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Cell: 1-616-318-8164

Capt. Lance Timmer
USCG Master 25 Ton

Celtic Sol at the Traverse City Film Festival
Celtic Sol at The Traverse City Film festival

My Seafaring background

Hi, Captain Lance Timmer here. I'm a native Michigander and I've had a love affair with the sea all of my life.
Yes other folks get a thrill from flying planes and choppers or driving around rented cars from car hire ireland,
but it's sailing that "keeps me afloat".
I am a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, licensed through the USCG,
Master of Steam or Motor Vessels of 25 Gross Registered Tons.
And I am authorized to engage in commercial assistance towing.

Member of the Michigan Charter Boat Association,
The Riviera Yacht Club, and the Grand Haven Area Chamber of Commerce.

Celtic Sol is a USCG Documented Vessel. She is fully insured and has been safety inspected by the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Celtic Sol is equipped to make your Pleasure Cruise a complete success.

Three days after I turned seventeen years old, I joined the US Naval Reserves
and a month after I graduated from High School, I joined the regular Navy.

I got shipped out to Holy Loch, Scotland to serve aboard the USS Hunley(AS-31).
While onboard the Hunley I was assigned to the Boat Division where I worked as both a
Boatswains Mate and a Snipe (engineer) on the Liberty and cargo boats. I served in Scotland until January 1966
I was then sent to Shipfitter School in San Diego and after graduating I went to the USS Ozark (MCS-2)
(Part of the Mine Sweeping Fleet). After the Ozark I was assigned to shore duty at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla.

From Jacksonville I got sent to Viet Nam for a tour of duty with the Naval Advisory group (Task Force 116)
at a small Riverine support base called Nha Be. It was what we referred to as "The Brownwater Navy"
because of our river patrols. After my tour of duty in Viet Nam,
I was assigned to the Shipfitter Shop on the Super Tanker USS Detroit (AOE-4) until my discharge in 1974.

My Great Grandfather, Frank Putnam, served in the US Navy during the Civil War

Please click on the highlighted link on the right.....
Jimmy Buffett Son of a son of a Sailor


Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1964
My friend Whitey and me on Liberty. I'm the one with the red stripes !



Holy Loch, Scotland (1963-1966)
USS Hunley
I spent Ten years in the United States Navy. My first three years were spent in Holy Loch, Scotland
at a Polaris Submarine Base for Submarine Squadron 14 onboard the USS Hunley(AS-31).
For part of that time I was assigned to the Boat Division and I worked on
Landing Craft (which were for transporting cargo) and Liberty Boats (used for taking the Ships Crew ashore)
Here are some pictures of the Boats that I worked on:

The Hunley at anchor in Holy Loch,Scotland
USS Hunley(AS-31) at anchor in Holy Loch, Scotland


USS Hunley (AS-31) at work in the Loch

USS Hunley(AS-31) at work in the Holy Loch


Below are the the 40 foot and the 50 foot Liberty Boats which were used used for taking the crew ashore.


Hunley at sea
The USS Hunley (AS-31). At sea.
A crewman aboard the Officers Motor Boat. Behind him are
the Box L's, converted Mine Layers which were
used for the longer boat runs across the
River Clyde to Cardwell Bay.

Mike Boats

The LCM's (Landing Craft Medium) which we
called Mike Boats that were used for cargo.

Boatswains Mate Anchor

Many thanks to my old Boat Captain, Jim Collins, of Connecticut,
for having the foresight in the 1960's to save the above Photographs.
Please click on this link or the pictures below to access Jim's fine website.
Polaris TartanCollins and Timmer
On the left, The Polaris Tartan, designed for the Officers and Men of the Submarine Base
at Holy Loch, Scotland.and on the right, Jim Collins and Lance Timmer doing what else?
Going for a sightseeing cruise at a Reunion held in Charleston, South Carolina......


Scotster. Where Scotland meets. 


USS Ozark
USS Ozark (MCS-2)
USS Ozark

United States Atlantic Fleet (1966-1968)

The USS Ozark (MCS-2) Was converted over from a Light Cruiser for Minesweeping duties.
She carried twenty- 36' Diesel Powered Fiberglass Launches which were used for Minesweeping
along with two SH-3A Sea King Helicopters which were also used for Minesweeping. .




U.S. Naval Support Activity Nha Be, Viet Nam (1970-1971)

Nha Be Hat Patch

Naval Advisory Group

The U.S. naval establishment at Nha Be, seven miles south of Saigon,
was a major combat and logistic base during
the Southeast Asian Conflict.
As naval leaders concluded early, the site was strategically placed at the junction
of two rivers, the Long Tau and the Soi Rap,
(the main rivers between the port of Saigon and the South China Sea).
In addition Nha Be lay astride waterways traversing the (Viet Cong – infiltrated) Rung Sat Special Zone
and the eastern Mekong Delta region. To support river patrol and minesweeping operations,
Nha Be was ideally located, In addition, the Vietnamese Navy's River Assault Group compound
there initially was suitable for a small American force.

River Boat Landing and Repair Barge
River Landing and Repair Barge


I was assigned to a LSB Nha Be (Logistic Support Base) in the Mekong Delta with the "Brown Water Navy"
for the year that I spent in Viet Nam......These are the Boat types that I worked on,
The Boat on the left, a 33' PBR (Patrol Boat River). The Boat on the right, an LCM-8 (Landing Craft)

33' PBRmike 8
Beautiful Nha Be, Home to the Mekong Delta Yacht Club
Nha Be from the Air

The PBR Piers at Nha Be

"Rocky" Rydall at Nha Be, Vet Nam
"Rocky" Rundell, from Boise, Idaho - my best friend in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam 1970
That's a picture of Captain Lance when he was just a little bit younger.....(1971)




My last ship : The USS Detroit(AOE-4)
USS Detroit
United States Atlantic Fleet (1972-1974)

USS Detroit
The USS Detroit (AOE-4) during an underway replenishment of The USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
Arial View Unrep
Aerial View of Underway Replenishment. The ship in the middle is the Detroit.

USS Detroit Side View
The Detroit was referred to by the Navy as a Fast Combat Support Ship...
She carried 10 million gallons of liquid cargo along with refrigerated stores, spare parts and ammo.

USS Detroit Boat Deck

Bob Schlueter, A dear friend and an old shipmate from our Med Cruise days, insisted that
I put a picture up on the website that showed me onboard the Detroit while out at sea.
. That's me on the boat deck with one of our 50' utility boats behind while making a crossing
of the Atlantic Ocean while on our way to Rota, Spain from Newport, Rhode Island.


Old Ironsides
USS Constitution

Some little known American Naval History.

 The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel carried
48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men.
This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea.

  However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27,
 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full
 complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water,
 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

  Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping." Making
Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with
550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of
 Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she
 defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12
English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

 By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless,
 although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in
Scotland. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and
 transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

  Then she headed home.

 The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799,
with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky
.... and  38,600 gallons of stagnant water !




It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old
war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the
The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid,
with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.
Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next
to the cannon.

There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from
sliding/rolling from under the others.

The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called, for reasons
unknown, a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would
quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make them of
brass - hence, Brass Monkeys.
Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than
iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass
indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right
off the monkey.
Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass

Contact Capt Lance


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MCBA Member 2007

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