Most memorable maritime descriptive phrases?

Use this forum to discuss the November 2019 Book of the month, "Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath", by Randy Miller.
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Most memorable maritime descriptive phrases?

Post by AvidBibliophile »

While absorbing this maritime tale through Miller's inclusion of poignant and descriptive language, a few phrases stood out to me as especially unique, memorable, or of the uniquely "military mindset" variety...
There were still some incoming mortar rounds, so the Hawke broke away from the other ships, looking for a vector that wouldn't endanger their own ground forces. Several minutes later the destroyer found the angle she required and with deadly efficiency silenced the remaining pockets of resistance.
The air stank with sweat, spent gunpowder, fuses, and projectiles. It clung to the men like cheap perfume on a Filipina hooker.
Both of these excerpts appeared around page 58, but were there some others that caught your immediate attention too?

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Post by ciecheesemeister »

I enjoyed reading the descriptions when Zack first boarded the ship of its corridors and the small space the men have to sleep. I certainly wouldn't want to be confined to such myself!

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Post by jeminah28 »

I cannot forget why some young men joined the Navy because of the Naval theme during those times, 'Join The Navy And See The World.' Traveling to another place is somewhat cool.
"Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world."

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

ciecheesemeister wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 19:00
I enjoyed reading the descriptions when Zack first boarded the ship of its corridors and the small space the men have to sleep. I certainly wouldn't want to be confined to such myself!
Oh I know!! Can you imagine sleeping like sardines in a windowless room or being the “rat guard” guy that had to keep rodents from boarding the ship up the rope lines? Craziness for sure.

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jeminah28 wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 21:20
I cannot forget why some young men joined the Navy because of the Naval theme during those times, 'Join The Navy And See The World.' Traveling to another place is somewhat cool.
Most definitely! It seems like such an appealing offer in a sense, and those persuasive marketing campaigns have the same effect now as they did 100 years ago. Whether it’s Uncle Sam on a poster pointing into your soul while saying “I Want You” or the local recruiters promising “you’ll see the world AND get college paid for”... the multitude of benefits and trade-offs certainly have to be kept in balance. But to young, naive curiously ambitious men and women, the illusion will always offer great temptations! And possibly create more well-rounded people as a result.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

I also loved the poetic flow of this quote about how the villagers would find a way to profit from the free-loading rodents who'd come to feast upon their rice paddies...
It was an ideal situation: carbohydrates from rice, protein from rats, and pesos from sailors from the surplus of both.

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Post by jeminah28 »

AvidBibliophile wrote:
29 Nov 2019, 01:08
jeminah28 wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 21:20
I cannot forget why some young men joined the Navy because of the Naval theme during those times, 'Join The Navy And See The World.' Traveling to another place is somewhat cool.
Most definitely! It seems like such an appealing offer in a sense, and those persuasive marketing campaigns have the same effect now as they did 100 years ago. Whether it’s Uncle Sam on a poster pointing into your soul while saying “I Want You” or the local recruiters promising “you’ll see the world AND get college paid for”... the multitude of benefits and trade-offs certainly have to be kept in balance. But to young, naive curiously ambitious men and women, the illusion will always offer great temptations! And possibly create more well-rounded people as a result.
Recruiter's promise to the Naval apprentice are good. However, through this novel I am a bit sad because in exchange for the soldiers' lives, a little compensation for their health issues was not granted. They did best, but in reciprocal of the government, they were mistŗeated.
"Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world."

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Post by Patrick Nandi »

That's certainly a great piece because the greatest ambition for the naval seal is to serve and they will surely serve so with the persuasion making them feel both wanted, needed and loved.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Patrick Nandi wrote:
29 Nov 2019, 23:18
That's certainly a great piece because the greatest ambition for the naval seal is to serve and they will surely serve so with the persuasion making them feel both wanted, needed and loved.
At the end of the day, that's probably what we all want in life: love, loyalty, and a purpose

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Here's another impactfully-worded passage describing a scene of bodily carnage in the aftermath:
In his dream he saw their souls, gray-green ethereal wisps, rise skyward leaving their bodies as soon as they stopped their spasms. He saw the sampan slowly sink down beneath the waves, and watched the clear blue water cleanse and cover their mutilated bodies.
Miller captures a vision of hauntingly memorable macabre mutilation, and floats it in a diaphanous moment of suspended animation... There is something traumatically disturbing about watching a person expire, but I think the paired moment of eternal peace that inevitably follows is what most complicates that split-second emotion burned into our minds.

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Post by djr6090 »

AvidBibliophile wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 18:53
While absorbing this maritime tale through Miller's inclusion of poignant and descriptive language, a few phrases stood out to me as especially unique, memorable, or of the uniquely "military mindset" variety...
There were still some incoming mortar rounds, so the Hawke broke away from the other ships, looking for a vector that wouldn't endanger their own ground forces. Several minutes later the destroyer found the angle she required and with deadly efficiency silenced the remaining pockets of resistance.
The air stank with sweat, spent gunpowder, fuses, and projectiles. It clung to the men like cheap perfume on a Filipina hooker.
Both of these excerpts appeared around page 58, but were there some others that caught your immediate attention too?
I was put in mind of Micky Spillane's Mike Hammer when I read these two passages.

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

djr6090 wrote:
14 Dec 2019, 09:14
I was put in mind of Micky Spillane's Mike Hammer when I read these two passages.
Okay, so I admittedly had to look up your reference to Micky Spillane's Mike Hammer :eusa-think:
(I was born in 1984 so this particular mention was uncharted waters for me, haha)
but I can just imagine how a private eye battling crime in NYC might utter a few colorful phrases just the same! Thanks for introducing me to a new classic. Hope you enjoyed the book!

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Post by mensah2 »

There were lots of these jargon that caught my attention. The flight are referred to as birds.

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jeminah28 wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 21:20
I cannot forget why some young men joined the Navy because of the Naval theme during those times, 'Join The Navy And See The World.' Traveling to another place is somewhat cool.
I really marvel at the phrasing of that slogan. It captures so much interest from me and I can only imagine how it did for young men back in the day when air travel wasn't quite as widespread as it is in our times. It just feels a bit like cheating if I'm being honest. Poor men don't know what they're getting themselves into.

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Post by Kanda_theGreat »

The use of vivid description enhanced the author's message and drove the point home. Zack's first time in the ship is described in a way that made me create mental pictures of bars of soap arranged in a carton. The fact that the men didn't have enough space to sleep also laid more focus on the sole purpose of the voyage.
Bet on Me! :idea:

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