Another Great Day at Sea by Geoff Dyer

Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush
Geoff Dyer

Vintage Books

Buy This Book



“. . . a great read for fans of naval vessels and Navy life.”

Geoff Dyer, who grew up enjoying WW II movies and building model planes, jumped at the chance of being the Writer-in-Residence aboard an aircraft carrier on active duty in the Arabian Gulf. For the short time he lived on the USS George H.W. Bush, he was the oldest crew member (with the possible exception of the ship’s dentist) and the sole skinny Englishman with incredibly picky eating and sleeping habits among a floating island of young and buff American Navy personnel. His “duck out of water floating in the middle of the ocean” observations bring both smiles and head-scratching moments in Another Great Day at Sea.

The upbeat title of this memoir/travelogue comes from the daily morale boosting announcements made by the ship’s captain. Dyer feels at home almost immediately in this climate of close-knit camaraderie and hard work, but he can’t quite see himself sharing a bunk with others, and so he wheedles his way into obtaining private quarters. Still, he has to share the “head” (bathroom) with fellow crew members, and worse of all, eat the free food the US Navy provides that doesn’t quite live up to his standards. But the friendliness of his shipmates, and their willingness to open up and share of themselves during their busy fourteen-plus hour days, more than makes up for the constant roar of aircraft landings and the smell of jet fuel on the flight deck, along with the submarine-like, head-hitting living conditions below.

In spite of his hang-ups, Dyer sincerely admires the men and women who are willing to risk their lives to defend freedom in a hostile part of the world, even when he can’t comprehend their motivations for doing so. Another Great Day at Sea makes for a great read for fans of naval vessels and Navy life.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews