Ah, the Dutch.
The first clothing-free workout session at a Dutch gym went ahead as planned in Heteren, eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 4, 2007, and participants and observers said it met expectations. Around a dozen middle-aged and elderly men braved the glare of nearly twice that number of journalists, including reporters, photographers and at least five television teams, to fulfill their dream of exercising naked. 'There are things that you like to do, and for a nudist, it just feels better to do them with your clothes off,' said Ron van der Putten, left, who drove for more than an hour to take part in the first session, dubbed 'Nudifit'. 'You feel more free.' (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)But wait, don't go away. I am reminded of the Navy of a LCDR Salamander .... a nice Navy - yet one that understood that there are other Naval services out there that do it better Sailor for Sailor when underway.
By 2000, I was already a great fan of the Dutch - they have some of the most effective, professional and, dare I say, happy ships afloat. For reasons best seen than understood in detail, my favorite RNLMS warship is the Kortenaer Class Frigate Bloys van Treslong. Why my favorite? Because in early 2000 they gave the best pre-911 salute one Navy could give to another. They also sold me on the fact that in many a Navy out there, women serve in a way, a climate, and a level of success that my American mind just has trouble seeing in the U.S. Navy. Not better, not worse - but the Dutch Navy makes the world a more interesting place by their existance. BEHOLD!!!!
You know that guy in the upper left-hand corner wishes he was about 10 yards more to his right when that picture was taken. The most visible khaki. I don't care what Navy you are in - that is going to give you a chance to see if your SDBs fit. He knew what was going on. Well planned this was - note the details on the Goalkeeper. Ahem.
You can see (I'm talking to you Skippy) more detail here. If your Dutch is up to speed, there are more accounts here. You can see a more "traditional" uniform setting here. A good translation of the events:
I can't even imagine the world if this happend on a US Navy ship. I think you would have heads explode all through the Potomac Flotilla. Oh, the humanity!"Holland's glory aboard the frigate HMS "Bloys"
Female crew members of the Dutch Navy frigate HMS "Bloys van Treslong" bare their breasts for their foreign colleagues sailing past. The topless-act was intended as a playful farewell to the crews of the men of war constituting the permanent NATO squadron "Stanavformed" on the Mediterranean.
The naval staff was very perturbed and called the commandeing officer of the frigate on the carpet. The Commanding Officer of the Dutch frigate HMS "Bloys van Treslong" has been called on the carpet by the Naval staff on account of a saucy striptease performed by his female crew members as a farewell to colleagues aboard other military vessels.
Before the frigate started her return voyage, there was a farewell sail bye of all other vessels forming part of the permanent NATO-squadron "Stanavformed" on the Mediterranean. Normally, during such traditional sail-pasts, only some water spouts are used and potatoes thrown.
Some Dutch Navy ladies had thought of a stunt which would make a more lasting impression on the crews of the other vessels. Standing near a banner expressing their hope to meet again, a few female saylors executed a provocative striptease for the international naval public sailing past.
In addition, the shipboard gun, the so-called goalkeeper, was transformed into a phallic symbol for this occasion.
Only much later it became clear that the Dutch striptease had been photographed from one of the other vessels. The Royal Dutch Navy surmises that this was the work of Italian colleagues. The reveqling pictures of the scarcely dressed Dutch Navy women soon made the rounds in the world of international marine fighting forces.
As soon as the Navy itself heard about this affair, the commanding officer of the HMS "Bloys van Treslong" was immediately called on the carpet. According to spokesman A. Meeldijk he (the CO) was told in unmistakeable terms that the topless act and the con(per)version of the gun were absolutely unacceptable. The CO had passed this message on to his crew.
According to the Naval spokesperson, the ladies involved have not been disciplined. "They have already been punished. They were shocked beyond words by all the commotion their action caused."
Moreover, the Navy deemed the dismeanor too small to serve as action for dismissal.
The Navy says that they learned from this affair. "The photograph was used recently in an internal course for our commanding officers as a deterrent example of what should specifically not be done", according to spokesman Meeldijk.