Monday, February 15, 2010

GUIDE for new Readers and Returnees.

The Second Printing of A SALOR'S STORIES is now being sold in most Halifax/Dartmouth Bookstores and on my new website. It is highly recommended by those who have read it. It is also available in the Public Library for those patient enough to get in line. It is a form of Memoir. I suggest you buy it because it invites more than one reading.
Clues to the content of A SAILOR'SSRORIES aand also clues to the content of my "Novel in progress" are included in this BLOG,.You can find them by following "Older posts" and the archives anhd using the back button each time. In addition, I provided links to my other BLOG, "Galley Yarns," where I put srories that I omitted from my books. Also, I included a link to my website at

Sample page of new novel

October, 1938

The Canadian Navy wasted no time before accepting my application. My father listened to the radio in the evenings and I had listened to his summaries of Hitler's speeches, with the noise of Hitler's raving and rantings and the crowds cheering in the background. There was no doubt in my mind that war was coming. As my first attempt to take part in it, I applied to the Canadian Airforce to join as a pilot, but they brushed me off telling me to apply when I had attained a university degree.
There were a lot of glorious movies of the United States Navy at the time that really impressed me. From them I had learned to sing"Anchors Aweigh" and "All the Nice Girls Love A Sailor," so I decided that would be a good place to fight a war and I applied to join. I received a reply telling me it would take five years to become an American citizen. I hadn't realized this was required, so it changed my mind and I had applied to The Canadian Navy.
The Navy sent me a ticket for a trip on the CPR to Regina. From there I was sent to HMCS Naden in Esquimalt, B.C. to be sworn in. I thought I had finally escaped the world of religion, but found this was not the case when a tough sounding Master-at-arms said whot's your religion? I replied that I was brought up in the Norwegian Lutheran Church, but I… He interrupted, "Yousey or Arsey? I said, "What?" He said, "you're Yousey." Then he wrote, "UC." I said, "Sounds better than Arsey." He said,"Don't get smart with me boy."
On my first Sunday in the Navy I found there was no way to escape the pressure of other people's religion. I had to fall in with all the other Youseys for a church parade.
Many years later when I served in aircraft carriers I simulated a rebellion of sorts by falling in for church services on the flight deck with the "Arseys." There I learned my Hail Mary's by osmosis and I used to wonder where she fit in the Roman Catholic hierarchy of God.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Here is part of a recent email:
Hello Mr. Moen,
I met you yesterday onboard HMCS SACKVILLE. I enjoy meeting people who truly experienced life & sea in times of crisis. You certainly were in the eye of the story many times during your long life.
I basically read "A Sailor's Stories" in 1 sitting without putting it down. It caught me on the first page & although it was quite unexpected at times there was a power that kept me turning the pages. I don't really know what to make of it all yet? You have vividly written quite a story to say the least. The naval history was captivating, just trying to imagine what it was like to be truly in the hands of fate...
I plan to check out your BLOG.
It was a pleasure meeting you & I am looking forward to your next book.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


From: "Arlo M. Moen"
To: "Tom"
Subject: Re:
Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:53 PM

Garry and Irene,
Condolences ! I am devastated too!

From: Tom
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:39 PM
To: Arlo M. Moen

We haven't met but I am Irene's son Garry. Mom wanted me to send you a message and let you know Tom passed away early this morning here at home where he wanted to be. We talked about you often. He will be missed.
Garry & Irene.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I just checked into my writing blog and I see I haven't written
in it for some time.This makes me feel kind of like Hank Webber.
After I retired from the Navy we moved into a cottage on a lake
outside Halifax. A few days later our neighbors, Janie and Hank
Webber,came over and Janie introduced themselves. Hank didn't say
anything but he was very pleasant nodding and smiling. Janie did
enough talking for both of them. The next day Janie came over by
herself. When I observed that Hank was a pretty quiet type she
told me Hank stopped talking ten years ago. She got him checked
out by two doctors and they couldn't find out what was wrong,so
she just got used to it. She didn't mind it because she could talk
without any interruptions.
After we lived there about six months, one day Hank was breaking
up granite rocks for me using a ten pound sledge hammer. He carefully
laid the sledge hammer down then turned to me and said, "I've been
thinking of moving away and leaving Janie here".This surprised me a
little, so I said,"Why?" Hank said, "She talks too much."
I couldn't stand it any longer, so I said,"How come you didn't
talk for over ten years?. Hank replied, " Didn't have nothin' to say."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another page of new novel in progress

During the first years of World War II I served in ships on convoy duty and there I found out where Hell was. I first served as a Seaman in HMCS St.Laurent. The ship had no heating system. During peacetime it had gone south every winter to avoid the cold. In the spring and fall we had a pot-bellied stove set up in the messdeck that supplied some relief from the cold while in harbour. It could not be used at sea.
When the war started the stove disappeared. From there on no respite from the freezing cold and wet was available. The misery lasted for weeks at a time.
At war's beginning the Canadian destroyers escorted the convoys part way across the North Atlantic and then were met by British warships that took them the rest of the way. This allowed the Canadians to return to Halifax to re-supply and re-fuel, before escorting the next convoy. Later on when the enemy submarines were operating in "Wolfpacks," we accompanied the convoys all the way, then went in to Greenock, Scotland for four hours to re-fuel. In addition to the misery of cold and wet, the St. Laurent had no refrigeration so after a few days at sea there was no fresh milk or bread. Powdered miklk was invented later on and it tasted like chalk. The absence of refrigeration also affected the meat and vegetable supply and stormy seas on the North Atlantic during the winters made it mpossible for the cooks to bake bread. If the cooks had been adequately trained the diet might have been suitable but hunger for real food often added to the misery of cold and wet.
At the start of war the ships were inadequately crewed. There weren't enough men for a four watch system of two port watches and two starboard watches, so we were in port and starboard watches of four hours on and four hours off. In rough weather, after four hours in a wet or damp hammock we would go on watch and get cold and soaked for four hours before doing it over again. This is where Canadian sailors learned all about the elasticity of human endurance.
After a few weeks of being constantly cold, wet, hungry and tired twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, I knew where Hell was.