In the early 1970’s, while I was CO of JACK, we operated out of Rota in support of some special SSBN operations. Each time we would leave port we would be met by the Russian AGL They would maneuver in behind us and follow us until we submerged. The evening before one of these underway assignments my XO, Gene Porter, and I were having a drink at the club when I noticed a particularly attractive bottle of wine on the shelf behind the bartender. The bottle had a brass-wire netting around it and an artistic label. A plan immediately developed to present the bottle to the AGI in the morning. We purchased the bottle, returned to the ship and began to assemble a presentation package- the bottle of wine, a set of dolphins, a ship’s patch, a few other items and a note with the phrase, in Russian, “Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone.” Everything was boxed, wrapped in plastic and attached to a loop and float with a long line.
As we departed the next morning the AGI headed towards us as we left port. They followed in behind with the spy-binoculars on both port and starboard bridge wings manned. We held up the package and when it was obvious that we had their attention, threw it overboard. Immediately we saw a group begin to assemble on the bow. As they approached the floating package we could see the boat- hooks being held out for recovery. The AGI slowed and recovered the package.
I have always wondered- who got to drink the wine?