Back in the 1970s, after the Vietnam War was finished, the Navy regarded shore duty as a sort of paid vacation. The idea was something along the lines of since sailors spent a lot of time away from home when they were on sea duty, when they were on shore duty, they should work regular hours. It was highly frowned upon to require sailors on shore duty to work outside of normal hours. It took damn near an act of Congress (or a C/M-4 CASREP) in order to get the shore establishment to work overtime.
"20 Knot Tommy" was the skipper of a tin can that was homeported in Charleston, SC. He got that nickname because his preferred speed during sea and anchor detail was 20 knots. The Charleston Naval Station was several miles up the Cooper River. A lot of recreational boaters could be found in the Cooper River. The Coast Guard asked the Navy to limit the speed of its ships when they were transiting the Cooper River. That cut no ice with 20 Knot Tommy. The Coast Guard would complain to the Navy, the commander of the naval base would send a letter to 20 Knot Tommy, who would ignore the letter.
This is no shit: 20 Knot Tommy and his ship were returning to port after a series of exercises. From the time the last exercise ended, a normal transit would bring 20 Knot Tommy and his ship to the Cooper River sea buoy at 0530 on Saturday.
The ship sent the normal logistics requirement message to NAVSTA Charleston, which said that the ship would require two tugs, linehandlers and the usual services early on Saturday morning. NAVSTA Charleston replied that the ship was to remain at sea until no earlier than 0900 on Monday.
Tommy was not going to keep his ship and his crew at sea for two extra days to accommodate the shore establishment. At 0600 on Saturday, his ship was sitting in the Cooper River off the naval base. Tommy got on the radio, called the naval base and asked for the tugs. The duty officer told him to go back out to sea and come back on Monday.
20 Knot Tommy wasn't having any of that. So he anchored his tin can right in the middle of the Cooper River, just offshore of the Bachelor Officers' Quarters (BOQ). What Tommy knew was that a number of senior officers had left their families in the DC area and those officers lived in the senior officers' section of the BOQ. Those rooms faced the river.
Tommy's next move was to hold early reveille on those officers. He did that by having the ship's whistle sound long (and very loud) blasts at short intervals.
One of those senor officers was the commander of one of the two destroyer squadrons in Charleston. He was Tommy's boss. Within 15 minutes, the Commodore was on the radio and the conversation went something like this:
"Good morning, Thomas. You're back early, I see."
"Yessir. Request permission to enter port."
"Permission granted. The tugs will be out to you shortly."
And they were. Someone on the Bridge spotted the smoke from two tugs as the duty crews started the tugs' diesels. The tugs got underway, Tommy ordered the anchor raised, and his ship was brought alongside the pier. Other ships at the pier sent over linehandlers to help moor the ship and a crane was waiting to lift a brow.
20 Knot Tommy was the hero of the waterfront for the next week or so.
But I imagine that his career went nowhere. For you didn't buck Big Navy and survive.
 The sailors on ships used to say that their main mission was to support the shore establishment.
 By "tin can", I mean a warship other than a cruiser or a minesweeper.
 Also known as "bubbas with boats".
 Supposedly he said that sailing in and out at 20 knots effectively halved the time his crew had to stand at Sea and Anchor Detail and if that made the Coasties unhappy, fuck `em.
 Warships were limited to a transit speed of 16 knots, unless authorized to go faster.
 The "sea buoy" is the last buoy in a marked channel before the open sea.
Gene Cernan 1934-2017
4 hours ago