2016: Ringing in the New Year with rhyme

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. Coast Guard Compass reached out to those standing the watch to share the tradition of applying verse to the ship’s log as we all rung in 2016. Check out the unit logs below, and some other poems written by Coast Guard units for the New Year!

The Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender, sits moored at its home port of Tongue Point, near Astoria, Ore., Aug. 25, 2014. Launched on Aug. 18, 2003, the Fir was named after one of the original lighthouse tenders and is responsible for maintaining aids to navigation on the lower Columbia River and the coasts of Oregon and Washington. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley.

The Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender, sits moored at its home port of Tongue Point, near Astoria, Ore., Aug. 25, 2014. Launched on Aug. 18, 2003, the Fir was named after one of the original lighthouse tenders and is responsible for maintaining aids to navigation on the lower Columbia River and the coasts of Oregon and Washington. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley.

Coast Guard Cutter Fir
0000-0400
A new year arrives and it’s a chilly sight,
Moored port side to with lines tripled on this crystal clear night.
D-13 has our OPCON, ADCON, and TACON all joint,
In Astoria, or at U.S.C.G. Base Tongue Point.
Yoke is set and the ship is a whisper,
All lights glow bright and couldn’t be crisper.
Fir 1 and Fir 2 both willing and able,
Fir 2 on the pier and Fir 1 in the cradle.
Our status is Charlie as we toil away,
To make the ship run as well as Santa’s sleigh.
Receiving some water, some power and phone,
Sewage and internet, from shore ties alone.
BM2 Thornton has the watch, the OOD that is,
While DC3 Parson does the inport watchstander biz.
At midnight all the ships sound their horns with great cheer,
As fir joins in and wishes all a happy New Year!

The Coast Guard Cutter Munro moored at the docks of Base Kodiak, Alaska, Jan. 27, 2015. The 378-foot cutter is named after the only Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, and missions include maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, and homeland defense. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

The Coast Guard Cutter Munro moored at the docks of Base Kodiak, Alaska, Jan. 27, 2015. The 378-foot cutter is named after the only Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, and missions include maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, and homeland defense. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

Coast Guard Cutter Munro
Nestled in Kodiak,
beneath a celestial Zodiak,
Rests the cutter Munro,
her doubled mooring lines running to and fro.
Quietly she slumbers at the pier,
but not alone the Haley and the Spar are here.
Controlled by COMPACAREA in far away Alameda
Munro sits with their OPCON, and FPCON Alpha
and we must not forget the ADCON.
Electricity, water, sewage,
and phone lines are affixed
Aircraft warning, blinker, and deck lights are burning brightly,
they won’t soon be missed.
Her small boats are currently away
tucked safely in the NESU
but there they shall not stay,
for soon we shall be underway
but for now she slumbers through it all.
Yoke is set, on the hour security does call.
ENS Hasbrook sits easy in his chair,
Knowing that his section sees to her with care.
MUNRO we will have need of you soon
But for now we will festoon ourselves with silly hats
While watching fireworks burn and crack
And try not to think of how soon we must leave
For such dour thoughts are best kept faraway.
For now MUNRO sleeps through it all
While the crew shouts Happy New Year!
To one and all.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Raymond Figueroa, a small boat coxswain, watches as Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryan Thomas drives a rigid hull inflatable near the Coast Guard Cutter Forward while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, June 24, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R. B. Elis.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Raymond Figueroa, a small boat coxswain, watches as Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryan Thomas drives a rigid hull inflatable near the Coast Guard Cutter Forward while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, June 24, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R. B. Elis.

Coast Guard Cutter Forward
2016 is here, but where is the FORWARD?
Out on patrol to foil narcotic warlords
We patiently wait, displaying darken ship
As drug runners race, unknowing their slip
With holiday spirit and plenty of cheer
The Coast Guard brings justice, panic, and fear
To those who are criminals and maritime culprits
FORWARD will bring you a hot cup of justice

In rain, in snow – through sleet or hot sun
To any in peril, we come on the run
Making good speed to all souls in distress
A beacon of hope to those seeking rest
The WMEC proudly displaying the numbers
911: no need to call others
So to those who are in danger or out lost at sea
“Ever the sentinel,” we’ll come making best speed

Now 2016 has come, the FORWARD underway
In the spirit of our country, the great U.S. of A
While we may have to miss seeing family and friends
Though we dream of our homeland, this job never ends
We are maritime guardians, in war and in peace
Enforcing all laws and saving from seas
And one thing is certain, I swear that it’s true
Count FORWARD “Always Ready,” steaming into the blue

Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Grow, an aviation electrician, waits in the cabin of an MH-65 helicopter to lower the rescue basket during training in Galveston Bay, Texas, Sept. 29, 2015. Night operations training prepares air crews for the daunting task of performing a rescue with very little light and low visibility. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Grow, an aviation electrician, waits in the cabin of an MH-65 helicopter to lower the rescue basket during training in Galveston Bay, Texas, Sept. 29, 2015. Night operations training prepares air crews for the daunting task of performing a rescue with very little light and low visibility. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin R. Williams.

Coast Guard Air Station Houston

Three Helos lined up,
all orange and bright.
Each one prepared,
to conduct SAR every night.

The aircrews well rested.
Their flight suits are pressed.
In a flash they’d be ready,
in helmets, gloves, and vest.

To the B-1 they’d pile,
their gear all in tow,
waiting on coordinates,
like Texans waiting on snow.

With a flip of some switches,
and lists checked twice,
their bird comes alive,
ready to pay any price.

Through Hail! Through Rain!
And even through Mist!
Cross Lightning! Cross Thunder!
Well- you get the gist.

They’ll hover and hoist,
to see you back home.
They’ll even swim the sea,
So you’re not cold and alone.

Heroes for sure,
Each one and all.
It’s because of their watch,
that Texans stand tall.

So whether you’re at a table,
or in the shrimping fleet,
AIRSTA Houston sends our wishes,
that your holidays are neat.

Enjoy the hams and the turkey,
Each gift be superb.
Just do us a solid,
and remember your EPIRB.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Roberto Iaboni computes true wind while standing watch aboard Coast Guard Cutter Venturous. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Roberto Iaboni computes true wind while standing watch aboard Coast Guard Cutter Venturous. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Venturous

Semper paratus the new year we greet.
Like last year’s 1st we this time repeat.
XX-XX.XN XXX-XX.XW in the Caribbean with cheer.
The course of 150T we steer.
Under the OPCON and ADCON of COMLANTAREA we do what they ask,
The TACON of JIATF-South hands us our task.
Catching drug runners is our ultimate goal,
as we commence our JIATF-South patrol.
The navigation lights brightly do burn,
illuminating the cutter from bow to stern.
CG6525 is on deck and ready to deploy its rage.
VEN1 and VEN2 are cradled in their cage.
With yoke being set and the crew sound asleep,
we know not even Poseidon can come take our keep.
The engines are churning for 13 kts of speed,
while NR1 SSDG provides us the power we need.
At the deck and conn is the mighty BMC Dufur,
with ‘el jefe’ in charge we’ll be safe for sure.
As the CO celebrates his first year on the venturous,
the question remains what adventures in 2016 await us.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound

Five of us stand the watch at Sector Puget Sound, as the New Year clock is wound.
Today is the day that sends this worn year away, so we composed this poem that might seem passe’
There have been smiles and there’ve been tears, but we start fresh this lovely New Year.
From near the space needle, the spire in the sky, we wish 2015 a farewell good bye.
All around us we see the city lights, and gaze further upon all the north-west’s stunning sights.
We brace for that the calls from those in fright, as we pray for peace and New Year’s delight.
If we must we will send aid by air or sea, for it is not for the coast guard to flee.
The night is quiet for some and festive for others, thoughts of a New Year before us with all of its wonders.
Now is the time to lift up our glasses of sparkling apple cider, we still have six hours of this all-nighter.
From the City of Emerald green, we send out our cheer we welcome Twenty Sixteen.
Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!

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4 Responses

  1. Steve Gillooly says:

    Station Sandy Hook:

    And now, our annual end of year Watchstander’s Log entry:

    ‘Twas the night before new year’s and all through the Station
    My Coasties were sleeping, all tired from guarding our Nation

    Their ODU’s and PPE were hung with great care,
    Their belly’s were full of the galley’s best fare.

    The Twenty Nines and Forty Sevens were sleeping.
    All rooms were quiet, no alarms were beeping.

    Nothing on 16, nothing on 21.
    Even Rescue 21 was pretty much done.

    Nobody underway, No cases were open.
    The GV’s were safe, (the OOD was hoping).

    When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
    It’s an HH-65 lowering some gear!

    She stepped from the basket with a lively little step
    All full of excitement, verve, and much pep.

    It was an Auxiliarist, of course, and she brought us good cheer.
    Donuts and coffee. Cookies (no beer).

    I asked why the visit to our lonely location
    Was this attention deserved by our busy little station?

    She said that we had earned a treat, Something yummy for our crew,
    For all that we teach, for all that we do.

    “The new year will bring many calls and much SAR.
    Each boat crew will rush out (after finishing their GAR).

    They will sacrifice much, these rescuers at sea,
    Rushing out in bad weather, to save you or me.

    They deserve their rest, and a treat when they wake.
    They deserve much more, but it was all I could bake.

    We miss those who’ve transferred, those overseas at war.
    We are grateful for those with us, on this lonely sand bar.”

    Then the Auxiliarist left, jumping back in the bird,
    I heard her exclaim in a voice loud enough to be heard:

    “Happy New Year Sandy Hook! Happy New Year to All!
    Be careful out there, don’t trip, and don’t fall!

    Train hard and train well so you’ll be ready when called.
    We are proud of you, every one and all.”

    I turned back to my console to update my log,
    The OU called, someone barked like a dog.

    “Who authorized that flight? Who gave you permission?
    Where’s the paperwork on that? Who ordered that mission?”

    I said what I could, made up some excuses.
    I blamed it on mixups, said the memos were useless.

    Then the SAR line rang, was it the big one?
    Just a wrong number – no reason to run.

    The cell phones all charging, radio lights are all green.
    The MK office is dark, the defibrillator is clean.

    The front gate is closed, all equipment accounted for.
    Just some crumbs on the chart table, some dust on the floor.

    My radio day is ending, and so is the year.
    We’ll start 2016 with much hope and good cheer.

    May Sandy Hook be peaceful and happy, with lots of good fun.
    May my Coasties sleep tight… but be ready to run!

  2. Michael Sheldon says:

    Coast Guard veteran, retired. I remember these kind of entries all too well. Forward on, my shipmates for we know I know all too well, Coast Guardsmen and women are the best hands down. Semper Paratus and thank you for your service.

  3. Brian Reed, QMC (ret) says:

    My entry as a QM2, while stationed in the ‘old’ Mackinaw:

    THE ‘MACK’ IS STILL IN STURGEON BAY A-WAXING AT THE PIER;
    HER DAYS OF CUTTING TRACK IN ICE, CONTINUE TO DRAW NEAR.
    HER PORT IS TIED TO BERTH FOURTEEN, WITH STANDARD MOORING LINES;
    AND BROW AND DECKS ARE ALL AGLAZE WITH FRESHLY SALTED RIME.
    THE GRAVING DOCK IS EMPTY NOW, EXCEPT FOR SNOW AND ICE;
    JUST WAITING FOR THE NEXT SHIP IN, TO HOLD THERE LIKE A VICE.
    ‘MACK’S’ STATUS IS IN CHARLIE, AS CREW STILL BUTTONS UP;
    THE ENGINES AND MAINTENANCE, FOR WHICH WE WERE PUT UP.
    D-NINE HAS OUR OPCON, AND ADCON, ALSO;
    DOWN SOUTH AND EAST IN CLEVELAND, BURIED IN THE SNOW.
    TO STARBOARD RESTS MAC ONE ON DECK, READY FOR SOME SAR;
    WHILE ON THE PIER SITS MAC OH TWO, NOT FIXED JUST YET BY FAR.
    MACKINAW’S DECKS ARE ALL ALIGHT, AND MOORING AND A/C;
    DISPLAYED BY US SO ONE AND ALL CAN WITH SAFETY PROCEED.
    ELICTRICAL AND TELEPHONE, AND FRESH WATER, TOO;
    ARE PROVIDED FROM THE DOCK, FOR THE GOOD SHIP’S CREW.
    LIBERTY IS GEANTED, FOR SECTIONS 1,3,& 4;
    NORMAL WORK DAYS TO RESUME, WHEN THEY RETURN ONBOARD.
    THE OOD ON BOARD TONIGHT, NONE OTHER THAT CHIEF YAPLE;
    WHOSE NORMAL JOB IT IS TO KEEP, FOOD UPON OUR TABLE.
    THE DECADE AND THE YEAR BEGAN, WITH COLD AND CLOUDS AND SNOW;
    WHILE WITH ANTICIPATION, WE WATCHED THE LAKE ICE GROW.
    THE REASON ‘MIGHTY MACK’ WAS BUILT IS STARING IN OUR FACES;
    FOR BREAKING ICE, AND FOR SAR…AND WATCHING SAILBOAT RACES!

  4. Linda Dean says:

    These logs are great, makes me miss all the activity of the Coast Guard. The Guard changes but the human factor is still there. Thank you.