“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”
--Joe Buff, author of Crush Depth and Thunder in the Deep

"DiMercurio really knows his subs...his characters step right off the sub deck and onto his pages."
--Larry Bond

"A Master Rivaling Tom Clancy."
--Publishers Weekly

--San Francisco Examiner

--Associated Press

"Superb storytelling."
--Virginia-Pilot/Ledger Star

Lt. Demo on Liberty

[IMAGE] We frequently visited Groton, Connecticut to have procedures done at the repair facility. I tended to visit the Del Mar Café, a local pool hall outside Sub Base Groton where the action was particularly intense. If we were in Groton a week, I could be found at Del Mar's every night I wasn't on duty. Jamie Hulett, one of my electronics technicians, did this caricature, deftly catching the nose, and the antics, such as the ones of this Fort Lauderdale sea story:

There I was, test depth, all ahead flank, when suddenly - we pulled into Fort Lauderdale the night before a one-day dependent's cruise. The next morning I was to have double duty - starting the reactor as engineering officer of the watch at 3 a.m. (zero three hundred for Navy personnel) then laying to the bridge to drive the ship out to unrestricted waters as the officer of the deck at 0800. That evening we went to the Pink Pussycat, where there was a stripper beauty contest. Somehow I got selected as a judge, the spotlight on me while I weaved back and forth as if at sea from the endless beers the wardroom guys were buying. I was at a booth playing 'kissyface' with a naked African American stripper with a large chest who called herself 'Cha Cha.' At the end of the evening a fight broke out in the parking lot as Cha Cha tried to take me to her car while the officers of Hammerhead's wardroom tried to pull me into their van. She shouted at the navigator, 'I just want to take him home and love him!' They shouted back, 'he's driving us out of port in…one hour.' After an hour of sleep, I was awakened, and staggered aft with my khaki uniform on to start the reactor. At 0330 the rods were latched, at 0600 we brought steam into the engineroom and at 0630 the reactor was in a normal full power lineup, ready to divorce from shorepower and get underway with the dependents (families and wives of the sailors and officers). I went to officer's call at 0700 in the wardroom, the meeting where the second-in-command, the executive officer, calls the junior officers to task and whips them into shape to get their work done. He walked in, looked at me, and broke into laughter, sending me to the bathroom - the head - to look in the mirror. There on my face was a lipstick smear so big it looked like I was wearing clown makeup! I walked back to the wardroom to the roars of the other officers, and the punchline - the enlisted 'nukes' back aft in the engineroom had let me work on the reactor for over three hours without saying a word! But it wasn't over. The men kept calling 'I just want to take him home and love him' and 'Cha Cha.' And it still wasn't over. With my fresh scrubbed face, I climbed the tunnel ladder to the bridge, the cockpit at the top of the conning tower, to drive Hammerhead to sea, now that the families and wives were embarked. While I was getting ready to take the ship out, the executive officer's voice rang throughout the ship on the 1MC P.A. system, the booming announcement saying,"THERE IS ONE DEPENDENT ABOARD WHOSE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS NEEDED IN THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER'S STATEROOM. DEPENDENT'S NAME IS FIRST NAME - CHA. LAST NAME - CHA." Howling calls of 'Cha Cha' could be heard from the bridge trunk, 25 feet above the deck of the control room.

Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey



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