This is our third day at sea, but since it is also our last, I can be my own censor and drop this letter in the B.O.Q mail box as usual.
Our ship is a baby flattop and we’re aboard to qualify in landing our rather large planes (50 ft. span) in that rather small space that is the deck. Actually we’re all through and are headed back for the Golden Gate, etc. It was quite a thrill when I went up yesterday, especially as the ship was pitching considerably. The landing signal officer allows for that, to be sure, but he can’t make the landing after the “cut” (throttle back signal), the last he gives. I got by all right like most of the others (a few had minor mishaps resulting from bad landings), but didn’t exactly distinguish myself. When one gets a little more used to these things, they should be fun. They differ from ordinary landings in that one has to have one’s plane at just the right altitude, attitude, and air speed (as slow as is safe), as well as lined up just so before getting a “cut”, anything too radical resulting in a “wave off” (“go around again and try another approach” signal).
I’ve been delighted with the cozy and compact quarters and expect better aboard a big carrier. Being a lieutenant will help. I should have one roommate but doubtless not one of my own choosing (probably a lt. with same date of rank). Aboard this job the food has been good as well as enjoyed, though now that the ship is no longer merely pitching now that it is no longer heading directly into the wind and isn’t headed directly downwind (now actually on a “broad reach”), I don’t feel so well and will shortly head for the fresh air of the fo’c’s’le (sp.?, surely no longer “forecastle”) and enjoy the rolling and pitching there. What I hope for most are more seabirds. Black footed albatrosses (only 7′ wingspread) have been all around and I’ve seen shearwaters (petrel family), phalaropes, various auks including the amazing tufted puffin, etc. We should be in before dark.
The last day off was nice—bicycle ride with Joan Gray and then with her later to the Ice Follies (same as in the winter in the East), on Mrs. Gray. Joan is pleasant company—quite pretty with auburn (?) hair, though somewhat broad in the beam, and quite interesting. I’m needing air, no more space anyway.