”Man is it chilly this morning, especially for the Philippines, ” thinks Sonar Technician Apprentice Renzo Mackenna Jr., standing on PERMIT’s rounded deck, as part of the line-handling detail. He hates this part of his job, the ”(blank) details,” but he got ”volunteered” by his duty LPO -every sailor has to learn the duties of docking and departure to qualify- so said the LPO. It seemed like bull(blank), but he was still a ”non-qual puke” till he gets his coveted dolphins. ”But was quitting Penn State, just after one semester, worth this? I wanted excitement, didn’t I? Hell, what does that matter now, I'm two years in to my six.”
They were soon underway as the two tugs oriented PERMIT into the channel, and she picked up a five knot clip passing away from the submarine warf. There was a Sturgeon class and two 688s tied up, and ”-could it be...yes it is her!” Renzo Jr., had seen her profile too many times not to recognize the her.
”Well, well, the USS SEADRAGON SSN-584,” Renzo’s mind starts to wander, even when he should be focusing on this duty, ”even as old as she is now, she must still be doing her fabbled shadow ops. What else would explain her presence all the way out here, when her Skate class sisters were finally retiring. Maybe she was getting one last ’horah’.”
Renzo wasn’t sure, but he could not take his eyes off her. How many times, as a little boy, holding is mother’s hand pair-side, had he watch his father conn her out to sea? So even now, all he can do is watch her intently as PERMIT slides away from Subic Bay Naval Base.
”The the legendary SEADRAGON - my father CO’ed her to legend. Legendary for what well...that’s classified they say, but ’trust us she's a legend.’” Renzo continues to think, ”yeah thanks Dad, you left me a lot to live up too...She’s got to readying for a black op -the old girl- its the only thing that makes sense. But then where are we headed in such as hurry? Scuttlebutt has the Persian Gulf.”