Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 15

John Paul Jones (“Father of the United States Navy”) sets out to raid British ships on April 10th, 1778 (Engraving based on the painting Action Between the Serapis and Bonhomme Richard by Richard Paton, published 1780)

John Paul Jones (“Father of the United States Navy”) sets out to raid British ships on April 10th, 1778

On April 10, 1778, Commander John Paul Jones and his crew of 140 men aboard the USS Ranger set sail from the naval port at Brest, France, and head toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.

Commander Jones, remembered as one of the most daring and successful naval commanders of the American Revolution, was born in Scotland, on July 6, 1747. He became an apprentice to a merchant at 13 and soon went to sea, traveling first to the West Indies and then to North America as a young man. In Virginia at the onset of the American Revolution, Jones sided with the Patriots and received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775.

After departing from Brest, Jones successfully executed raids on two forts in England s Whitehaven Harbor, despite a disgruntled crew more interested in "gain than honor." Jones then continued to his home territory of Kirkcudbright Bay, Scotland, where he intended to abduct the earl of Selkirk and then exchange him for American sailors held captive by Britain. Although he did not find the earl at home, Jones crew was able to steal all his silver, including his wife s teapot, still containing her breakfast tea. From Scotland, Jones sailed across the Irish Sea to Carrickfergus, where the Ranger captured the HMS Drake after delivering fatal wounds to the British ship’s captain and lieutenant.

In September 1779, Jones fought one of the fiercest battles in naval history when he led the USS Bonhomme Richard frigate, named for Benjamin Franklin, in an engagement with the 50-gun British warship HMS Serapis. After the Bonhomme Richard was struck, it began taking on water and caught fire. When the British captain of the Serapis ordered Jones to surrender, he famously replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!" A few hours later, the captain and crew of the Serapis admitted defeat and Jones took command of the British ship.

One of the greatest naval commanders in history, Jones is remembered as a "Father of the American Navy," along with fellow Revolutionary War hero Commodore John Barry.

John Paul Jones is buried in a crypt at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, where a Marine honor guard stands at attention in his honor whenever the crypt is open to the public.History Channel video

Wikipedia  Image: John Paul Jones is famous in the United States as the “Father of the American Navy”. He was born in poverty and through his skills became a distinguished naval officer fighting for both the USA and Russia. / Engraving based on the painting Action Between the Serapis and Bonhomme Richard by Richard Paton, published 1780.

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Danger Close

(DOD) In close air support, artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support fires, it is the term included in the method of engagement segment of a call for fire which indicates that friendly forces are within close proximity of the target. The close proximity distance is determined by the weapon and munition fired. See also final protective fire.

The Old Salt’s Corner

A Day's run is the distance traveled by a vessel in one day, normally measured from noon to noon.

This was the traditional measure used in the days of packet and clipper ships and varied in the actual time dependent on whether the vessel was sailing east or west.

The records certified by the WSSRC since 1994 are based on a 24 hour distance measure irrespective of longitude.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Have you ever wondered why just one letter makes all the difference between here and there?

“Thought for the Day

“Thought for the Day”

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer

“What I Have Learned”

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. (If you lose what you have learned not to do, you will be doomed to repeat it. More importantly, however, do fear failure. Failure is the precursor to success. Hardly any great thing that you wish to accomplish will come without failure.)” ~Dalai Lama Instructions for Life

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

The ecology-conscious city of San Francisco (having recently encouraged routine composting of dinner leftovers) is now considering environment-friendly public urinals such as the “PPlanter” created by engineer Brent Bucknum. Users urinate into a ceramic basin and flush the waste with run-off hand-washing water into a bed of bamboo plants. Bucknum claims minimal maintenance and an odor-free experience, but on the other hand, only a user's midsection area is blocked from public view - a concession necessitated by San Francisco's sour experience with lockable public toilets, which shielded sex acts and crime. (A less-elaborate structure - the open-air, similarly privacy-challenging “pPod” - is currently being readied for deployment in the city's Dolores Park.KTVU (Oakland)

Robert Andrews (Politico / Associated Press)

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Which member of Congress has been the least successful during his career?

U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews announced his retirement in February, after 23 years of representing his New Jersey district, and in “tribute”, the Washington Post suggested he might be the least successful lawmaker, in that he had sponsored a total of 646 pieces of legislation--more than any of his contemporaries--but that not a single one passed.

In fact, Andrews has not accomplished even the easiest of all bill-sponsoring--to name a post office or a courthouse.

Wikipedia  Image: Robert Andrews (Politico / Associated Press)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Kick the Bucket”

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Kick the Bucket”

Back in the day, when a cow was killed at a slaughterhouse, a bucket was placed under it while it was positioned on a pulley.

Sometimes the animal’s legs would kick during the adjustment of the rope and it would literally kick the bucket before being killed.Wikipedia

Wikipedia  To kick the bucket is an English idiom that is defined as “to die” in the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785). It is considered an euphemistic, informal, or slang term. Its origin remains unclear, though there have been several theories.

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Breakaway music: Music played over the 1MC at the conclusion of an underway replenishment evolution, used to motivate the crew, but regularly fails.

Crab: affectionate slang term for the warefare insignia/ badge worn by special operations personnel qualified in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (BOMB SQUAD).

Lucky Bag: Collected unclaimed personal items, or such things confiscated as gear adrift, which were auctioned to the crew on paydays.

Rain Locker: Shower

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

Bouncing Betty: A U.S. anti-personnel mine that pops into the air to waist level before exploding.

Box of Grid Squares: One of the endless groups of nonexistent items that new members of a unit would be sent looking for. This one was used mainly in artillery.

Boots, rubber, ugly: (WWII) The rubber “Mickey Mouse boots” issued for cold weather.

Boxsee: Vietnamese word for doctor. Marines called their corpsmen by this name.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

UCMJ - Uniform Code of Military Justice

UDT - Underwater Demolition Team

UNREP - Underway replenishmen

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-31 - Training Squadron 31: “Wise Owls” NAS Corpus Christi, TX

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird - Washington Crossing the Delaware (Emanuel Leutze, 1851)

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

During America’s war for independence, the country that contributed the most soldiers to fight with the British against Washington was America itself! By 1779, there were more Americans fighting alongside the British than with the colonists.

Washington had about thirty-five hundred troops, but because one-third of the American population opposed the revolution, up to eight thousand loyalists either moved to Canada or joined the British Army.


1990 Stanley Cup Champions - Edmonton Oilers

Sports 1990 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: Cincinnati Reds sweep the Oakland A's

Superbowl XXIV Champions: San Francisco 49ers win 55-10 over the Denver Broncos

NBA Champions: Detroit Pistons

Stanley Cup Champs: Edmonton Oilers

U.S. Open Golf: Hale Irwin

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Stefan Edberg / Gabriela Sabatini

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Pete Sampras / Martina Navratilova

NCAA Football Champions: Colorado are named the AP Poll champions

Georgia Tech are named the UPI Poll champions.

NCAA Basketball Champions: UNLV

Kentucky Derby: Unbridled

World Cup (Soccer): West Germany

Image: Edmonton Oilers - Stanley Cup champions of 1990 (Edmonton Journal)

Famous Quotes 1990: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up

Famous Quotes 1990 Youtube / Wikipedia

● “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”

~ Mrs. Fletcher in a Lifecall commercial

● “I do not like broccoli. I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m the President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

~ George H.W. Bush

Image: I've fallen and I can't get up! in 1990. Lifecall



● “Gone With the Wind” is the only Civil War epic ever filmed without a single battle scene

● The first word spoken by an ape in the movie “Planet of the Apes” was “Smile”

● Pablo Picasso's career lasted seventy-eight years, from 1895 until his death in 1973. He made more than 13,000 paintings over the years and over 100,000 prints, engravings and designs. He also did over 300 sculptures and ceramics. Picasso used his mother's maiden name. His father's last name was Ruiz.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

What rock group had a song that reached #7 on the charts in 1976 which was pretty amazing considering the band had broken up 6 years earlier?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know EverythingWikipedia

Answer to Last Week's Test

What rock group had an album go to the top of Billboard’s Top LP List in 1973 and remained on the list at various positions continuously for 741 weeks until 1988?

Answer: Pink Floyd's “The Dark Side of the Moon”. With an estimated 50 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd's most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has twice been remastered and re-released, and has been covered in its entirety by several other acts. It spawned two singles, “Money” and “Time”. In addition to its commercial success, “The Dark Side of the Moon” is one of Pink Floyd's most popular albums among fans and critics, and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time.Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

A little old lady was walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her. One of the bags was ripped and every once in a while a 20 dollar bill fell out onto the path.

Noticing this, a policeman stopped her, and said, “Ma'am, there are 20 dollar bills falling out of that bag.” “Oh, really? Darn it!” said the little old lady. “I'd better go back and see if I can find them. Thanks for telling me, officer.”

“Well, now, not so fast”, said the cop. ”Where did you get all that money? You didn't steal it, did you?”

“Oh, no”, said the old lady. “You see, my back yard is right next to a golf course. A lot of golfers come and pee through a knot hole in my fence, right into my flower garden. It used to really tick me off. Kills the flowers, you know. Then I thought, I would make the best of it? So, now, I stand behind the fence by the knot hole, real quiet, with my hedge clippers. Every time a guy sticks his thing through my fence, I surprise him, grab hold of it and say, 'O.K., buddy! Give me 20, or off it comes.'"

“Well, that seems only fair”, said the cop, laughing. “OK. Good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?”

“Not everybody pays.”