Originally Posted by mcnerney
Yikees! Now that is an early get up, about the only time i'm up at that hour is when I have trouble sleeping.
Suspect it started in the late 50's when I worked (lets call it that) on Foss Tugs during the Summer school break. Back story to that was a neighbor was a Captain and his normal run was Puget Sound to as far north as Pt. Barrow (think that last part is right). Anyway, you're 15 (they lied about my age) and I was on the books as a 'Deck Hand.' Real life I was the Cook's Asst. Bridge Crew wanted fresh coffee/sandwich at Zero Dark Thirty it was my butt that got kicked out of a rack.
Soon learned to hit the deck running. Actually I'd have most of it set up before I went face down into a pillow .... I knew what was coming. Later in the CG watch assignments made People groan, 'The Fu$King Dog Watch again??!!' We'd swap and while they were chipping paint I was sound asleep.
Other thing was (then anyway, no idea now) I had exceptionally good 'Night Vision' and an instinct to see 'moving things.' Watch Officer's liked me in the Pilot House. Had a knack for memorizing land masses and spotting moving a light(s) across the 'ink.' I could pick up running lights 5'ish miles away, further if the damned things were appropriately sized (not often). As an example of that, all 'ships' have running light requirements (just running, another for towing, etc., etc.) But even today look at the tiny size they put on 'boats.'
Many of these things aren't much bigger than a silver dollar; HOW STUPID IS THAT?!