Yesterday was a "Steel Beach" picnic, where we haul grills and food and the
PA system up to the flight deck for a cookout/picnic. Generally, I hate
such events. Yesterday the CPOs hosted the picnic, which means that we
moved the grills and the food and the 100 cases of soda and the trash bins
and the ice and everything else.
Sodas got iced down in an engine case--one of the large steel containers
that replacenent aircraft engines are shipped and stored inside. It splits
into two halves, and they held a whole lot of soda.
The Supply guys made ice in the most innovative way I've ever seen. They
washed out the bags that milk comes in (five gallon bags inside a box to go
inside the milk cases, with a long tube sticking out the bottom for the milk
to come out.) and refilled them with water, which they then froze. Was
rather neat to see my fellow chiefs up there dropping 5 gallon ice cubes
onto the flight deck to break them up.
And those sodas were cold--cold enough to make my hands ache when we scooped
through the bottom to bring the cold ones to the surface and push the warm
ones to the bottom.
Trash went into large tri-wall containers, sorted into paper, plastic, and
cans. No plastic goes over the side.
The breakdown/cleanup got interesting, too. What do you do with three large
grills full of hot coals when they're sitting on an aircraft elevator?
Break out the firehose and put out the fire, of course.
In between set-up and the actual picnic starting, I sat on the edge of the
deck and watched some of the guys toss a football around--right up until one
of the master chiefs fumbled it and it went over the side. That's always
the challenge when folks play ball at sea. Basketball stays in the hangar
bay, though, so we don't lose as many of those.
Now I'm sunburned and bruised and achy from passing 100 cases of soda up to
the fellow standing half-way up the ladder. But it's all good.