>Journal Entry – Megan Durbin

When I graduated from the Academy this past May, I had no idea what or where my life was heading; as a 22 year old, all I knew was that I was heading to the death sentence that is Alaska. Fortunately for me, my best friend was also heading there, and I knew that I would have someone commiserating with me. Needless to say, what I discovered was much worse than a death sentence-I fell in love with it. Everywhere I turned, I found a place more beautiful than the last. Never have I seen so much beauty concentrated in one place in my life.

Let me tell you a bit about what I have learned about underway life in the short time I have been in the Coast Guard. There is no place on Earth where the sunsets are more beautiful; there is nothing compared to the feeling of salt and wind on your face looking out into a deep blue nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. But despite all this, it still takes a certain type of person to be out here and actually enjoy it. There comes a point in a patrol where you cling on to every sunrise, begin to imagine seeing land on the horizon, just to help remind you why you came out here. Like anywhere, spending too much time with a person eventually takes its toll. You start by getting mildly irritated by something small, which slowly morphs into an epic crusade of good versus evil…imagine spending too much time with 160 people.

The worst, though, are the conversations of home. At first it’s a good thing to talk about, until the bitter sweetness of it all sinks in. For me, it’s not as difficult because I have no obligations back on land. I couldn’t imagine if I was in “true love” as my newly wedded roommate put it; having to leave would be that much harder. But thoughts of Alaska, my first house, and the serenity of having absolutely no one around are wearing on me all the same.
Mostly, I just miss my couch.