Commentaries, Reminiscences and Sea Stories
Gordon Foster

Around the World Aboard USNS Dutton
October 1986 to 1987
Posted on 11/12/2011

I spent 16 months on the Dutton. I picked it up in Rio De Janeiro in October of 1986. Rio was a fantastic place! We were in port with the Bowditch when it sank in the harbor. I was stuck in Rio harbor on tender go around in circles during the squall that hit the Bowditch that day. After Rio we hit Curacao for a paint job. That is the picture provided by Ed Alford after the paint job. I have a picture of the ship before the paint job as well. We also ran aground the night we pulled into Curacao but no significant damage!

After Curacao we pulled into Barbados where we picked up plenty of Cockspur rum. It was then onto New Orleans where the Bowditch was towed and we scavenged what we could in the way of gym equipment off the ship. We then took the Panama canal to San Diego and I believe Lt. Sampson has a videotape of the passage that was quite memorable.

After working the Pacific between California and Hawaii for two months we pulled into Pearl Harbor for a week (it was typically 28 days at sea and 7 days in port). We then found out that we were going back to the Atlantic and stopped in Guam which allowed for some nice diving. It was then a 3 day stop in Diego Garcia which surprisingly I enjoyed more than I thought I would. A wicked couple of days around the Cape of Good Hope where we were restricted from going out on deck due to the roughest seas I experienced during my time on the Dutton. We then pulled back into Bridgetown, Barbados to complete our circumnavigation of the world during 1987! After stopping in Barbados we went on to Jacksonville Florida where my tour and Navy career ended. My time on the Dutton was one of the best times of my life!

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