>MUNRO Ship’s Journal – LTJG Hanna

>Written: 25 February 2009

After being underway for less than a week and already having a plethora of activities and experiences to talk about, I wonder what you would mostly enjoy to hear. For my own logical thinking, I must start at the beginning. Last week as we prepared for this next patrol I found myself both excited and sad. It is difficult to leave home…family, friends, your own choice of food, good weather, hiking, your own bed, the responsibilities of home, church, and a little freedom. But as I packed in and prepared for special sea detail I choose to embark on this next three month adventure and I know that it will be good for me and for many of those around me. I will learn new things, spend more time with people I do not usually spend time with, I will visit other port calls, I can read and workout, and we might even save lives. We go to the Bering Sea to do our jobs in the hope that we will not have to save lives, but prepared for the prospect and definitely ready to complete boardings and ensure others are following proper regulations. I look forward to standing my normal watch in the engine room as well as getting a little bit of experience on the bridge. I look forward to sharing with you some of my experiences and what others may have to share.

On another note, the most unique experience I have had so far for me on this short underway period is seeing a huge whale about 15 yards off the starboard bridge wing. I could not believe it. I was standing my first watch on the bridge as a break-in OOD when the lookout called down and said we had whales off the port bow. We quickly looked for their bearing drift and realized we did not have to worry. Then all of a sudden they started appearing on our starboard side too and were crossing in our path. We were surrounded by whales and had to slow down so we did not run any of them over. One happened to swim up beside us and as I looked in the water I saw its entire length and as it breached I could not believe how large and amazing it looked. The qualified OOD told me that it was a pod of Sei whale’s and I could not have said otherwise. With its flat bumpy head, short dorsal fin, and dark skin I think it could have been a number of the possible species that we could see out here. I wish I had had a camera on me, but alas I can only speak of my experience and tell you it was amazing and tell you that you should come and try it sometime.

Until next time,