>Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

>Today marks 26 days since we left Valdez and although it may be hard to see, the end of this patrol is beginning to come over the horizon. The pace of our duties down here certainly have been much slower than we originally expected but from my observations the spirits are up and we’re making the most out of the time underway.

The Deck Force has really been working hard in maintaining the cutter’s exterior and took advantage of some warm and dry weather a few days ago to get some painting done. It’s a never ending battle to fight running rust, flaking paint, and black exhaust markings, but when she is clean and looking great you can’t help but smile. BM1 Tuohy leading his crew of SN Ulu & SN Gilbert have made us the best looking girl on the waterfront. Beyond painting, BM2 Degnon and BM3 McCellan have just finished qualifying as small boat coxswains which is one of the most challenging qualifications onboard.

The Engineering Department never rests! Following casualties to several cooling pumps, MKC Kennedy and his crew burned the midnight oil to get a main engine and a generator back up and online in less than 12 hours! MK3 Vesely, FN Kemp, and FN Duncan were really taking charge, working well beyond their rank, to get parts and supplies ordered in a coordinated effort to have the ship back up and running in only 1 day. EM1 Alexandre and MK2 Fenton were literally elbow deep in grease and oil as they were pouring out blood and sweat (no tears though) to get the new pumps back on the engines as quickly as the parts were arriving on the ship.

Of course who could forget the Operations Department? You can plan all day long in the Coast Guard, but that next phone call typically destroys the best laid plans! BM1 Best and BM2 Hirstius have been superstars at keeping up to date with all the schedule changes and making sure that the necessary tracklines, messages, and briefs are ready to go when needed.

A 110′ patrol boat doesn’t offer many opportunities to really get a workout in. You can’t run the outer decks, push ups and sit ups can be done in the berthing areas if you don’t have a phobia of laying on the deck in the berthing area, and the awesome food that FS2 Diego pumps out of our galley certainly doesn’t help the situation. That said, we all agree that there isn’t another cook we’d rather have, between an awesome attitude and amazing food, he is key to our positive morale!

Running a ship is similar to managing a three ring circus (in a good way), and our ring leader, LTJG Batten has been doing a phenomenal job of keeping the show running smoothly. Of course the job comes with the risk of getting poked at every once in a while, like on our blog site. So as he makes every attempt to solidify his position with a particular Seattle girl, we wish him the best of luck!

Finally, we cast off GM2 Mozingo last week so he could head back to Valdez to support his wife as their first born is about to arrive, best of luck you two, you’re in our thoughts!

We’ll keep the pictures and posts coming, keep checking back often!

LT John J. Christensen
Commanding Officer