The following is an excerpt from my first self published book, The Outside Observer, available as a Kindle Single on Amazon. The Outside Observer is a recorded history of life at sea and the slow decline to insanity. The Outside Observer chronicles the antics and stupid mistakes that arise from the mundane routine of life at sea. The Outside Observer follows the crew inside the Combat Information Center during the USS Momsen’s initial deployment to Southeast Asia in support of Expanded Maritime Interdiction Operations in 2006.
Over the years sailors have kept records of the shortcomings and errors of their crew. These records have come to be known as rock logs and are usually kept in the open for everyone to share. The Outside Observer was such a rock log maintained by OI Division within the Combat Information Center, onboard the USS Momsen DDG-92, during her maiden deployment in support of expanded maritime interception operations throughout Southeast Asia from April to October of 2006.
The Outside Observer was kept in the open and available for anyone within CIC who had knowledge of it to both read and contribute. Many of the entries do not cite specific authors and are often made up of multiple recordings. An effort has been made to preserve these differences through either italicized or bold texts. Because the majority of contributors were unable to be determined it is impossible to give them credit for their entry. Much of what made the Outside Observer last throughout the deployment was the undeniable boost of morale it provided for the watch-standers in the CIC.
My own short lived naval career ended within weeks of the deployment and the last entry within the Outside Observer. In the following years since my departure I have had many request for copies of the book. I attempted to scan photocopies or create a .pdf of the book, but the binding crease on the pages as well as the wear and tear from passing through so many readers made these attempts futile. I have edited the entries as little as possible throughout the book in order to preserve the original postings. I have limited my editing to spelling and severe grammatical errors. You will also find footnotes throughout this edition of the Outside Observer that were made five years after the book was first written in an attempt to explain some of the seemingly absurd things sailors take for granted as part of their life aboard a ship at sea.
I have redacted the full names of the subjects leaving only their last name and title. Titles and positions change over the years and sometimes even last names. It was in no way my intention to embarrass anyone who appeared in the Outside Observer or further my own self-deprecation. Nothing has appeared in this book that the subjects themselves have not already seen. It should be noted that none of the stories contained within should be taken as absolute fact. Often the insignificant events that made the Outside Observer had done so because they were taken out of context, part of an ongoing inside joke, or completely unsubstantiated.
For more information about The Outside Observer check out the facebook page: The Outside Observer.