Well, it appears that everything has worked out for the best. I will be visiting Rob later this month (can't say where on here, but email me if you're just dying to know!), and then I will be going on the mission to Morocco in November. It's especially good news that I'll be able to see him this month, as the port visit next month that I was originally planning on going to seems to have been cancelled. So this is probably my last chance to see him before he comes home! I'm leaving on Oct. 27 and returning on Nov. 3 from the trip to see Rob, then I'll leave again on November 7 for the mission to Morocco, returning on either the 17th or 18th.
As for Rob, it's more of the same: busy and sleep-deprived! The ship is back in the Persian Gulf after spending some time down off the coast of Africa. They had crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere about a week or two ago. That's always a big deal, as they have a tradition surrounding the event...it's probably best to just let Rob describe it in his own words! "It is a big nasty little tradition where all of us shellbacks (those that have crossed the equator on a navy ship) punish all the dirty pollywogs (those that have not crossed). It should be fun since this time I will be on the shellback side as opposed to the pollywog. " I never heard any details about their ceremony, but it usually involves a great deal of humiliation and embarrassment for the pollywogs!
Tomorrow will probably be rather interesting for Rob, as he has an off-ship meeting...on an Iraqi oil rig. That should break up the monotony of the last few weeks! I don't know what the meeting is about, but I know he's looking forward to it.