We were bouncing around the Atlantic along the coast near Charleston, SC. It was a bright sunny day and the minesweeping exercise that we were conducting was going well. At 23 years old, I had been appointed Chief Engineer of the USS Alacrity, a Navy minesweeper. I had little to do that day other than watch the deck hands deal with the wind, the currents and the equipment we used to detect and remotely detonate underwater mines.
The last major effort of the afternoon was to retrieve all the minesweeping equipment that trailed in our wake. And,