Ringing in the new year with rhyme: Ashore

As 2010 came to an end, those at sea were not the only ones standing the watch. From American Samoa to Philadelphia, Coast Guard men and women stood the watch at land-based units, and just like their shipmates afloat, they were hard at work penning poems to end the year.

Below are a few entries written by the watchstanders who remained vigilant and ready to respond ashore.

Station Chetco River – Written by the mid-watch

Station Chetco River

Station Chetco River is located approximately seven miles north of the Oregon-California border and executes missions such as rough water rescues, maritime environmental protection and maritime law enforcement. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

12 hours past zenith, north of the 42, 2,800 square miles of the deep blue, lies in the hands of a watchful crew. Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Clemens of the surfman line, commands the helm for the search and rescue kind. BM1 Nielsen is our surfman of the day, if surf is present, onboard he’ll stay.

Petty Officer Speer is in charge of our berth, with two 47’s moored soundly with 15 feet of girth. The safe boat is jacked, unable to respond, for not once but twice an engine is gone. The SPC, our shallow water boat, is high and dry, with sea conditions present, it’s more useful in a moat.

Scallywags beware, pirates flee, and threat conditions there will not be. ALPHA is the status, The MARSEC is one. The powder is dry next to the gun. The number “9” has gone missing yet again. The river flow rose with aggression and might, and took it from its moorings without a fight. The “CR” burns brightly along with the number “11” and“2,” it’s all the ATON we have it’s just a few

The bridles are wet; the tow bitts’ are worn, fishing boats, PC’S and all sails that are torn. We tow them back safely, to where they were born. Crab season has opened and all in good time, the scavengers of the deep on whom we will dine. The pidgins are plenty, resting in the rafters, decorating our boats with their dinner afters.

SN Spencer has the sleeper watch. Up early she’ll be. Sure to brew the morning coffee. As the sun rises from the east on its voyage to the west, with fair winds and following seas. The light on deck is only a tease.

In the year of our lord, one score and eleven years, another year of duty is where we head towards. Hoist away and strike the bells, sleep well courageous shipmates. With honor and respect being his guide, the eagle from the north proudly stands by.

Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa – Written by MSTC Shawn Frohman
With the year coming to an end, there is so much to address,
But a poem for yearly brief, that truly is a test.
Let me give it a try and submit to the command,
My year in review on such a far away land.

Life’s a little different here at the MSD,
Work gets a bit hectic, with an office of 3.
There’s no way to include, all of 2010,
But here is a taste, of what we went thru, way back then.

U.S flag fishing rules, brought industry to tear,
“We’re in Samoa, does that apply to us here?”
Hire 3 U.S. officers, that’s not a quick fix,”
It’s only been in an act, since 2006.

Anu’u ferries not fitting the reqs,
“We’ve done it for years, with no CG checks.
Why do you inspect and fine us now?”
Because we care for those kids on your bow.

Drug busts, S&R, revoking MMDs,
Violators needing to pay their fees.
The SILI with maintenance falling behind,
and LADY NAOMI was one of a kind.
The Syota Maru, still detained in port,
Sector never forgot us, always gave us support.

With all we endured, the hardship and pain,
If my family could join me, I’d do it again.
I have made friends I will never forget
The civilian and locals I am blessed to have met.

Learning and living a new culture was hard,
But we knew, to Samoa, we are the Coast Guard.

Sector Delaware Bay – Written by Lt. j.g. Jodie Knox
Up early to rise and late for the rack,
Steady the course or standby for a tack.

I am a Coastie, tis’ not just a name,
I stand the watch, I desire no fame.

Love for the sea and the stars in heaven,
Keep me standing the watch in two thousand eleven!

Station Siuslaw River – Written by Seaman Chantal Newell
Through misty eyes and starry skies we steer our helm towards the north star of tomorrow.
For yesteryear has come and gone, and the new year we shall follow.

Group/Air Station North Bend – Written by OS2 Virginia Tanner

Group North Bend

This past year Group/Air Station North bend had many operational successes. Helicopter operations are a frequent and essential part of training for both helicopter and boat crewmembers of Group North Bend. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Nate Littlejohn.

Another year come and gone,
Another year of too and from,
Another year of lives we save,
Another year of lives that pay,
Another year of tears at hand,
Another year of making new friends,
Another year of relying on the best,
To look into your eyes and pull you from the crest,

Of a deep ocean blue,
With such power and motions,
That will swirl you and twirl you,
And claim you if it can,

It’s not an easy job we do,
When a life is at stake,
And such quick decisions we have to make,

We disseminate,
And plan,
To ensure we can help all those that we can,

In need of a guardian,
In need of a breath,
Of fresh salty air,
There’s nothing that can compare,

To that the feeling you get,
Because you know you will never forget.

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  • Dom Mediowy

    Thank you guys for saving two of my friends during march 2010 storm. Doing really great job out there! Thank You, Krzysiek from Dom Mediowy, Poland.

  • http://coastguardcompass Chad

    I agree that the poems were good. But i disagree with the statement like our shipmates at sea. The land guys are nothing like our shipmates at sea. The phone call they were able to make at all hours of the night, there internet was working properly, there racks weren’t bouncing up and down fore and aft no one waking them up with a red light in there face saying next watch. I do agree they stand a good watch and are needed but would tread lightly in comparing the land world to ours. This is the common problem with todays coast guard not giving the credit the afloat community deserves.

  • Kevin

    “Coast Guard men and women stood the watch at land-based units, and just like their shipmates afloat, they were hard at work penning poems to end the year.”

    You disagree that they were both busy penning poems?

    Settle down Chad, everyone does their part… no one is more important than the other.

    Good job by the poets… I always enjoyed the Christmas and New Years log entry thought process.

  • Brian Breguet

    From my NY Eve SAR case flight record:

    On the eve of the New Year
    ‘Long the Oregon Coast,
    Some revelers decided
    Marshmellows they’d roast.
    When suddenly with South Beach
    They decided to share,
    Their happiness to all
    By shooting a flare.
    ‘Twas seen by someone in her house that night Who called it to Group North Bend, with delight.
    The GDO then turned to the phones with glee, and launched my ready crew, the ’19 and me.
    The 6519 was ready and able
    We pulled her out of her airport stable.
    I turned to my copilot and asked for the checks He finished and called Group as we leaped off the deck.
    Survivors and debris were nowhere to be seen, As all my goggles showed was green.
    For over an hour we looked and looked,
    with temps at freezing their goose could be cooked.
    But alas there was NegRes and home returned, Happy to be home and not feeling spurned.
    We turned ’round the helo and settled in for a nap, For at first light, I know we’ll be back.