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the navy years

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JOE FEDER

In 1970, I joined  "L Ecole des Mousses" a French Navy seamanship school of high profile.  The program of the institution was academic as well as maritime and military.
We where taught  boat and ship handling,  docking small craft as well as warships and commercial vessels.
Other fields of training were Electrics, Mechanics, Engineering Hydraulics , Hydrodynamics, as well as Aerodynamics.
A strict military discipline was observed and every occasion was  used to instill "Esprit de corps" and team work in the young students 

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A PLATOON OF PUPILS

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At the firefighting training center Brest Naval Base

Fire fighting and CPR were also on the program

On "L enjoue" I was assigned to the Bridge, the nerve center of the ship. My duties included the management of all communications and signals concerning the ship at sea.  When in harbour,  I was responsible for  maintenance of sailing documents, correction of charts, and general day to day routine, like passage planning.

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MY SHIP FOR THREE YEARS
 

ASSIGNED TO A SHIP

After graduation and 6 months of specialization and certification, I chose my assignment. Ranked 2nd of a class of 32, I chose a small coastal submarine hunter. The cruising and hunting waters of these ships where varied and the small size allowed  us to go up African rivers and small Mediterranean fishing harbours.

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Docked somewhere in Africa

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the Crew

After three years on the Ship I was reasigned as Marine operator, to Djibouti, there I handled voice trafic and ship to shore comunications for the red sea and Indian ocean

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Radio station Djibouti
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One day in 1975 a mayday call was received at 02AM , an Ethiopian freighter with cattle on board bound for Djeddah was listing and taking on water.  I was the operator receiving the call. A french navy frigate in the vicinity was dispatched, and was due on location mid morning.  In the meantime, the pilots of the Atlantic SAR plane  stationed in Djibouti where woken up , briefed and readied.  The plane took off at daybreak.  32 lives were saved, no fatalities.  Ship and cattle sank however, for the sharks that day, steak on the menu.

MERCHANT SHIP IN DJIBOUTI HARBOUR
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