Eternal vigil at the nation's 'eastern gate'

By Li Hongyang (China Daily) Updated : 2019-08-22


Sailors practice their professional skills. [Photo by WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY]

Fan Zhengjun, who has been stationed at the garrison for 22 years, is well accustomed to the stifling, humid weather.

He noted that the sea fog usually lingers on the peak for about five months every year, which affects the sailors both mentally and physically. 

He recalled that 20 years ago, the unpredictable weather meant few ships docked, so the sailors rarely had vegetables to eat. Instead, they existed on stir-fried rice in soy sauce.

While their choice of food has improved, the misty weather remains a problem.

"We have to be careful when walking, because there is always moisture on the ground thanks to the mist. Even in summer, we need to use electric blankets and fans simultaneously at night to sleep. I have had rheumatism in my knees for many years," the 48-year-old said.

Every day, the sailors undertake physical exercises on the parade ground, despite the thick blanket of fog.

"I don't know whether it is harmful to our health, but I feel a little uncomfortable when breathing in the air. Sometimes when the foggy weather lasts, we feel upset or even lose our tempers due to an extended lack of sunlight," Fan said.

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