>Hard work keeps the ships computers running

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Where have you guys been?

During the past two weeks we’ve had an email meltdown of sorts. It’s hard to say what our problem was: too far north, a software glitch somewhere down the line, or bandwidth problems as our computers tried to automatically update their software. Perhaps it was a combination of all of these things, but whatever the cause, we think it is fixed now and our connectivity appears to be good again.

This brings me to my first point today, taking things and people for granted. Onboard ALEX HALEY we have one person that takes care of our whole computer network plus its software and all of our user accounts. He is Information Systems Technician Second Class Lennie Day. He is also the most piped person on the ship (note: pipes are announcements made over our general announcing system known as the 1MC). Throughout the day you’ll hear, “Now Petty Officer Day, lay to the ship’s office, XO’s stateroom, Chiefs Mess, Log Office”…and so on. He is always on the run to fix the network, a computer or user account. He is a true unsung hero to us. Everyday we just expect our stuff to work and come to depend on it to help us get our jobs done. This past couple of weeks reminded all of us of the great conveniences we enjoy in the Modern Coast Guard where every sailor can access email and Internet while underway, and that we sure can get off track when we lose this important tool.

The first picture today is of IT2 Day from when we were in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii next to the USS Arizona Memorial in summer ’07. The second picture of Lennie is from the winter patrol, and yes the ship is covered in ice…a lot of ice. Thank you for all you do IT2 Day!

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To catch up the journal, here’s what we’ve been up to:
PORT CALL: Last week we stopped in Nome, AK for two days. Nome sits just below the Arctic Circle and was the site of the gold rush of 1898. Today the town has a population of 3,000 but back in its hay-day there were 30,000 people seeking their fortunes in gold. For us our fortune wasn’t in gold but in the mere fact that we got to go to tundra covered Nome for a break; typically we are only permitted to go to Dutch Harbor due to its close proximity of our main operating area. This crew has seen Dutch Harbor about 20 times in the last year, so we were eager to go some place new.

The remainder of today’s pictures shows Nome and some of its highlights.

OPERATIONS: We have covered a lot of water in the last couple of weeks as we traveled nearly 2,000 nautical miles. We went from the Aleutians to the Pribilof Islands to St. Lawrence to Nome then to within 100 miles of the Arctic Circle. Ice is already forming in the bays and we experienced frequent snow storms and reduced visibility while we were up north. We hope to get permission to go above 66-degrees north next spring so that we can earn our Blue Nose designations (meaning you crossed into the Arctic Circle).

For now, all is safe in the Bering.
— Commander Jones

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