Thank God it’s Wednesday!

5 Sep

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert R. Sanchez, USS
Boxer Public Affairs.
SAN DIEGO- It’s an early Wednesday morning, and a Sailor wipes a drip of
sweat from his forehead, as he finishes up maintenance on the amphibious
assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). His standard issued hard hat helps
protect him from anything that might fall on his head, but it’s not
helping with the heat of the San Diego summer. He works diligently
ensuring that he still has time to go clean the spaces he is responsible
for before he hears every Sailor’s favorite words: liberty call.
The words sound even better when called four and a half hours earlier
than normal.
Capt. Wayne Brown, Boxer’s commanding officer, has made a deal with his
crew. If the crew is caught up on all work, maintenance, and keeps the
ship’s cleanliness up to standards, then on Wednesday he will allow the
crew to enjoy a half day to take care of personal business.
Brown brings an old Navy tradition, originally known as Rope Yarn
Sunday, to Boxer.
“Rope Yarn is a tradition that the Navy has where the commanding officer
can give time off,” said Senior Chief Navy Counselor Mark Rush, from
Louisville, Ky. “It started during the times when Navy ships used sails.
The Sailors would break out rope yarn to mend their clothes and
hammocks.”
Sailors would get the yarn they had to make ropes while underway. Short
on resources, they used it as thread to mend clothes and hammocks, added
Rush.
The tradition was a break from usual chores at sea, and was nicknamed
“Rope Yarn Sunday.” After sailing ships were no longer used by the Navy,
Rope Yarn Wednesday became free afternoons Sailors would use to attend
to personal errands.
“I didn’t even know what Rope Yarn was until the Captain announced it,”
said Operations Specialist Seaman Dino Rodriguez, from Fresno, Calif. “I
was glad to find out we were getting off work early because it meant
more time to get everything done so I’ll have more free time on the
weekends to play with my son and help out my wife.”
Boxer Sailors must continue to work hard and keep up expectations in
order to continue to enjoy this privilege.
“I would advise the crew to make sure their work is done and spaces are
clean,” said Rush. “The ship’s cleanliness is a big thing. If the
commanding officer knows that our ship is clean and squared away, it
will be more likely that we can continue to enjoy Rope Yarn.”

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