National Geographic : 1925 Oct
COLLARIN' CAPE COD Official Photograph, U. S. Navy THE "FANTAIL" OF A DESTROYER This part of a destroyer's deck offers damp footing when a great Atlantic "comber" overtakes it. The deep-sea sounding machine, dimly seen through the spray, is the last feather in the fantail. water, I was caught by the sea which poured aft through a doorway to the forecastle, the water-tight door having been carelessly left open. It took all my strength to hold on, as the sea slid over the side, leaving me soaked, breathless, and decidedly more wobbly. "Phe-ew !" I gurgled, "I sure am goin' to turn in !" But sleep was not so easy, as I found after reaching my stateroom. Stripping off my drenched clothes, I rubbed vigor ously with a Turkish towel, attired myself in woolen pajamas, and crawled thought fully into my bunk. The same lifting of the ship under the heavy seas, with ele vator-speed descent into the following trough, caused the springs in the bunk to weave up and down in most irritating fashion. As the ship was lifted under a wave, it seemed as if I were being swung easily upward in a hammock; when she crashed down, the springs poised at a high peak momentarily, and then, with a sickening rush, hurtled down, stopping with a thud. It was most discouraging. I composed myself for sleep several times, but the ship's antics robbed me com pletely of all rest. Then, too, the air was becoming stuffy under battened hatches, despite the ventilation blower and electric fan in the room, which were drafty and unpleasantly cold. There were queer noises of creaking, unlatched doors banging and sliding ; even the rings on the curtain across my door jangled. And by no means were my di gestive organs tranquil, for the weaving of the springs was also weaving the sta bility of my dinner. During the course of my efforts at composure I damned the steward more than once for serving a din ner of greasy pork chops and creamed asparagus. 437 . *".