There were two Russian ships next to us, and a whole fleet of fishing boats from Japan, Taiwan, Madagascar, etc, and ships from Holland, England, and all over.
Rick Toms (Jersey), Vernon Ricker (Virginia), D.W., and myself hired a hack and went shopping and riding around the countryside. We crossed a bridge and saw all the women doing their laundry by beating it on the rocks in the river. I thought the only place you saw that was in books, but here I was seeing it for real.
It really wasn‘t nothing to Mauritius, and I was glad to leave. The last day I had duty and the night before Toms, Soler, and I left some packages in a hack so Toms and I put in a special to go ashore and look for them.
We found the hack and got the packages, then went to the Market and bought some watermelons and oranges, then back to the ship. D.W. and myself were the only ones who had duty that day so we finished up #6 and had it running by midnight.
While we were in Mauritius the deck apes were suppose to paint the ship to get it ready for Port X, our classified project, but instead, some honchoricans were hired to do the job for $140.00.
We left the morning of the 28th, but didn‘t know where we were headed for. That afternoon at quarters the Captain told us we were going to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Zanzibar, an island of Tanzania. We were being sent by the State Department as good-will ambassadors of the U.S. because our relations with Tanzania were a little shaky. We were to be the first U.S. naval ship to go there in six years.
28 March to 1 April 1969 Mauritius to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
We were running on all six mains on the way. I didn‘t know why, but we were. On the way, all hands held field day everyday to get the ship looking good.
The weather was beautiful and the seas calm, and B-3 was running 130 degrees. B-1 and B-2 were about 100 degrees.
We got ahead of schedule, so B-2 and B-3 were taken off, and we trolled along on B-1. We started a
1,500-hour check on #4 Ship‘s Service Generator.
We arrived in Dar es Salaam the morning of the 1st
. It was a quaint looking town, and its harbor is
suppose to be one of the prettiest in the world, but I didn‘t think so. I thought Mauritius had the prettiest I‘d ever seen.
We were constantly being warned about the anti-Americanism that would be ashore and for us to look out and avoid trouble. The only basis I could see for this was that the Chicoms (Chinese Communists) built the people a 15-million dollar textile factory.
We went ashore and discovered the people to be very friendly. We all went around souvenir shopping and bargaining. They really had some nice wood carvings and such.