The life of a buoy tender is never dull in Southeast Alaska. One minute, USCGC MAPLE is patrolling the waters of the Inside Passage, and the next the crew is being overrun by Vikings from Petersburg. During a recent patrol, the MAPLE visited Petersburg from 13May-16May for their annual Little Norway Festival.
The locals of Petersburg celebrate their heritage unlike any other. Anybody seeking to prank their shipmates can purchase a warrant of arrest and the infamous Vikins will hunt down the wanted individual. They will then capture them and lock them in “prison”, holding them ransom until their bail is paid. The Vikings took MAPLE’s Commanding Officer, LCDR Gray, by surprise when they invaded the MAPLE and hauled him off to prison. LT Andy Passic (twice!) and FN Trevor Simanski also fell into the prank and found themselves begging for bail money at the will of the Vikings.
Along with Viking pranks, there was a herring toss, booths showcasing Norwegian food, and a Viking parade. All in all MAPLE crewmembers enjoyed the time to explore another unique Alaska town and participate in a celebration unknown to much of the world.