So we pulled into Diego Garcia one bright sunny day.
The night before, we were subjected to a ‘briefing.’ (and a pecker check–you don’t wanna know)
Briefly this briefing consisted of a shit-load of ‘don’ts’:
Don’t do this; don’t do that. “This is a working port, and don’t get excited about liberty here.”
We had been at-sea for (to us) longer than Odysseus, and we really did not wanna hear this shit but, being ‘good sailors’ and desperate to get ‘on the beach’, we just nodded.
The main thing was this: “You cannot, under any circumstance, go to the British side of this Island.”
No worries, I thought, (for at that time the only Brits I had known had come across as rather ‘stuffy’.
Our captor went further:
“This, as I did say, is a working port: Three day duty.”
Yep, fully two thirds of the Ship’s company had to be on-board at any given time. Not to mention, as this was a working port, we could not leave the ship until the Work Day was done: i.e., sixteen hundred hours.
Diego Garcia was beautiful! Right out of ‘South Pacific’ the movie. I was jazzed by all of it. I hit the beach! Went to explore the Naval Base there. Found it wanting (Not my idea of Hemingway). I then swerved onto the Merchant Marine obscure dock and here is where I found my home for the next thirty days.
It was untouched by modern anything.
There was a small bar/restaurant and A beach. Some serving wenches, and palm trees.
I settled in.