>Voyage to Holkham Bay Buoy 2


As a beautiful summer day dawns on Sitka, Alaska, the USCGC MAPLE is found making preparations to get underway. There has been a report of an off station buoy in the narrow entrance of pristine Tracy Arm at Holkham Bay. The Holkham Bay Buoy #2 was suspected to have been pushed off station by drifting glacier ice, and the crew had to make last-minute plans to service the buoy. It is a vital aid to navigation for the behemoth cruise ships transiting up Tracy Arm.

The trip through Tracy Arm to the Holkham Bay Buoy took a full day, and the crew was able to service the buoy first thing the nest morning. The buoy proved to be a simple evolution, and the crew was able to place is back on station with little interference.

Upon completion of the buoy, MAPLE headed deeper into Tracy Arm to gaze at the granite faced mountains, bright blue glacial ice, and unique wildlife. There was even a cold water survival swim where members of the crew were able to explore some floating glacier ice and take part in a polar bear plunge. A polar bear plunge is best described as a chilling experience where one jumps into freezing cold water without the protection of a dry duit. Many crewmembers took part, and it was definitely an appropriate ending to a great Coast Guard day.