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. The 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 2014.

Coast Guard Station New York's boat crews begin the New Year on watch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta H. Disco.

Coast Guard Station New York’s boat crews begin the New Year on watch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta H. Disco.

Coast Guard Cutter Valiant
By Ensign Berit Boyle

The anchor’s been housed, Valiant is back underway
Steaming towards a destination far and away
Her course is set and true, as is her crew
Devoted and ready to start 2014 anew

COMLANTAREA and TACON provide ever constant aid
While watchstanders ensure reports of Material Condition Yoke are made
The small boats are secure and ready for deck force
As Valiant remains steady on her rhumb line course

The proper lights are secured, Dog Zebra keeping the ship dark
While the Quartermaster requests the helmsman to mark
A cutter on a mission, assets by her side
A crew keeping watch on the sea and her ride

Rounds are conducted and coffee brewed
All spaces are clear, no reason to brood
The helo is secure, with tiedowns installed
And pilots ready to fly the moment they’re called

As shouts of New Year are shared on land
On Valiant the only sound is the hand
Steering the helm, or opening a hatch
The OOD making reports and ensuring all data match

Though it’s a long night for her duty crew,
There’s nothing right now they’d rather do
Than watch out for their shipmates who sleep below
Those great men and women they’re privileged to know.

Coast Guard Cutter Sea Horse
By Seaman Alec Gotts

Moored at Base Portsmouth again this night
Having energized her deck, ensign and flood lights
She is moored STBD side to the pier
At the start of a new calendar year

Shining in the moonlight she is quite a sight
Her mooring lines are doubled, made off and pulled tight
Standing a taught watch tonight with my heart full of cheer
While the rest of my shipmates are out drinking beer

Under TACON Sector Hampton Roads and CGD5
This year excellence is for what we will strive
From boardings and escorts we are at a hiatus
For this week Charlie is our boats status

Receiving electrical, potable water and telephone shore ties
Yoke is set throughout the ship, I don’t only surmise
Sea Horse-1 is notched and secured for sea
SNBM Gotts is the Inport OOD

Coast Guard Cutter Washington
The Mighty Washington rests moored port side to
At wharf victor three, in water deep and blue
Here at Apra Harbor, on the island of Guahan
Deck lights burn brightly, Sector Guam is ADCON
They also maintain our operational control
Which matters much more when we go on patrol
But tonight we stand ready, our status bravo
If called to save lives, we’re ready to go
We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again
23 lives saved before we arrived at year’s end
FPCON is alpha so we needn’t be troubled
Mooring lines are taut, all of them doubled
Material condition yoke is set through the ship
The smallboat is cradled, she’s not at the hip
From the pier we obtain the services we require
At six forty-five tomorrow liberty will expire
All can sleep well and remain worry free
BM2 Knappe has the watch as the inport OOD.

Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous

Vigorous is under the care of COMLANTAREA on this eve,
The crew is all accounted for, while some are on leave.
All deck, anchor and warning lights are burning brightly,
The cold this time of year shall not be taken lightly.
Vigorous is SOPA on this bitter winter night,
All lines are doubled up and moored up tight.
Charlie is our status and will be noted in the logs,
Also known as Cold Iron status, for all you salty dogs.
Receiving all hotel services from our pier,
Our sister Dependable is also spending New Years here.
This is Vigorous’ last New Year’s here in Cape May,
We soon will be moving because our pier is in decay.
Where we will be next year, no one knows,
We could be sailing the seas where King Neptune blows.
Liberty is granted so all can have fun,
But expires on the 2nd at the first light of sun.
The watch is stood with vigilance by just a few,
The OOD this evening is OS2.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa
By Lt. j.g. Courtney Gazda

I’m dreaming of a white D1 patrol.
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the shined brass glistens,
and look outs listen
to hear sound signals in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white D1 Patrol
with every fisheries email I write.
May your boardings be merry and bright,
And may all your D1 Patrols be white.

I’m dreaming of a white D1 Patrol.
Where every fish is the right length.
May your voyage be merry and bright,
And may all your D1 Patrols be white.

Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark

This eve of new years on a dark moonless night
in position xx:xx.x’n, xxx:xx.x’w is where we steam tonight
as the deck and the conn, stands a taut ENS Hite
recently qualified to be her crew’s guiding light

Under ADCON of Sector Miami and TACON of Sector Key West
it’s with the OPCON of CGD7 where we sail the best
our small boat is secured taking a much needed sleep
waiting patiently in the notch, poised ready to leap

Good fortune grants us two gennies that run just right
for now it’s NR2 that feeds us our light
while the fireworks die out, our nav lights burn strong
24 visitors aboard, tagging along

The rudders are tasked, by tiller, by hand
the NR1 pump currently sees to the demand
at 786 RPMs, the NR1 is a’turning
while quietly at rest the #2 is done burning

In this coming new year we’ll keep the torch burning bright
with courage, valor and confidence, we’ll fight the good fight
Happy New Year to all, says the Paul Clark crew
with our pup by our side we’ll keep that promise to you.

Coast Guard Cutter Long Island
By Seaman Scott Olsowski

We are moored securely in Valdez, Alaska,
Wanting to thank God we are not in Nebraska.
The lines are doubled on the port side,
Moored to a pier with forty fives alongside.

District 17 above with affirmative ADCON,
As we remain acrossways from an oily Exxon.
Cutter’s operations are vigilantly controlled,
By Sector Anchorage with a reputation to uphold.

Deck lights are live and shining like a penny,
As our shore ties invite electricity, telephone and potable water by the plenty.
These amenities come with the help of shore ties,
Until we leave our homeport and say our goodbyes.

The condition yoke is completed on the cutter,
While we close the hatches and clean up the clutter.
The inport OODs are zealously stood,
By BM1 Beach and SN Olsowski for the common good.
RHI Long-1 is cradled with care,
And secured for sea because we will go mid-air.
Enduring the watch and scribing the logs,
Is SN Olsowski while it snows cats and dogs.

NYE log entry