Page 2 THE BLUE ! BONNET
A weekly publication of the ship's company
of the U. S. S. Houston, Captain G. N. Barker,
U. S. N., Commanding and Commander C. A.
Bailey, U. S. N., Executive Officer.
Editor: Lieut. ( jg) E. A. McDonald
Assistant Editor: Ensign J. P. M. Johnston
Cartoonist: W. C. Ridge
Circulation: M. A. Pipp, Seale
Printers: R. L. Beckwith. Seale
E. Essy Sea2c
The erection of the Lea- sowe Lighthouse
on sandy Wirral Shore, England,
presented what appeared to be
an unsurmountable difficulty because
of the instability of the sandy shore
and the lack of a suitable foundation
for the masonry tower. The difficulty
was solved in a very strange manner.
An incoming American ship, laden
with cotton, had gone ashore and was
wrecked nearby. The cotton bales
were salvaged and dumped into the
sand at the point where the lighthouse
was to be erected. The fleecy mass
settled into the sand and became as
solid as the hardest rock. On this
curious foundation was erected the
lighthouse which has endured for one
hundred and seventy- five years.
With the return of our printer,
Beckwith, who was so unfortunate as
to be knocked down by an automobile
in Long Beach during the Holiday
season, the Blue Bonnet returns to
its regular printed form. The ship's
paper will come out weekly, as origally
The Houston finds itself in the rare
position of embarking upon many interesting
cruises which are highly
historical as well as interesting. On
these cruises different ports are visited
and likewise many interesting incidents
develop. The Blue Bonnet is
not intended to be the organ of the
few. On the contrary it should be the
spokesman and messenger of all the
officers and crew aboard the Houston.
The editorial staff ( very few in
numbers) solicit your contributions
and ideas. If they are good ideas we
shall be glad to use them. This does
not apply only to the crew. Write- ups
and suggestons from officers are also
desired. If you think you have something
good do not hesitate in bringing
it to the atte. n. t. i. o. n. of the editor.
Boxing and Wrestling
( Continued from Page 1.)
- - ~.._--
blood and fighting spirit by accepting
what some believe is a bad break.
The Blue Bonnet, in the interests of
the entire ship's company wishes to
extend to them a hearty handclasp
and " good luck".
But all was not to be calm sailing.
Little did we all realize the dangers
and mishaps that were in store for
us. The first near calamity struck
without any premonition of coming
evil. It struck from a clear sky. It
happened on the second day out.
Peculiar black clouds were reported
by the lookouts on the morning of
this eventful day. The cloud formation
was mystifying although much study
with reference books brought out the
fact that sometimes huge anvil shaped
clouds, dark in appearance, are the
forerunners of a major electrical disturbance.
The stacks were carefully
checked for undue amount of smoking.
The last resort, that the firerooms
were blowing tubes and thus causing
the clouds, was finally discarded. The
ship was distinctly in for it.
With a rush like the flurry of bats
black fog enveloped the ship. It was
impossible to distinguish one's hand
before his face. The steersman was
frantic trying to keep the vessel on
a steady course. Wild waves and wind
made steering well nigh impossible,
and what was worse yet was the fact
that the compass' face was blotted
out by the fog. However, one enterprising
electrician, with the help of
a few hardy volunteers succeeded in
rigging a large searchlight to help
illuminate the steering compass. This
proved a lifesaver as the steersman
could, by straining his eyes, see the
compass. Steering watches were relieved
every ten minutes, lookouts
were done away with. Most of the
others stuck to their assignments like
true sons of the sea. They would
fight to the end.
Suddenly stark fear gripped the
ship when a terrifying scream from
No. 2 messing compartment rent the
air. Insane laughter followed. Some
messcook had cracked under the terrific
( to be continued)
Don't fail to read the next episode.
Will the elements bring disaster to
Slaughter Among the Icebergs
( Continued from Page 1.)
during the coming voyage. Spying a
dozen barrels on the dock, he elected
to load them into his boat and return
the car- go to the ship. When a barrel
was experimentally opened on board
a rousing cheer went up from all
stations - for there nestling . snugly
in their vinegar brine were thousands
of well proportioned pickles, a quick
cure for any sea harrassed stomach.
Soon all boiler safeties were popping
off like a steam caliope at a home
town carnival and it was high time to
take our last landfall for many days.
A very touching scene now occurred
which was amazing for its ingenuity.
While the anchor chain rattled up the
hawse pipes a large yacht crept up to
the Houston to lay broadside. It was
loaded with the sweathearts, wives,
and families of all the officers and
crew of the ship. A band from somewhere
struck up " I didn't raise my
boy to be a sailor", the ones we were
leaving behind waved their handkerchiefs
in a fond gesture of farewell,
and the officers and crew alike wept
openly. Never before had such a heart
rending departure been taken. But
duty was duty and although many
aboard turned to their details with
leaden hearts the ship slowly gathered
speed and soon land and family faded
in the distance.
When minutes meant lives, speed
of course was of tremendous importance.
Acceleration tables were tossed
overboard when the chief engineer
said, " to Hell with the score, there'll
be no nursing of the engines." Nevertheless
he opportunely kept an eye on
the turbines and computed hourly
scores. Ire was overjoyed by the results.
" At this rate," he said, " we'll
win the engineering competition in a
As soon as it was deemed feasible
by the Navigator the course was set
at 000 0 True. Cognizance was taken
of the fact that the ship had to be
well to seaward of Coastwise steamer
lanes and any islands as the large
bow waves thrown up by the searing
speed would have wreaked havoc with
shipping or any Coastal community.
Any ship would have floundered in
the hugh swells. As it was the sensitive
seismograph at the California
Institute of Technology recorded an
earthquake disturbance somewhere in
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