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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 7, 2021

New Year’s Logs

One of the Coast Guard’s favorite traditions is writing the New Year’s first log in verse. For your reading pleasure, we present a collection of New Year’s logs from around the globe. Enjoy, and may you have a happy and healthy New Year.

Boston, Mass.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jessica O. Moore

It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re underway,
“Go execute this case!” is what JIATF had to say.

The helo is spinning on deck and the gym is out of place,
We’ve gotta make room for FLIGHTCON, we need more space.

The position report puts us nowhere near the North Pole,
Although we miss our families, we sure don’t miss the Boston cold!

Both main diesel engines are screaming “All ahead 10!”
We all just want to know how this chase is going to end.

SPE I and SPE II are underway in heavy seas,
But never mind that, who’s the new CO gonna be???

Modified ZEBRA is set throughout the ship,
We just got word that the flaming go-fast is about to flip. 

TACON and OPCON are all snuggled in their bed,
While SN Marsh mans the helm, full speed ahead.

Ms. Hovey has the deck while Mr. Cho retains the CONN, 
At 0001, port steering cable we will be on.

BM3 Milton is the QMOW, plotting our intercept course,
He’s waiting on his drink from the BMOW, BM3 Serrano, of course.

SN Kendall is standing port lookout, oh so tirelessly,
While SN Marsh just spotted our target, lit up like a tree.

DCA is manning ECC while the rest of the crew is far from asleep,
Both engines are running full speed, hitting 21 knots isn’t a huge leap.

For IS1 Ramos, its OPS normal, he’s awake and doing his thing,
The CSs are in the galley, they’re making those herbs and spices sing.

While HS1 Cantrell is dreamin’ and losing more of his hair
Deck department is screamin’ “Heads up over there!”

Suppo’s asleep in his stateroom, so swab and debonair.
As MPA is preparing for 8-12s…sleep in? He wouldn’t dare.

MKs are working on a slight lube oil drip,
While the EM’s have nightmares of ensuring darken ship.

Some ETs are standing duty and securing radio, too,
While the others are working, and one is out doing a boarding too! 

The ITs are dreamin’ of setting the River City Bill
Oh no, we’re gonna hear a consolidated shrill!

GMs are checking their guns based on an SNO for AUF,
And the DCs are prepping to spray AFFF.

The OSs are in CIC, gathering intel on the three bad guys,
While XO on the bridge is discussing approaches to the flaming TOI.

YN1 is yelling “Mbr’s esponsibility!” and dreamin’ of homeport,
While SK2 is droppin’ the hog (SPEN 1) and putting his Jag in Sport.

All nav lights are secured, but the stars above burn bright,
Only one can dream of such a beautiful night.

Underway in the Pacific Ocean, sailin’ the open seas,
If we have to be away, I’m grateful for shipmates like these.

While our families are safe at home, we’ve got the watch
We stand diligently, because Spencer is top notch.

San Francisco, Calif.
Chief Petty Officer William Rooney

Hello to you all who are listening near, 
It’s time to ring in yet another new year. 

It’s holiday routine and we’re in Charlie status, 
Our lines are doubled up so winter come on at us. 

Here sits Aspen starboard side to the pier, 
Set FPCON Bravo there’s raccoons running near. 

At Sector San Francisco Aspen works and plays, 
Under the OPCON and ADCON of District 11, Cali-forn-ni-a. 

I know it’s dark, but please don’t fret, 
Throughout the ship, material condition yoke is set.  

All deck and warning lights are energized and bright, 
23174 is cradled up tight. 

24215 is trailered behind Sector Engineering, 
Shine a light over there, even more raccoons are appearing. 

Coming from the shore we have a lot that is connected, 
Potable water, sewage, telephone, and electric. 

SOPA is commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Aspen, 
The CDO is Chief Rooney, now tell me who’s askin. 

EM2 Parris has that watchful eye, 
As two, three, four raccoon scurry on by. 

2020 is over, yes it is finally done, 
As HS2 Fiest relieved the watch in 2021.

USCGC Venturous (WMEC 625)
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Seaman Blake Campbell

In the calm of night the crew takes leave in Charlie,
And the midnight watch begins oh so early.

Venturous rests, moored south in the mouth of Sector St. Petersburg moorings,
Day after day and night after mornings.

[Mooring] lines like the watch, standard and taught,
The lines and their double, prevent any trouble.

And so our OPCON, ADCON and TACON are taken,
Under the command of COMLANTAREA which remains unshaken.

Material condition yoke is set throughout the ship,
Ensuring all openings are secured, because we don’t skip.

With all our lights burning bright, from deck to moorings and even the warnings,
They shine so nice night after night.

From the pier we receive power and telephone,
To ensure that the crew won’t moan,

And sewage and fresh water,
To make sure that we won’t falter.

Gator is trailered with us here at home,
But all so alone poor Stingray, is trailered in Clearwater,
For while out at sea the ocean had maimed her.

SOPA is our captain whose command we follow,
Under him we live up to our motto.

Here in the fleet there is none better
In the rain, the wind, or any weather.

January 1st 2021,
The watch is over, the section is done,

At 0700 liberty expires, with the gleam of the hull, hearts are inspired,
To take charge of the New Year and smile with cheer.

ME1 Griepsma at the ready and FA Rodriguez has the watch,
We can rest peacefully knowing our security is top notch.

North Charleston, SC
Lt.j.g.Tyras Schisler

In North Charleston, S.C., moored to Papa the Coast Guard pier.
Doubled mooring lines are holding us here.

COMLANTAREA has our OPCON, ADCON and tactical control,
Hoping to never see another portcall-less patrol.

FPCON status is Bravo, with additional measures taken. 
This year tested everyone, but James was not shaken.

James has attained Hurricane Condition Five, just happy to have made it out of 2020 alive.
Charlie is the ship status today, material condition yoke has been set away.

CG-45105 is in the notch, in the cradle is CG-26251. 
The deck, mooring and aircraft warning lights are shining as bright as the sun.

Boat pool holds CG-26268, the electrical power, water, sewage, and telephone services from the pier we greatly appreciate.

The inport OOD is Chief Johnson, or YNC. 
Welcome 2021 – I mean, how bad can it be?

Underway in the Bering Sea
Lt. Joshua Moan

Hello 2021! I’m so glad that 2020 is over and done.
This year has been tough, and the waves here are rough,
So tonight I’ll just be giving the BLUF.

Transiting through the Bering Sea, with howling winds and raging seas.
What will become of our New Year’s Eve?
No need to fret on nights like these,
When our engines and gens are running with ease.

The barometer right now is lower than low, but there’s nowhere to run so we’ll just go with the flow.
“Biggest storm in years,” they said, but I don’t care as long as the waves don’t throw me out of bed.

PACAREA has our OPCON and ADCON; D17 has the TAC
Alex Haley’s nav lights are burning brightly, as we move down the track.

There are people in the gym lifting weights (not a joke),
As the QMOW pipes “All hands, now set yoke.”

It seems so long ago that the helicopter went away;
It landed in Dutch Harbor, and there it stayed.

The last one broke hard, it was just its time. 
But this new one seems great, it’s the 6589!

The cooks finished their cooking, with spatulas and ladles,
And both our small boats are griped down in their cradles.

I’m BM1 Hardin, the OOD and I can’t run over pots,
Because if I do they’ll wrap the shaft up in knots!

A non-rate asked the OOD how many engines are running,
Then laughed and told them to catch them, since he thought himself cunning.

For now we stand the watch ready to board them all;
At a moment’s notice we will answer the call.

Alex Haley patrols the Bering, an Arctic sentinel.
To those who call it home, we are their guardian angel.

CGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349)
Petty Officers 1st Class Joscelyn A. Greenwell and Lee L. McMillan

Underway making way, in the North Pacific Ocean we stay,
In position 21:26.8N 157:39.1W., 
Pitch and roll, on a presidential patrol.

Sector Honolulu where we wish to be,
Are under the control of thee.

The navigation lights burn bright for all ye who sail at night, 
And the LE light flashes ever so bright.

All topside hatches are battened down tight 
And each yoke door and hatch is closed just right.

Steering course two-seven-zero true
Making seven knots through the deep blue, on pump number two.

The number one cats pant, while the number two’s rest in the plant.
BM1 McMillan is rocking the deck and conn, 
BM3 Greenwell is rolling the parallel plotter. 

New London, CT
Seaman Caroline Baity

It’s New Years Eve,
And I’ll never believe
That we made it through this time.
Everything’s been hard,
But we’ve made it this far.
And 2021 is our chance to shine.

That’s our biggest cheer. See, it’s been a hard year,
Since our tour was cancelled in May.
We spent months in quarantine
And we all love to dream of things beyond this fray.

With the vaccine near, captain says not to fear. The year will reward us for our grit
It better now, we saltily growl, Or we’ll throw a sailor’s fit.

Suddenly, I see a red flash and hear a mightier crash!
Were those red star shells, I gasp?
Just as I’m thinking that the station will be shrieking,
My relief becomes visible through my mask.

They’re fireworks, I know.
My thinking, once slow,
Has returned with renewed vigor.
As I watch the sky, and the fireworks fly,
My eyes start growing bigger.

A tall man with a beard, little known but often feared,
For his otherworldly talents,
Walks down the pier, with a scythe swinging near.
And was looking rather gallant.

Father Time was his name, and though he wasn’t the same,
He certainly looked a grim reaper.
“I mark the passage of time,” his eyes twinkled and shined,
“Don’t worry I’m not the death keeper.”

“Happy New Year, Eagle crew,
I hope your troubles are few
And that 2021 brings you cheer.
Y’all be good, as all Coasties should,
And you folks will have nothing to fear.”

Thanks for the visit, my next stop is Old Mystic, 
And it’s time I was on my way.
Keep your head high, and just let this year die,
Tomorrow’s a better day.”

Then, with my mouth all agape, at this odd turn of fate,
I watched him walk away.
When I told my relief they were in complete disbelief
Of my peculiar New Year’s Day.

There are strange things seen in the moonlight’s gleam on the ripples of the Thames River, 
But I’ll be darned if there was ever a yarn
That left me more a-shiver.

USCGC Steadfast
Underway in the Eastern Pacific
Cmdr. Craig Allen

Like a stealthy white shark, STEADFAST glides through the dark, on patrol in the Eastern Pacific.
From [REDACTED] Mexico, ‘Tis a long way to go, [REDACTED] nautical miles to be specific.

To PACAREA Command, where Admiral Fagan’s watch stands, our OPCON and ADCON belong.
District 11 holds our TACON ‘til JIATF South gets it back on, which may happen right after dawn.

To stay unseen and unheard we have NAVLIGHTS secured with yoke and dog zebra set.
We’re hunting narcos you see, on the wide open sea, though no contraband on our deck yet.

Sharks I and II are cradled for sea, Shark II is ready to chase.
Shark I runs fantastic, but the dual point davit is spastic, so in the cradle it stays.

30 mike standby for Number 1 MDE, and our ‘lectricity is provided by Number 1 SSDG.
We’re on both pumps to steer, as we close out this year,

And who stands the watch you might ask?
The deck and the conn’s, held by LTJG Jenkinson, 
While ENS Aeberli handles the QMOW watch tasks.

So resolutions we make as 2020 fades in our wake,
And aye what a year it has been.
We had facemasks and ROM and all the TP was gone
How about let’s not do all that again.

USCGC Polar Star
Petty Officer 2nd Class William Harrington and Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham

Underway in the Arctic on a decades-old ship,
Sailing frozen waters on a dark, months-long trip.

Last week was special, sailing so near the North Pole,
Lookouts watched for a sleigh, but saw not a soul.

Others listened for jingles or distinct reindeer clatter,
While others rested in racks serenaded by ice shatter.

After setting a record for traveling far north,
Polar Star’s headed south – but not into warmth.

Sailing south in position 66-09.2N; 168-28.3W into the Bering,
A sea less-seasoned sailors evade because it’s so daring.

The Bering’s 30-foot waves we stalled to escape,
But getting to Dutch is what lies next in our fate.

Tonight’s view is crisp sky and ice-laden sea,
The nearest point of land is 28 nautical miles southeast.

As Polar Star patrols this year’s cold final night,
We are safeguarded under D17 and PACAREA’s oversight.

Both small boats are frosty and secure in their notches,
As late-night crews sip coffee and stand vigilant watches.

Set throughout the ship, Yoke is our material condition,
Noted on the chart is our most up-to-date position.

Engineers grind below to keep the screws turning,
Our engine configuration is 1-1-1, as the fuel keeps on burning.

Traveling along on this cold winter night, 
The navigation lights burn and look warm and so bright.

Up in aloft conn, from where they drive us along,
BM1 Mathis is the ice pilot and ENS Colwell has the conn.

They use a spotlight to see and plan where to drive,
And look out for polar bears and green lights in the sky.

The New Year has arrived and our patrol will proceed,
Exploring the Arctic and breaking ice in the sea.

Bidding good riddance to 2020 and its pandemic disaster,
Is BM2 Harrington as the ship’s quartermaster.

Sector Lake Michigan
Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Bahrs

Begin New Radio Day, New Year coming soon,
The clock is correct, no WX to ruin
This clear frosty night, with snow on the ground,
We wait for the hours to slowly come round.

The radio is silent except for the tugs,
For Chicago never sleeps, and never shuts up,
So we continue our eavesdropping, never ignoring,
Sorting through the chaos, looking forward to snoring.

The towers all working, doing their job well,
It would be a nightmare, if any of them fell.
Scout out the WX, for any late-night journeys,
An uneventful evening, no hazards or warnings.
The New Year is here, we need a fresh start.
To try and recover, try to not fall apart,
For COVID-19 lasted longer than expected,
And this year is one where we lost all respect.