Part 12 – Our little clan continues to make progress on their trek towards the pacific. As we learned in the last story, our boys are traveling without the aid of the towed array. In this adventure they traverse the Panama Canal. I was fortunate enough to be the lead handler for line #2 in those days. It was cool to see such a great work of engineering. The awe of engineering was pretty quickly overshadowed by the fact that along either side of the boat were riverboat gunships, we thought we’d been transported to a Vietnam era war movie. We were told that there had been “sniper activity” in the area…but not to worry about it. Yeah, right.
When we last left our story, the towed array had taken wing under mysterious circumstances (commie bastards) and is now on the lamb.
Let us continue to the next leg our heroes must conquer. Looming out of the darkness of an active omni display, THE PANAMA CANAL. We are soon securely within the embracing arms of the first lock. With the jungle closing in, visions of the apocalypse now come creeping to mind. Vets reminisce, younger guys revel. Slowly, but surely we make our way along, 15 & 17 pinging their songs.
Shock of all shocks, they (they know who they are) secure the sonar watches, all but one in the shack and one on the 17. The shock was not from being secured, but because the great, all-knowing one agreed.
After enjoying a brief sojourn & meal topside we all return below and steel ourselves for the rest of the trip.
13:13Z we arrive in the PAC, with a great sigh of relief, most of us hit the rack.