The Story of My Life so Far - Part 76 - Becoming the Commanding Officer of the Cybèle

in story •  last year  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France



The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 75


Becoming the Commanding Officer of the Cybèle

In April or May 1985, after the end of my posting on the Jean de Vienne, I was given the command of a minehunter, the "Cybèle", for the duration of one year. That will be the most interesting post of my naval career.


cybele14703.jpg
Minehunter "Cybèle"
source

A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines.
Wikipedia

The Cybèle was one of the five minehunters of the Circé class, that were all in Brest.

As I knew next to nothing about mine warfare, I was sent to one week classroom course to learn about it. It seems strange that somebody that knows nothing about the job of a ship is given command of the ship. However, there is a saying in the French Navy: "L'officier de marine sait tout" (the Navy officer knows everything). It is mostly said to make fun of those that pretends to know everything, or at least have an opinion about every subject.
I turned out that very quickly I learned the job and I was able to lead my crew very easily.

Before becoming the commanding officer of the Cybèle, I spent a week with my predecessor to learn a little the practice of mine warfare and to get a sense of the ship and of the crew.

During a short training on a simulated mine, I was shown the scope of the sonar and I was told that the mine had been found.

  • Do you see it, sir?

I must say that what I was seeing on the sonar scope looked to me like snow. However, three weeks later, I was able to see the mines like all the others.

There were several things that I did not like in the way my predecessor was commanding the ship, and I promised myself to not make the same mistakes.

So, 1985 was an important year for me: I became the CO of a ship, and I welcomed two of my children.

Continue to Part 77


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Summary
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74 - Part 75



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Family man and great responsibility I think you are up for the task.
Keep on steemin'

What an amazing experience that must have been. I can imagine in one ways it would be terrifying to have the great responsibility but at the same time there would be so much pride. Looking forward to learning about any events that might have taken place at sea.

Lovely Story @vcelier

it's like a beautiful post and fascinating novel.