Thursday, June 25, 2015
I suppose you can dig
through the previous several years worth of posts and you will find that I fought the Russians once under the Confederate flag.
It was a real zoo in the Bering Sea where neither side was actually willing to fire the first shot.
A lot of people watch The Deadlist Catch on TV. While the fishery is still a rough way to make a living, I do believe they keep clear of certain areas.
There is an old saw that a sign that says 'Fine for fishing' means that the place is just that. It is a fine place to go fishing.
Having discreetly fished in a few places like that as a youngster I can confirm that this is generally true. I can also confirm that there is nothing faster than a 12 year old boy running from some old goat that is chasing him out of a good fishing hole.
There is also nothing sneakier that a 12 year old rturning to catch a few more fish. I do believe the services can learn camoflauge and concealment from such a kid.
That being said, we noted that there was some disputed water in the Bering Sea and it only made sense that the crabs we were chasing were hiding there.
On our government printed charts the water in question was listed as United States real estate. That ws good enough for us.
Now I was one of two Yankee boys on a crew of five. The other Yankee didn't count because he knew how to keep his mouth shut.
Of course, I simply reveled in the good natured chaos I created when I cooked breakfast by substituting grits for cold B&M baked beans. They would moan and wail terribly.
Of course when grits were served it ws my turn to moan and wail. Needless to say I took my turn moaning and bellyaching over grits.
One morning as I was seated next to the skipper I took a second helping of grits. I looked at the skipper. "I hate grits!" I said.
"So why are you eatin' em?" he asked.
"I'm just making sure I get my fair share," I answered, indignantly.
He had a pretty good sense of humor. He laughed like hell and then winced as I added maple syrup to my grits. Then I ate them. Truth is I like grits for breakfast but I would never admit that to those guys.
It just gave us something good natured to fight about.
So anyway, we're fishing in disputed waters and up pops some sort of Russian gun boat. We hove to and sat there dead in the water as they approached.
When they were alongside we quickly put out fendering and quickly threw a line up and caught the Russian gunboat's anchor.
We were now literally under the guns. They couldn't lower them enough to bring them to bear on us.
Everyone scrambled for their hunting rifles and one of the southern boys looked at the skipper. "Let me run up the Southern Cross," he said. "They'll have one hell of a time figuring that one out."
"Good thinkin," said the skipper. "Do it!"
So up went the Southern Cross.
"Too bad you ain't got one a them Dukes of Hazzard air horns that plays 'Dixie'," I shouted up to the skipper. He grinned and shook his head.
"We'll get one next trip," he said.
There appeared to be confusion in the Russian wheel house as they were trying to figure out what the flag was. This was long before computers and I would imagine they had to break out some sort of list of flags to determine our nationality.
Meanwhile the skipper was on the sideband calling the Coast Guard who passed word on to the Air Force who scrambled a squadron of fighters.
A standoff developed as there were a couple Russian Marines or something on board that wanted to board us. As they were making up their minds what to do one of the guys gave a rebel yell to add to the confusion. I won't get into details but a Russian wound up in the freezing waters and they had a hell of a time fishing him out.
I have already posted the details of the stand-off earlier. It was a case where nobody wanted to fire the first shot. Truth be known a couple of grenades would have cleared our deck but we stood fast anyway.
Eventually the Russians figured out the Air Force was coming and decided to leave.
That's how I came to fight under the Southern Cross.
Truth is, if that dopey flag produces such scrappy Americans that's fine by me. South Carolina can keep it up or take it down as they see fit.
I just hope the south keeps producing guys like that scrappy bunch I stared down the Russians with back in the early 80s.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY