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All Are Welcome On Our Signal Bridge.

Was it the smell of fresh salty ocean air, better at 60 feet above sea level that brought just about every shipmate to the signal bridge sooner or later?

The cooks were a regular and often brought us fresh baked rolls after they served mid-rats and not just one or two, a whole tray. So were the Boatswains and Gunners, Radiomen , Radarmen, ETís, Sonarmen, MMís, BTís, EMís. All officers were regulars.

We had fresh coffee brewing before every watch was changed. I remember at the beginning of a mid-watch plugging in the pot and waiting patiently for the light to come on so we could have a cup black no sugar and pouring out only hot water in my cup. Wapstra you moron how do you ever expect to make SMSN if you canít remember to put grounds in the basket. Go below and get more fresh water.

Negotiating the flat straight up and down ladder from the signal bridge to the wing deck could be tricky using only one arm and a couple of fingers on the hand holding the pot. Through the pilothouse, open the door leading to the small passageway next to the Captainís sea cabin; down the ladder to another deck housing the Quartermasters plot room and radio central. Down another ladder to the main deck passageway passing the galley. Galleys closed. Down the watertight hatch leading to the mess deck. Through the mess deck to the forward head. At last fresh water. Looking down the hatch next to the forward head, I can see my bunk next to the ladder right center. Looks inviting but Iím on a mission. It was tougher going back up with a full pot of water but somehow I managed without spilling a drop.

The Captain asked me once why our coffee always tasted so good. We filter it through toilet paper sir. He just smiled and took another big sip.

Yes everyone comes to the signal bridge. Itís not just the air. We were all shipmates. Come on up and have a cup, the beautiful clear sky the millions of stars. Breathe and relax - tell a sea story. Yes have another cup friend.