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The face...terrible, terrible, terrible...in your face...counting the cadence - Stroke, Stroke, Stroke, followed by expletives if not satisfied. Bloody, bloody, bloody...painful...bloody oars, bloody thwarts...seamen pulling here...real seamen...Merchant Seamen...for ship, and country...oars bowed. "Don't you break that oar Cookie...stroke, stroke, stroke you sum bitches...aaargh...stroke, stroke, stroke...we're ahead now!"
Didn't matter which crew...which boat...we always won...always beat Husband's boat...terrible, terrible, terrible...had to be the face...aaaargh.

This coaching thing was a fun price to pay to get away from the Transports - P2s...which was a no brainer for anyone wanting to move up in rank. Homesteaders, who had been on these ships from the Army Days weren't about to give up a cushy job running liner service to Europe. In 1967, six years after this empisode, I got my first ship...command of the USNS Bald Eagle.

I must mention that rowing Lifeboats was nothing new to me...at the age of fifteen I enrolled in Metropolitan Vocational High School, where aboard their schoolship - John W. Brown, for three years lifeboat training was part of the Maritime curriculum.

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