Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 38

Castro arrives in New York on September 18, 1960

Castro arrives in New York on September 18, 1960

Castro arrives in New York: Fidel Castro arrives in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. Castro's visit stirred indignation and admiration from various sectors of American society, and was climaxed by his speech to the >United Nations. on September 26.

By the time Castro arrived in New York City in September 1960, relations between the United States and Cuba were rapidly deteriorating. Since taking power in January 1959, Castro had infuriated the American government with his policies of nationalizing U.S. companies and investments in Cuba. Some American officials, such as Vice President Richard Nixon, believed that Castro was leaning perilously toward communism. (Castro did not publicly proclaim his adherence to communism until late-1961, when he declared that he was a “Marxist - Leninism”.)

In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to begin training Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro's regime. When the United States suspended the import of Cuban sugar in 1960, Castro's government turned to the Soviet Union for economic assistance. The Russians were happy to oblige.

In September 1960, Castro led a delegation to New York City to address the United Nations General Assembly. He and his entourage caused an immediate sensation by deciding to stay at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem. While there, Castro met with a number of African-American leaders, including Malcolm X from the Nation of Islam and the poet Langston Hughes.

On September 26, Castro delivered a blistering attack on what he termed American “aggression” and “Imperialism”. For over four hours, Castro lambasted U.S. policy toward Cuba and other nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The United States, he declared, had “decreed the destruction” of his revolutionary government.

Castro's visit and lengthy public denunciation marked the final breaking point in relations between the U.S. and Cuba. In January 1961, the Eisenhower administration severed all diplomatic relations with Cuba. In April 1961, just a short time after taking office, President John F. Kennedy ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the Cuban exile force, armed and trained by the CIA, landed in Cuba. The attack was a fiasco.

Castro's power in Cuba was solidified by his Bay of Pigs victory over the American “imperialists”. Castro remained the undisputed leader of the communist government in Cuba for over four decades; meanwhile, relations between the United States and Cuba remained strained. In late July 2006, an unwell Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his younger brother Raul. Fidel Castro officially stepped down in February 2008. History Channel / Wikipedia / PBS

Wikipedia  Photo: Cuban Missile Crisis: Fidel Castro and Nikita Khruschev; President John F. Kennedy; U-2 reconnaissance plane; U2 Image of Cuban Missile Crisis; Missile silo.

There are three types of sea mark: Beacon, Buoy and Cairn

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Sea Mark” A sea mark, also seamark and navigation mark, is a form of aid to navigation and pilotage aid which identifies the approximate position of a maritime channel, hazard and administrative area to allow boats, ships and seaplanes to navigate safely.

There are three types of sea mark:

Beacon - fixed to the seabed.

Buoy - consisting of a floating object that is usually anchored to a specific location on the bottom of the sea or to a submerged object.

Cairn - built on a submerged rock/object, especially in calmer waters.

Sea marks are used to indicate channels, dangerous rocks or shoals, mooring positions, areas of speed limits, traffic separation schemes, submerged shipwrecks, and for a variety of other navigational purposes. Some are only intended to be visible in daylight (day marks), others have some combination of lights, reflectors, bells, horns, whistles and radar reflectors to make them usable at night and in conditions of reduced visibility.

Marks are shown on nautical charts, using symbols that indicate their color, shape and light characteristic, and are usually identified by name or number.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”

~ Baltasar Gracian

“What I Have Learned”

Experience is a good school, but you never get a vacation.

~ Anonymous

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)

Police dashcam captures North Carolina man dragging stolen safe behind car

Police: Man drags stolen safe behind car, arrested after passing officer

SWANSBORO, N.C. - A North Carolina man is accused of stealing a safe from a drug store and dragging it from behind a car.

WCTI-TV reported that the suspect passed a police officer and was caught on police dash cam.

Ryan James Mullins, 22, of Swansboro, was dragging the safe when he was caught Tuesday after an early-morning break-in at the business.

The suspect was charged with safecracking, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, trafficking of opium or heroin and several traffic violations.

Police responding to an alarm found the suspect driving down a road towing the safe.

The safe was about 8 feet tall and about 2 feet deep and was used to hold medications, according to Public Safety Chief Bob Ritchie.

Investigators said the suspect may have been trying to get drugs that were inside the safe. WCTI-TV video

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How did the drink Gatorade become associated with football?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How did the drink Gatorade become associated with football?

In 1963, Dr. Robert Cade was studying the effects of heat exhaustion on football players at the University of Florida.

After analyzing the body liquids lost during sweating, Cade quickly came up with a formula for a drink to replace them.

Within two years, Gatorade was a $50 million business. The doctor named his new health drink after the football team he used in his study, the Florida Gators.

Image: Robert Cade (Nephrology.Medicine.UFL.edu) / September 26, 1927 - November 27, 2007 (aged 80) (Photobucket / GodisGator-Nation)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth:” Once when a child was christened it was traditional for the godparents to give a silver spoon as a gift (if they could afford it!).

However a child born in a rich family did not have to wait. He or she had it all from the start. They were “born with a silver spoon in their mouth”. Phrases.org.UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

POG: (Person other than a Grunt): A term often used by Marine Infantry (Grunts) to refer to anyone who is not them. Specifically anyone in an Admin Field.

Pogey Bait: candy, sweets, ice cream, etc., so called because such items are used as “bribes” for POGs

Whether leave: Departing the command for an extended period whether or not official permission has been requested and/or granted. Or, whether or not the sailor has leave on the books. Example: “I'm taking leave whether the skipper lets me or not.” (See “UA” and “AOL”)

Whidbey Whale: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) variant of a dependent spouse who married her USN member/high school sweetheart husband when they were both skinny, but later, she became orca fat, ballooning to gigantic proportions, while he remained a skinny little guy. These unfortunately mismatched couples can usually be seen on weekends in and around the commissary and Navy Exchange (NEX).

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for you MARINE

Chesty: Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, legendary former enlisted Marine (see Mustang) who commanded Marines during the Korean War. Many Drill Instructors require their recruits to recite, “Good night General Puller, wherever you are”. Upon retiring at night. Also a favorite name for a bulldog who is the mascot of a Marine unit.

Chevron: A basic element of the enlisted rank structure. Until the late 19th Century chevrons were worn in the European tradition with the point facing down - except in the Marine Corps where they have always pointed up. Now the normal position for a chevron in the United States military is with the point up.

Chicken Shit: Stupid and petty stuff usually directed by someone of more rank or authority.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

JROC - Joint Requirements Oversight Council

KM/DS - Knowledge Management/Decision Support

KPP - Key Performance Parameters

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-70 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70: “Spartans” NAS Jacksonville, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The word “Galaxy” comes from the Greek word for “milk”

Milky Way

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has actually had that name for a long time. Geoffrey Chaucer first named it “Milky Way” in the 14th Century.

Still, centuries before that, our galaxy was called “kyklos galaktikos” ( “milky circle”) back in Ancient Greece. The stars in space were thought to be similar in appearance to milk.

Other massive groups of stars started being referred to by the generic word “galaxy” based on the name of our own galaxy. As it turns out, the name “Milky Way” (the Greek version, at least) predates the word for “Galaxy” and all other galaxies are technically being named after our galaxy, the “Milky Way”. OMG Facts


Starting pitcher Johnny Vander Meer (Cincinnati Reds) throws back–to–back no-hitters, meaning they came in two consecutive starts, something not accomplished before or since

Sports 1937 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: The New York Yankees defeat the New York Giants 4 games to 1

NFL Champions: Washington Redskins defeat the Chicago Bears 28–21 in Chicago

● Major professional basketball returns with the formation of the National Basketball League

Stanley Cup Champs: Detroit Red Wings defeat the New York Rangers 3 games to 0

U.S. Open Golf: Ralph Guldahl

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Donald Budge / Anita Lizana

Wimbledon (Men/Women) (Men/Ladies): Donald Budge / Dorothy Round

NCAA Football Champions: Pittsburgh Panthers

Kentucky Derby: War Admiral becomes the 4th horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown

Image: WAR ADMIRAL: THE LITTLE HORSE WHO COULD — AND DID! War Admiral gallops home to win the Belmont Stakes and the American Triple Crown (The Vault Horse Racing) video



● Because of a football's resemblance to an olive, albeit a very large one, the Chinese often call the American game of football “olive ball”.

● Piercing nipples with rings and the like is not a new punk fad. It was popular among ladies in the late 1800s.

● The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Answer to Last Week's Test

In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare health insurance program into law. After the ceremony who was the first person to enroll in the program and received the first Medicare card?

Answer: Harry S. Truman. He was the first president to propose national health insurance but was opposed by Congress in 1945.

Joke of the Day

A man is stumbling through the bush totally drunk and then he comes upon a Bishop baptizing people in the river. The drunk walks into the water and subsequently bumps into the Bishop. The Bishop turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of booze. Whereupon he asks the drunk, “Are you ready to find Jesus?”

“Yes I am' replies the drunk, so the Bishop grabs him and deeps him in the river. He pulls him up and asks the drunk, Brother have you found Jesus?

The drunk replies, “No, I haven't.” The Bishop, shocked with the answer, deeps him into the water again, but for a bit longer this time. He pulls him out of the water and asks again, “No, I haven't.”Have you found Jesus, my brother?

The drunk again answers, “No, I have not found Jesus.”.

By this time the Bishop is worried and so he deeps the drunk in the water again, but this time he holds him down for about 30 seconds.

When the drunk begins kicking his arms and legs struggling for breath, the Bishop pulls him up. The Bishop asks the drunk again, “For the love of God, have you found Jesus?”

The drunk wipes his eyes and catches his breath and says to the Bishop -

“Are you sure this is where JESUS fell in?”