On one trip to St. Matthew we stopped at the Pribilof Islands, the largest fur sanctuary in the world. Each spring over 3 million fur seals would come there. It was an interesting experience to observe these seals.
On 24 June 1944 our captain, Lt. James Tighe, docked our ship overnight at the salmon cannery dock at King Cove. He arranged for use of their small town hall to show movies and put on a dance for our crew and villagers. Music was to be furnished by a record player with speakers. The village girls treated us politely, but were very quiet and did not show much emotion. During the dance, Sonorman 3rd class Chuck Andrews, decided that he would impress us and the villagers with a exhibition of his jitterbug dancing skills. When a tune with a somewhat fast tempo started he went into action with his feet, hips, and arms. To complete his dance movement he caught his poor village girl partner by surprise and gave her a spin to the time of the music. Frightened, she abruptly ran for the side lines leaving poor Chuck alone and maybe a little embarrassed. It was back to the slower dancing. These girls did not go for jitterbugging,
Just before we left Seattle we obtained a washing machine, which was installed in the forward hold. Before that we had to wash our clothes by hand using a bucket and scrub brush. Crew members would take turns using washing machine. In our group, 8 of us shared duties by having 2 men wash clothes once a week. It took about 4½ hours.
25 July 1944. We played ball with a team on the base at Dutch Harbor. We lost 24-4. This was not one of our skills. Later in this book I mention playing a team at Ulithi whereby we lost with a similar score.
Continuous foggy weather in the Aleutians could be depressing. One evening 3 men decided they wanted to feel happy. They proceeded to the paint locker with a can of orange juice and made highballs mixing orange juice and raw paint alcohol. Their happiness was short lived. They became dreadfully sick. Luckily, with no bad after effects, they recovered with help from our plump, jovial 1st class Pharmacist Mate, Floyd Pritchard. Floyd also made extra money by making himself the ships barber. He claimed the lower after compartment as his private domain for sick bay, barber shop and sleeping quarters. Some wooden Net Tenders had Engine Crew sleeping quarters in this area, with a small space in forward crews quarters for sick bay.
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