First Days

[from the vaults, first posted February 5, 2004]

Hello from north of the Shumagin Islands! I’m writing from on board the USCGC Alex Haley. We left the dock yesterday morning, so smoothly it looks like we know what we’re doing. I think that would be CPO Ross at the conn, who also brought us into the dock at Dutch Harbor for our first port call, both of which operations were very pretty to watch. XO Thorne says you can tell a good docking because everything always gets real quiet on the bridge.

Getting ready to launch - 2/6/04

And then, we catch a SAR case practically right outside the harbor. A fishing vessel lost her engine and was drifting onto Chiniak Point. They were taken in tow by another F/V, but neither had a tow line so we launched a Zodiac and took them one.

Before that we brought the helicopter on board, and after did a man overboard and abandon ship drill. I don’t ever want to have to get into a survival suit ever again.

Today we launched the helo again, they came back and we pretended they crashed and burned when they landed.

Rocking and rolling overnight, clear today and gorgeous. Right now, we’re riding pretty steady. I got sick this morning, and my bunkie, Chief Alice Jamison, doctored me with ginger ale and crackers. It worked and I’ve been fine since. There is not a lot of mercy going around for the sick, lame and lazy. One guy has been sick since we left the dock and I heard one petty officer suggest that we use him to troll for orcas.

Yes, before you ask, this is research for the new book, BLINDFOLD GAME. But it’s way cool, too. More later—

Click here to order a copy.


Dana View All →

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