>One more transit, one more story


This South Seas patrol marks the beginning of the end for many of us onboard Long Island. With transfer season just around the corner, and many of us headed to a varied assortment of schools to prepare for our next assignments, this could be the final patrol in which all 17 of us sail together as a crew. We’ve lived together in this little tin can for almost 6 weeks without incident. I think the secret to this crew getting along so well is that we all have our own niche, we all bring something different to the table. There’s SN Ulu the Hawaiian Zuru Warrior, FS2 Diego the famed Guamanian grill master and Ptarmigan assassin, BM1 Tuohy the Alaskan Cowboy by way of Detroit, MK3 Vesely with his disturbing affinity for Monte Carlos, SN Duncan the “sicky-sicky-nar-nar” snowboarder dude who would prefer a hostel to the Ritz, there’s BM3 McClellan who could pass for a salty Master Chief at the young age of 28, BM2 Degnon who is still trying to find XO’s “line in the sand”, Chief Kennedy who frequently fantasizes that his huge Chicago Bear’s coffee mug is actually some type of sword or shank, there’s Chief Alexandre who aspires to someday own an entire city block in Philadelphia including affordable apartments and various entertainment venues, SN Gilbert who can tell you all 72 ways to become a Coast Guard Officer in one breath, FN Kemp the wanderer (keep this guy away from trains with open box cars), GM2 Mozingo the kid who always lost games of hide-and-seek because he made entirely too much noise, MK2 Fenton with his cool Popeye the Sailor man arms and professed skill at taming cougars, there’s my replacement BM2 Hirstius who changes the pronunciation of his name no less than twice each patrol, with all due respect there’s LTJG Batten who can liken any conceivable experience to life aboard a Coast Guard 210ft Medium Endurance Cutter, and finally there’s LT Christensen, the man I was convinced no one could rattle. Always cool and poised, even in the most testy situations…Then a 65 year old lady who thought that safe navigation involved all other vessels getting the heck out of her way ruined it! Luckily for that older, navigationally-challenged woman, our captain has to stay onboard!
So you can imagine how exciting it is to have all these characters onboard for a patrol, it’s a dynamic that will certainly be studied by the Plum Island behavioral scientist for years to come. I’m proud to have served with this awesome group of guys, and I’d gladly work with all of them again. All reminiscing aside, most of us can think about nothing more than getting home quickly to reunite with our loved ones. I’m hoping that my 6 month old daughter doesn’t give me the “stranger-danger” treatment, hopefully my wife’s method of putting me on speaker phone whenever I call home will be effective. To my family in Valdez, Dauphin Island, and Fairfax- I’ll see you all soon!
For all of you back in Valdez, the news is good! So pass around the sea-sick pills, secure all loose gear, and batten down the hatches. We’re ready!


BM1 Best