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Taken from The Gorgon, Summer, 2001

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Trouble in Bora Bora

It was the middle of February, 1944 and the USS Euryale was at Bora Bora in the Society Islands for a five-day stopover before heading on to Brisbane, Australia

There wasn't a lot to do besides bartering with the natives for shell necklaces and such. Navy rules being what they were, crewmembers could have a limited number of cans of beer that had to be consumed ashore.

Nondas Spesser, Lonnie Goings and John Lonergan carried their bargaining a bit beyond necklaces. Lonnie recalls that they enticed some natives into sharing that wonderful stuff the natives were drinking.

When it came time to return to the ship, the whaleboats were doing their best to shuttle everybody back, but it was a slow process. Nondas and Lonnie and John had a better idea. There at the shoreline were two unattended outrigger canoes.

So Nondas and Lonnie and John jumped into one of them and began paddling.

Everyone knows that an outrigger is built to withstand fairly heavy surf, and the water off Bora Bora is about as Pacific as you can get. How anyone could manage it, no one knows, but Nondas and Lonnie and John capsized that outrigger. There they were, hanging on to the overturned craft for dear life, waiting a very long time until a whaleboat was made available to rescue them

When Nondas and Lonnie and John climbed aboard Euryale and stood there soaking wet, attempting some semblance of a military salute, the Officer of the Deck, Lonnie recalls, was so doubled over with laughter that he waved the three of them past and forgot about the incident.

Lonnie doesn't say so, but we are willing to bet that Nondas knew what to do next: Head for the showers.

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