Update: This is my most viewed post by several thousand, so let me add some clarifying detail since I assume you are reading this because you just got orders here (lucky!). So here’s a better heads up: the traffic in the morning can be really frustrating; cops sit around waiting to pull people over too, since they know you’re running late. They generally don’t like the Navy guys here; don’t get drunk and drive. The food is great: try Sharkbites (in St. Mary’s), which was my favorite place to go. It’s a bar and they have crab cake burger and lobster mac and cheese. Intense. Aunt B’s has the best buffet style country cooking anywhere that I’ve found in the South. You gotta try it. There’s a tiny bar on you way into St. Mary’s that gets a lot of skanky girls and drunk military dudes, but it’s a good time in general. You’re also really close to two cool beaches — the first is Fernandina beach, which is right across the Florida Georgia line. The second is on Cumberland island, which you can take a ferry from St. Mary’s (military has a free state park pass), and then hike through a little forest, abandoned mansion ruins with wild horses, and end up on a pristine white-sand beach with hardly a soul in sight. If you want a bigger city experience, you can head to Jacksonville, Florida, which is just under an hour to get to. There’s plenty to do and see, especially in terms of night life. But, if you have a family, or just like animals, their zoo is one of the best I’ve seen anywhere.
The Original Post: Well, I’ve been at Kings Bay for a few weeks and everything has been going well. As I was told, Kings Bay is exceptionally laid back and much easier on my heart and soul than NNPTC was. Although I miss the city of Charleston, Kings Bay is, overall, a much better dynamic. It’s hard to say where to start because literally every aspect of this place is better than where I was.
The galley, for one, is delicious. No longer am I trying to find excuses to avoid the galley, but rather I like eating there. That’s kind of strange to say when you think about Navy galleys, but this one just does it right. It’s even pirate themed. And the fish is actually good. My mind is blown! The rooms are excellent, and we get a “Petty Officer suite” to ourselves. No roommate and we can have alcohol in the rooms and even have guests over. For once my mattress is comfortable to sleep on.
The main difference is that the people here are laid back and won’t get in your face over the tiniest thing. As long as you do your job, you’ll be okay. No one is getting masted right and left, and I actually feel like I’m halfway in the Navy, even though I’m working at the TTF, the Trident Training Facility (the nuclear missiles that will start and end WWIII on a whim). The schedule is okay (no longer having 18 hour days…) and I work as the supply Petty Officer with a retired Chief. Which means I just mess around on the computer and track packages and supply numbers. Not so bad at all!
Otherwise, I’ve hit the beach with Carissa once and been to downtown St Mary’s (the town close by). There’s still a lot to do so I’ll make sure to do it. I still haven’t been to Jacksonville, and it’s only a short drive from here. What I have been doing is hitting the gym — hard. Hoping to get fit like I was pre-Navy, but we’ll see. I’m definitely drinking more beer than usual here, but it’s hard not to when everyone is going out nearly every night.
I guess, most importantly, I’m happy for the first time since I’ve been in the Navy. Being here is not torture and waking up and enjoying my job is amazing. When you want to go to work, it’s a magical thing. Sadly, now I never want to leave this beautiful place!