Ringing in 2012 with rhyme: Ashore

The act of writing a ship’s log… there’s nothing special about it. Deck logs are the permanent record of day-to-day life aboard a vessel. They must include who is in command, what the status of the ship is and various other aspects of the ship’s operations. Written in all-caps, the logs are ordinary every day of the year except one – New Year’s Eve.

On most ships, and at all Coast Guard units standing the watch, the midnight entry 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 2012.

Below are the watch entries for those who were ashore, but you can also read the log entries from those who were standing the watch at sea.

Air Station Atlantic City – By the Air Station watch

A flight mechanic from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., lowers a rescue swimmer from an Dolphin helicopter. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Brazzell.

A flight mechanic from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., lowers a rescue swimmer from an Dolphin helicopter. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Brazzell.

The clock just chimed midnight, so we welcome 2012,
All aircraft are accounted for and the parts are shelved.
Dual B0s at the ready here in the hangar at Atlantic City,
Twin alert intercept birds guarding the NCR are oh so pretty.
With 10 aircraft in total, these mighty chariots are gnarly,
Only the 6507, 6587 and 6593 are listed as Charlie.
We have no radio guards, and no mayday calls,
Rounds have been made, and we have secured the unit’s halls.
We sit here in wait, for there may come a time,
When we will launch the mighty MH-65D, and forget this rhyme.
But until that time comes we will maintain our readiness status,
Because we are Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and are always Semper Paratus!

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May – By Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska

There are 326 recruits asleep in their racks.
while they are haunted by images of CCs hot on their tracks.
For them, there will be no count down to zero.
At this Coast Guard unit, we’re too busy trying to make heroes.
There will no phone call from the New Year’s Eve party.
They’ll just be rushing to watch so as not to be tardy.
No Facebook, no texts or no email to ring it all in.
All they get is a shiver from the cold Jersey Shore wind.
Their bodies are sore from the hustle and grind.
Their brains hurt from all the information put in their minds.
They’ve marched all day long with backpacks attached.
They have to stand guard so their bags are not snatched.
They’ve hustled from seamanship down to the gym.
Off to the confidence course and then back again.
They’ll start 2012 with their company run,
And for them, this will be the definition of fun.
They’ll push and struggle and give every bit,
Because they face reversion if they ever do quit.
You’ll never hear them complain or once make a peep,
About only getting a few hours of sleep.
Because they all know, it all has a purpose,
And they can expect more when they enter the Service.
They will ship to destinations unknown,
Which may even be further away from their home.
From counter-narcotics to saving lives and all missions in between,
They will face dangers yet to be seen.
To protect, to defend, to save and to shield,
The Coast Guard in its missions will never yield.
We’ve trained them well. We think the best,
So when it comes time, they can rise to the test.
So whereever you are toasting your holiday cheer,
Find comfort in knowing a Coast Guardsman is near.
From near to far and from far to near,
There’s a good chance that that Coast Guardsman started right here.

Station Oregon Inlet – By Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Fredrickson

The moment draws near when we say goodbye to a friend,
As the year 2011 slowly comes to an end.
Friend? Maybe foe, more like a partner in crime,
Leaving memories with us all, that weren’t always sublime.

Crews from Oregon Inlet get underway. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Akana.

Crews from Oregon Inlet get underway. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Akana.

It began with a storm with strong winds and some snow.
Causing the tip of the island to grow,
Into the channel making passage so slim,
That the prospect of surf drills grew increasingly dim.

The entrance reopened with some praying and luck.
Hell, who am I kidding? Thanks Dredge Currituck!
With some shimmy and shake you made our dreams come true.
Gifting surf drills aplenty for the surf stricken crew.

In the year of the striper, it was quite a site to see,
Thousands of boats took to the ocean with glee.
They kept us rather busy watching over the herd,
But the number of vessels was nothing short of absurd.

Three miles from the boundary, please don’t go outside,
And posses any striper or you’ll be sternly denied.
By Oregon Inlet BOs and their swift stroke of pen,
Writing summary settlements to those fishermen.

But fishing and shoals aren’t all we’re known for,
I guess it’s something I should have mentioned before.
Hurricanes often take aim on our coast,
It’s really not something that we’re proud of and boast.

When winds blew fierce and Irene took some land,
She laughed in our faces as she deposited the sand.
Again blocking the gates to the graveyard of the east,
Keeping us sound side, which we like the least.

But enough of the past, we keep our head in the boat,
There’s just one more thing that I’d like to emote.
Two thousand and twelve, of course if the world doesn’t end,
We welcome you open armed, pleased to call you our friend.

Base Elizabeth City – By Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Clipse

A sign is revealed during a ceremony combining all units within Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City as falling under the command of the officially titled Base Elizabeth City, Nov. 29, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David R. Marin.

A sign is revealed during a ceremony combining all units within Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City as falling under the command of the officially titled Base Elizabeth City, Nov. 29, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David R. Marin.

Base Elizabeth City stands its duties as the year approaches its near end.
While the civilians of the coast spend this time with family and friends.
For the Base is now new with this upcoming year,
Added responsibility on this night we hold dear.
Duty on this night in detail is reviewed and raved,
For this night we are here to receive the calls, so our fellow Coast Guardsmen makes it home unscathed.
This year was a trial to get to this time and place,
As this was the year our place, we turned into a “Base.”
Yes, we did experience some delays,
But even great Rome was not complete in just days.
Our base that we have made was established under new structure and command,
For when we faced hurricanes and new orders, leadership was found only to be grand.
As tonight the OOD and watchstander will stand the last watch of the year on the Pasquotank River,
Base Elizabeth City’s shipmates and friends will rest easy and not even quiver.
As they know Base stands a taut watch all through the night,
For the hours of darkness is when the Coast Guard must shine its might.
As the nation will watch the New Year’s ball drop and be going to bed,
Base Elizabeth City will not drop the ball, and will convey how our duty is led.
Gone at this moment is the eve of the New Year,
For Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City the New Year is now here.
Vanished now is 2011,
May 2012 be like heaven.

Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach – By the Command Center Mid Watch

Midnight local, 0800 Greenwich Mean Time,
The watch stands at the ready, singing Auld Lang Syne.
Crew selection is solid – one in a million,
1 JO, 2 petty officers and a salty civilian.
Small craft advisories stand in our northern & outer,
And the inaudible radio static seems to be growing louder.
No active cases, but much to our chagrin,
Dense fog has the air station completely socked-in.
The GAR is 18, all Cutters in port,
For all other actions, nothing significant to report.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina – By Sector North Carolina’s watch

At Coast Guard Sector North Carolina we ring in the new year, the year two thousand and twelve is finally here.
OS2s Mango and Edmond are on watch in the comms room, listening intently for any impending doom.
The new year has started with HF Buxton not working, with only one safety broadcast to keep the mariners stirring.
Across North Carolina the fisherman sleep, while we stand vigilant over the ocean blue and deep.
We don’t have any guards, not even a cutter, while the HF radios are blaring with static and clutter.
A time tick has been conducted, the equipment has been set, no one has called on the radio, at least not yet.

Personnel at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center stand watch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Kevin Sullivan.

Personnel at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center stand watch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Kevin Sullivan.

Out on the floor everyone is awake, to toast in the new year, that no lives are at stake.
As soon as it came, the time has flown by, for it is now our, regular marine broadcasting time.
We start with warning for all those to hear, that on channel 22 we’ll be sure to appear!
We’ll head warning and caution, for those to abide, while starting it first with a word from D5!
We have BNM 523 starting off high, then 517, 516, and 5-1- and 5. There’s 514, 511 ending the thread, now we’ve broadcasted the sector’s and here’s what they’ve read. There’s 747, 745/744 too, then 740, 734 and more have accrued. There’s 729/728/72 and a 6, with 725, 722-11, we’re though!
Securite secuirte, is the phrase we shall say, to inform the mariners that there’s hazard their way.
We shift them to listen to channel 22, then we’ll broadcast the hazard for safely pass through.
Head caution head caution, beware of the depths, for Oregon Inlet has seen better days yet.
If you’re stuck in the water our response is delayed, so be cautious if you transit Oregon Inlet today.
Just like before it came yet again, the time set aside for marine BNMs.
We start with warning for all those to hear, that on channel 22 we’ll be sure to appear!
We’ll head warning and caution, for those to abide, while starting it first with a word from D5!
We have BNM 526 starting off high, then another for 525. There’s 746 and 743, then 742, 7-4 and a 3, BNM 742 falls in naturally. There’s 741, 7-3 and a 8, now 736, 724 and its great. 719, 718, 694, now 659/462/461 now we’re though!
New years come, and new years go, pieces of time, all in a row.
Prepare your resolutions, and set things straight, there are many things to do, it’s never too late.
We will give up bad habits and we will learn a lot, our goals will be accomplished… or maybe not.
At Coast Guard Sector North Carolina we wish you the best, and that every thing you do, you look at as a test.
To better yourself or others around, that joy and happiness are also found.
So to all that read this, know this year will be great, and think of the new year with a clean slate.
Now back to the watch to be alert and true, and happy new year to you in two thousand ten and two.
New Year's Eve poem

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