‘Coming Together To Watch Something Bigger Than Themselves,’ Frank Cable Experiences Solar Eclipse

by Seaman Heather C. Wamsley
USS Frank Cable (AS 40)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sailors, Military Sealift Command civilian mariners and Vigor Industrial employees aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), witnessed the Great American Eclipse while in dry-dock, Aug. 21, in Portland, Ore.

Frank Cable, normally forward-deployed to the island of Guam, is undergoing a scheduled dry-dock phase maintenance availability in Portland, putting her just outside the path of totality for the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years.

The total eclipse - with the sun being completely blocked out by passage of the moon – was visible in Oregon and continued across North America to South Carolina.

For most of the Sailors on the ship, it was their first time experiencing a total solar eclipse.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Engineman 2nd Class Joseph North. “It was interesting to look at my shadow. It just looked so different.”

Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Thomas Oakley shared similar sentiments.

“I’ve seen partial eclipses before, but I’ve always wanted to see a total eclipse,” he said. “This is the closest I’ve come to seeing one, and it was pretty amazing.”

As the moon eclipsed the sun and darkness fell over the ship, lights on the ships and throughout the shipyard began to turn on.

“I was surprised when all the lights turned on,” added Oakley. “I thought they were all on a timer until they all started turning on during the eclipse.”

For many people onboard Frank Cable and in the shipyard, it was a chance to take time out of their day to witness the rare event.

“I looked up, and on all the decks were Navy Sailors and Vigor employees all looking up at the sky with their glasses and welding helmets watching the eclipse,” said Robert Randleman, a Vigor Industrial journeyman boilermaker. “It was good to see everybody coming together to watch something bigger than themselves.”

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more information on Frank Cable, find us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or http://www.csp.navy.mil/frankcable.

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