Home Back to USS Truxtun Back to Stories Navigation, Story Page
[ Home ] [ Truxtun ] [ Stories ]

Zap!

Source: Personal experience (Sea Story)

Read this and other stories in the book, Noticing Nature, by Chuck Bonner. Also available in e-book format for Amazon Kindle.

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It! Save This Page
in del.ico.us

I was hanging out on the flight deck of USS Truxtun one Sunday afternoon off the eastern coast of Oahu. There wasn't much for us Reactor Operators to do but watch the island pass by. Unfortunately for the Fire Control Technicians, they had some work to do. I guess our recent war games had uncovered a problem, so they were busily testing the fire-control radars that controlled the Terrier/ASROC missile system.

Numerous and sundry seabirds were flying around us, from little terns to a large gull-like bird I had never seen before. I later looked them up and learned that they were red-tailed tropicbirds. I guess they expected us to do what fishing boats do: Throw a bunch of fish guts over the side every now and then. We didn't, but they kept on flying around the ship.

The tropicbirds especially would seem to grow bored, and suddenly head across the few miles back to Hawaii. Before long, they'd be back, lazily gliding around the after parts of the ship hoping for a handout.

Every now and then, the wanderings of a bird would bring it close to the buzzing fire-control radar antenna. I wondered how much power the system was putting out, and what effect it might have on a live bird.

Before too long, it happened. One of the tropicbirds passed just about ten feet in front of the radome and its concealed antenna. The bird suddenly stopped flapping and dropped like a rock, letting out a slow, groaning squawk.

It fell about twenty feet, nearly to the water, when it recovered its wings. Flapping slowly, it climbed back to about ten feet above the water and, obviously struggling, headed for the land.




Feedback Form (for rating and comments about this story)

You can be sure that I will not abuse the information you enter on this form. Check my Privacy Policy.

(Hmmm ... Used to be, you could click on my "I Don't Spam" seal to verify my reputation. I was one of the earliest subscribers to idontspam<dot>com. I still don't spam, never have, but idontspam<dot>com doesn't work for my site anymore, and they don't return my emails. In any case, you can trust me to safeguard any information you provide here and not to publish it or share it with anyone else.)

Rate this story:

<-I'd rather be at the dentist This is the most wonderful story ever!->

You may use my comments on the HikingWithChuck Web site.

Screen name:

Real name (Optional, for replies):

Reply requested. E-Mail (Optional, for replies):

   Enter the text at left  


StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It! Save This Page
in del.ico.us
Copyright © 2007, Charles J. Bonner, All Rights Reserved