The 'Black Dog' Party

by Capt. Harry M. Yockey, (USN Ret.)

After the Sirago was vindicated of grounding, we went on to St. Thomas and some rousing celebration parties. We left St. Thomas and operated for about two and a half days on our overdue ORI when the DIVCOM decided we were fully ready and ordered us in to St. Croix a day and a half early.

When we arrived, the OOD was having a terrible time mooring. Once we had the lines over and there was no more navigating to do, I left the conning tower and went to the WR to finish my underway reports when the 1MC announced: "LT YOCKEY to the bridge!" When I got there the boat was not yet moored and the CO simply said,

"Harry, moor the ship."

By this time I had over four years in SIRAGO, so the boat and I had a good rapport. Also, the men in maneuvering were my guys so, in about five minutes, she was moored.

Also anchored in the little harbor was an 80-foot sailing vessel from St. Thomas called, 'Black Dog'. They had a cocktail flag flying and invited some of us to come aboard. Several rounds later we all went to supper somewhere on St. Croix. Then, at midnight, we upped anchor and sailed the 'Black Dog' back to St. Thomas.

I do remember a beautiful star-lit Caribbean night and a brandy bottle rolling around on deck each time we had to tack the boat. Fortunately, we arrived safely and cleaned up in the Grambuco hotel in Charlotte Amalie before flying back to St. Croix, where we enjoyed golfing, among other things.