A fan of Aircraft Carriers on Facebook posed the question: “Do sailors have free time to themselves while under way?” Not so much.
All of the sailors I talked to on board USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) said they have 12-hour shifts, but they often end up working more like 14-16 hours a day. The hours not on duty are spent sleeping, eating and taking care of personal business, such as dropping off laundry and sending e-mails to loved ones. That’s not to say it’s all work all the time. In the foc’sle (short for forecastle), the forward-most part of the ship, our group happened across a few sailors rehearsing a song for a diversity celebration they were putting on that weekend.
Here’s a photo from the event, from the U.S. Navy:
Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Edwin C. Flores mans a booth showcasing Hispanic culture during a diversity celebration aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Sailors of various ethnicities made presentations, shared traditional foods and performed live during the five-hour event sponsored by the ship’s American Diversity Heritage Observance Committee (ADHOC). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter/Released)