hurt you much when the Officer of the Watch gets hold of you either - Bill-l-l.’
‘Hullo?’ Came the answering hail from the cutter
‘Belay everything - I’ve got it!’
The coxswain jerked his thumb in the direction of the steward.
‘D-O-M-E-S-T-I-C. DO-MES-TIC. Domestic - and there ain’t no ‘K’ on the end of it neither.
Get your painter ready, Bill! Thank heavens we never joined up forever. Shove off Forrad!’