On New Year’s Eve the midnight log entry at a Coast Guard unit takes on a life of its own and is traditionally written as a poem. The Compass reached out to those standing the mid-watch to share the tradition of applying verse to the ship’s log as we all rung in 2013.
Below are the watch entries for those who were afloat, but you can also read the log entries from those who were standing the watch ashore.
Coast Guard Cutter Valiant
LTJG Christina Canvin
Moored Naval Station Mayport, port side to D-2, on this dark night we stand a taut watch over you.
Standard mooring lines are in their rightful place, oh the challenges Valiant stands ready to face.
COMLANTAREA keeps the OPCON and ADCON.
Material condition Yoke was set early on.
In the midst of repairs, Charlie status is in affect, all interior and exterior spaces have been checked.
All deck, mooring and aircraft warning lights illuminate the sky, oh how quickly another year has gone by.
Blackjack and snake eyes are cradled and secured, the crew are in their racks, on duty they endured.
Valiant is receiving power and water from the pier, while all of the world is counting down the year.
Ensign Mills is the inport OOD, in a few hours this duty section will be free.
Coast Guard Cutter Eagle
Port side to north pier at Fort Trumbull is where we are moored, saying goodbye to a New Year’s Eve in which zero guests toured. A plethora of mooring lines hold us from front to back, a little piece of mind so the sail master doesn’t have a heart attack. Under the OPCON and ADCON of COMLANTAREA Portsmouth. Please don’t judge me, I’m not much of a wordsmith. Although writing this log entry is actually fun, it’s not within regs oh well – almost done.
Under FPCON Alpha the ship’s status is Charlie. As a tribute to cadets I’ll now throw in the word gnarly. Material condition Yoke keeps us warm and dry; it is set very tightly. All deck and aircraft warning lights are energized and burning brightly. From the pier we receive electrical, potable water, sewage, and telephone. The end of this stand down is something I wish I could postpone.
The Coast Guard Academy is watching over EAG1 and EAG2. Those things look just like a canoe. I hope the consequences of this log entry are not very drastic. Sadly my creativity comes in only one form – slapstick. SOPA is commanding officer, of this here square rigger. The OOD is Ensign Della Rosa, keeping a vigilant eye over there by the tack jigger. Liberty expires for the next duty section at 0730. Maybe the cooks will roast them a nice little birdie. Well folks it’s just about time, for BM3 Ryan to surrender the watch and surrender the rhyme. As I sit here pondering how to wish you a happy new year, I glance up at the brow to see the mighty BM3 Allensworth appear. So I bid you farewell as I end this verse session. Good day and Happy New Year, secure at mast captain’s discretion.
Coast Guard Cutter Thetis: Bridge
In position xx:xx.xn, xxx:xx.xw we patrol steadily, ready to repatriate all those who flee readily. Underway with xx detainees in the hangar bay staring out into a horizon that is a hazy grey. Xxx is our course true, sailing on chart xxxxx on the ocean blue. Steaming ahead we conduct BOXOPS as CTU. Here we are under the OPCON and ADCON of COMLANTAREA, praying the bugs in xxxx did not give us malaria. Material condition yoke is set, while the ol’ bloke BMC Grant has the deck. Conning the ship is ENS Moses, longing for the day when group 11 closes. All standard navigation lights are energized and burning bright, fueled by the coal delivered on Christmas night. Both anchors are hawsed and are secured for sea, much more so than the wardroom’s Christmas tree. CG 23167 and CG 191086 are cradled and secured, glistening brightly as the waning gibbous endures. The NR1 MDE is online while the NR2 is free, the 76mm pointed forward as it pleads, “fire me!” the starboard steering pump is online once more, to TSTA we sail and then safely to shore. The New Year arrives to greet us, ready to be calmed and nurtured by mother Thetis.
Coast Guard Cutter Thetis: Combat Information Center
The year is anew as we plan to head to Mayport,
One month after a CTU patrol that seemed rather short.
Our TACON is held by District Seven ashore,
While we spend our holidays in GTMO or at sea as before.
This patrol, we brought migrants safely back to port,
And we even conducted a Christmas Night SAR escort.
On this trip we conducted helo operations aplenty,
But tonight CG6509 stands on deck ashore to remain always ready.
BMC Grant has the underway OOD,
While CIC is supervised by OS2 Setnicky, OS2 Rusty D.
If Chief calls down with a contact sighted in haste,
With SIRVSS we shall scan, we have no time to waste.
2012 was not the best year for the Mighty Mother Thetis,
She returned from MEP, a challenge that I will tell you, it is not the easiest.
We overcame the challenges and went on several trips,
Finding mission success is never far from this mighty warship.
She sailed from the North and went into the deep South,
From the Harbor in Baltimore to the Panama Canal’s mouth.
We visited Honduras, we sailed from Bocas del Toro at a bell that was slow,
And a patrol would not be complete without a visit to our favorite place, GTMO.
In position xx-xx.xN, xx-xx.xW, we welcome 2013,
With attention to detail and an eye for the radar that is keen.
On course XXX and a speed of XX knots, for migrants we search,
With the hope that ashore they will stay – our posture is overt.
Only a few days left until we sail for Mayport,
With drills in store for us, our days won’t be short.
We will face the challenge head on and give it our best,
For hope that the days will go quick and we can go back to Key West.
The past year has come to a close, the New Year we ring in.
Though 2012 has passed, we welcome 2013’s new beginnings.
From CIC’s watch floor, we bring good tidings and cheer,
Sweet dreams to our shipmates on Thetis, and Happy New Year!
Coast Guard Cutter Thetis: Engineering
We are underway at the spot posted above,
Far away from everything that we love.
From the bridge both mains are answering a six,
As we ride with our normal port list.
Number one gen has all the electrical load,
Cause all our lines just had to be stowed.
Discharging all our waste into the seas,
With xx guests we like to call detainees.
Number 2 MG gives power to the nerds in their lair,
While all things in danger are tagged with great care.
MK1 Bible has the engineer of the watch,
The only problem is he has no scotch.
Bridge is patrolling this thing they call the “game,”
Cutting holes in the ocean still all feels the same.
Combat will make sure we are still in the fight,
But down in the hole we will give you your light.
We wish the whole crew a happy new year,
As we count down the days till we hit our pier.
Coast Guard Cutter Confidence
Confidence underway in the Caribbean Sea.
Cutting circles in a box, Grand Cayman close enough to see.
xx:xx.xn, xxx:xx.xw is the position we are hanging out.
JIATFS, Please don’t turn us about.
OP and AD control comes from COMLANTAREA
With JIATFS tactically causing crew hysteria!
#1 Main is running, #2 is secure
Both generators are parallel ENS Morel to ensure
Both CON 1 and CON 2 cradled and secure on each side
With lights burning brightly on the decks outside.
Helicopter is secure with multiple tie-downs.
Plus the navigator is checking them on his hourly rounds.
Pumps and loops yesterday were port.
We’ll switch to starboard here real short.
BM1 Komjathy has control of the deck.
Ensuring BMC Dopkowski doesn’t cause a wreck.
Material condition Yoke keeps ship’s integrity tight
So the captain and crew can sleep safely all night.
Its New Years Two thousand Thirteen.
Will try to keep our cutter clean.
Out at sea is the place to be
For all ye Coasties, you and me!
Coast Guard Cutter Tampa
ENS Cortland Gazda
T’was the night before the New Year,
And all about the decks
Not a Petty Officer was stirring,
Not even for boat checks.
The life rings were hung
About the ship under snow
Type IV PFDs
Immediately available to throw.
CGC Tampa, Charlie status and
Moored homeport, for all to view
Nice and close to the parking lot
Berths one and two.
The ship is safe, as Chief Case has the watch
He certainly tolerates no trouble;
Making rounds of the pier
Checking standard mooring lines doubled.
The New Year brings hope
Dreaming of resolutions so prized
But the watch section stands taut
Ensuring deck lights are energized.
We are lucky to be home
During this joyful season
Though we remember our shipmates who can’t be
At sea, on land, in the air, whatever the reason.
Let us be merry, and eat well
Our time here is certainly short
Forget for a while the trials of the sea
While the ship is still in port.
Soon we will leave
For waters much more blue
Launching helos, chasing go-fasts
Carrying on the Coast Guard mission –
Tampa is ready for 2013
Standing proud in the year new.
Coast Guard Cutter Decisive
BM2 Shane Sexton
It’s a brand new year as I stand watch in my stall, The cutter Decisive is moored starboard side to the west quay wall.
As she sits at the pier in Pascagoula, Mississippi, With a pitch and a roll, and the brow just keeps creaking.
The anchor, the deck and aircraft warning lights are all burning brightly, And material condition yoke is set as it is checked nightly.
Decisive is under the Opcon and Adcon of Lant Area this year, And Rat 1 and Rat 2 are both trailered on the pier.
From the pier we’re receiving telephone, water, and electric, And for the sake of the crew I hope the sewage line stays connected.
The ships status is Charlie, for some cleaning and tweaking, Force protection alpha is set, to make those bad guys keep thinking.
The mooring lines are doubled keeping the cutter held in tight, So from all of us on the Decisive, Happy New Year, and good night.
Coast Guard Cutter Albacore
FN N.R. VISCO
Albacore’s captain and crew sit at sea tonight, all standard deck and anchor lights are on burning bright. Anchored in POSN xx:xx.xn, xxx:xx.xw to a muddy bottom, in 22′ of water that wont be a problem. At 150′ the anchor line is tight, FN Visco makes sure it holds with all it’s might. Albacore-1 is trailered because it is broke, Sector Hampton Roads has our COMSGUARD while set in condition Yoke. TACON and ADCON are under Sector Hampton Roads. The only thing I can think of is: are those names secret codes? In the mean time OPCON belongs to District 05 and CG-171423 sits like a bee in it’s hive. In Alpha status our new years celebration is confined to the boat. No family, no friends, just shipmates afloat. MK3 Hogan relieved the watch at 0345, the first relief of the year and we’re all still alive.
Coast Guard Cutter Forward
Underway we are on this fine night, upon a moonlit sea, sailing underneath the stars bound for twenty one three. Currently in position xx:xx.xn, xxx:xx.xw, with bad guys we detain, we’ve caught them in illicit acts while smugglin’ cocaine.
MDEs 1 and 2 propel us through the night, while politicians grapple with an economic fight. Both genny’s are in parallel, with EDG at ready, yoke is set throughout the ship, the helmsman’s hand is steady.
Vice Admiral Parker, our OPCON and ADCON, and District Seven TACON too, have sent us out upon the seas to see the mission through. Navigation lights are burning bright, to let all sailors know, the finest crew upon the seas will vanquish every foe.
93 American souls aboard, intelligent, strong and able. Together we’re an awesome team, strong as our anchor’s cable. Walt 1 and 2 are well snugged down, sitting in their cradles, secured for sea but ready to go like stallions in a stable.
LTJG Morris has the deck while ENS Currier has the conn, we’ll have been at sea for 19 days before we’ll have a RON. We sail to unknown waters through the ocean known as time, well armed with hope and courage as we strike the bell eight chimes.
Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba
Now it is that time again to end the year,
Escanaba records this night log for all to hear.
A handful of shipmates seasick on this winter fisheries patrol,
COMLANTAREA has our ADMIN, D1 has our Tactical and Operational Control.
Conducting Box Ops in position xx:xx.xn, xxx:xx.xw
Truly putting our skills of securing for sea to the test.
Both main diesel engines and number one generator are online,
Reminiscing of last year’s inport celebration to pass the time.
At this hour we switch to the port pump port cable,
The gyro is holding course 270T stable.
Navigation lights energized, modified zebra is set,
Shipmates are hoping 2013 will be one we never forget.
With steak and lobster dinner in our bellies, we are thanking the lord,
Using FLIR and seaman’s eye to look for vessels to board.
Born on the crest of the wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep,
The Officer of the Deck finds the best course for all to sleep.
Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant
ENS Kathryn Peek
For as we see the new year arise, Vigilant is moored to station Port Canaveral, FL starboard side. As the old steel lady sleeps she is in Charlie’s sight, under the OPCON and ADCON of COMLANTAREA she shines bright. For as we know, Commander Estramonte is the most salty bastard on board. As her lines are tied tight to their bitts, not even a hurricane could send her into a fit. Receiving water, electricity, and pumping sewage to the pier, Vigilant knows there is nothing to fear. As everyone on board is asleep at night, material condition Yoke has us buttoned up tight. All deck, anchor, and warning lights burn bright, to keep Vigilant in sight. Both small boats are trailered on the pier, ready to set sail and be feared. Ensign Buchert is the officer of the day, so can you say hooray?!
Coast Guard Cutter Diligence
Off the coast of Virginia on a fisheries patrol, OP Ocean Hunter is in effect as 16 bells do toll.
In position xx:xx.x north, xxx:xx.x west, DILIGENCE is set to endure winter’s test.
A course of 040T is ordered to steer,
The helmsman is alert, the conn shall not fear.
A modified Yoke keeps the ship watertight, As the lookout scans forth for another vessel’s light.
LANTAREA is OPCON and ADCON while D5 has tactical control, The crew of Diligence enters the fifth day of this patrol.
Both small boats rest in their cradles, griped and secure for sea, Ready to launch at a moment’s notice, if need be.
Sidelights, sternlight, and the masthead light all do burn, The Number 1 main diesel engine causes our wake to churn.
With one Alco on the line and the Number 1 Gen making power, Diligence cuts through the water at x.x nautical miles per hour.
ME1 Tyler has the Deck. ENS McCarthy has the Conn.
Into 2013 this 48-year-old ship sails on.