Box Ops

[from the vaults, 2007]

March 27

Box ops. I feel like I’m back on the Bering. Only warmer. We’re the cop on the beat today.

I see PO Timothy Myers and SN Chris Susalis on the bridge often. They’re both bosun’s mates, working for Chief Guilmartin at navigation. Tim was previously on a 21 out of New Orleans during Katrina, and he has some interesting tales to tell about that time. On the Munro’s last patrol Chris discovered, somewhat to his own surprise, that he enjoys reading, so I’ve passed along the names of some guaranteed good reads, all sea stories.

SN Chris Susalis and PO Tim Myers

As most of you know, I’m out here because I’m doing research for my second and third thrillers featuring the US Coast Guard. Chris gave me my villain, Tim gave me his motivation and the XO and Chief Greg Colvin between them gave me the one thing I needed to fill the last hole in the plot. This evening I grilled Weps (LTJG Kevin Beaudoin) on various and sundry things, and he departed looking more nervous than when he arrived, which augurs well for the book. I thought I was going to have to make something up. Nope.

ENS Chris McGhee

Another cutter which has been on patrol much longer than we have needed some parts, so we put a box with the parts and anything else could think of (I tossed in a Time and a Newsweek that are only two weeks old, I’m told they’ll read like breaking news to the other cutter) and sent it over. I would have put some of my books in but as the Captain noted on an earlier posting, we had a raffle and now everyone’s reading them. Gulp. Good thing there weren’t any copies of Hunter’s Moon.

It was suggested that I mention the chickens. They were purchased at a port call and have been served roasted for dinner twice, and rumor has it they’ll be in tomorrow’s chicken pot pie. They are very, very large. They are so large that these might be the chickens that ate New York. It must be New York because they’re about that tender, too (I watched LTJG Adrian Harris go mano a mano with a thigh and she won, but it was close). If there was red wine on board I would volunteer to cook coq au vin for the whole ship, but, alas…

The underway book club met this evening on the mess deck, with five attending, SN Caleb Critchfield, Chief Rick Whitney, SN Alex Trimble, SN Dennis Gordon and PO Shawn Green. We talked about The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, and these guys have opinions and know how to use them. We talked about drug lords and cloning and individual rights and father figures and (my favorite) what happens to the characters after the book is over. Opinion was, shall we say, divided, and the discourse was, um, spirited. Our next book is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. And next time I’ll shut up long enough to take a picture of them for you.

ENS Chris McGhee is making a habit of rescuing turtles that are not caught in nets. Next time, the Captain says…oh, never mind.


View ENS Dan Schrader’s photo essay of our patrol

Click here to order a copy.


Dana View All →

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2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Greetings Dana! I really enjoy reading these notes! It gives me a better insight of what’s going on there. Love the pictures too! Might I add that I am very proud of my husband, PO Timothy Myers, as well as all of the other gentlemen on board! I wish y’all the best, and pray that you all make it safely home =]

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