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12) Seventeen Knots

13) Jimmy Hobbs, and Cap'n Poole


12) Seventeen Knots
Back in the "good 'ol days" when the Military Sea Transportation Service -
MSTS ( now the Military Sealift Command - MSC ) serviced the U. S. Air Force
Bases in Thule, and Sondestrom, Greenland, and Goose Bay, Labrador, I was
plucked out of the Chief Mate pool to act as liaison between the U. S. A.
F., and the Navy, and Coast Guard.
My first year was in Sondestrom, Greenland...a beautiful place in the
summer, but this story takes place the following year, where I wore two
hats...covering Goose, and Sondestrom.
Goose being the larger of the two, I set up my office there, having three
Navy enlisted as communications types.
It was a great job, in a great place, and I hit it off with the Air Force
right off the bat...they giving me a brand new Air Force sedan while there.
My other vehiclle was an International Harvester Crew Cab - Navy, that we
shipped up every season on the first ship in. It had seen better days, but
"ran".
It so happened on the day that I was using the "truck", that the skippers
off three ships in the harbor asked to be chauffered up to the "PX" on the
base. The USCG Icebreaker - SouthWind was in port with two of our
freighters, and had been there several day already, me and the three
skippers well aquainted after many heave-arounds over time in the "O" club.
The drive from the port to the base was about fitteen miles if I remember
right, and a beautiful drive at that, through thick green forest, the air
pure as gold, and at this time of the year - April thru September - the
weather delightful.
We checked through the Main Gate, all four of us trying to out-do the other
with sea-stories, or who's wife was that you were dancin' with last night at
the club. I knew the two MSTS skippers for years, the USCG Captain for just
a few days, but seemed like forever...a great guy, in fact all of them
cheerful fellows.
After about a mile onto the base, an Air Police truck pulls us over, a young
Airman getting out, and approaching us, looking over the Navy truck, and
then asking why I didn't hear, nor see him behind us a mile or so back. We
all looked at each other, none of us having heard his siren, and me telling
the young fellow that the windows were up, and we were old friends chatting
up a storm. He bought that excuse, and then told me that we were going
three-miles over the twenty-mile-an-hour speed limit.
"Oh?' I says. "Well, you see here...',  pointing down the the lettering on
the side of the truck, "...what does it say?' I asked him.
"It says for Official Use Only, U.S. Navy.' he answers.
"Well, that means it belongs to the Navy, and as a Navy vehicle, all the
speedometers are calibrated in "Knots'. I guess I was doin' twenty-knots,
and that would just about be twenty-three-miles per hour. I should have been
doing seventeen, or so knots to be legal, but I wasn't thinking. I'm really
sorry about that.' I told him.
"Okay for now...but from now on,  keep it at seventeen knots, or less.' the
young airman advised, and let us go.
We couldn't stop laughin' over that, telling the Base Commander, and other
Air Force friends we made over subsequent nights at the club, until the
ships sailed days later.
I do believe to this day, that  that young fellow believes what I told him,
and his buddies too,  whom he no doubt told that day.
Carlos


13) Jimmy Hobbs, and Cap'n Poole
hobbs, and poole
If you ever sailed into Goose Bay, you had to meet the gent on the right - Captain Francis X. Poole - Canadian Harbour Master, and if you've sailed the Greenland Sea, or the Davis Straits, you had to cross wakes with Captain Jimmy Hobbs, Captain of the
Redbud...back in the fifties, and sixties, that is.
Opposites in every respect, Poole being the epitome of decorum, and service etiquette, and Hobbs every bit a pirate at heart.
A book could be written on these two, so I'll not attempt any stories, leaving the photo to revive memories for those who did know them. Both have crossed the bar, but live on in our memory.


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