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All Hands Take Stations for Mooring Instructions

After each cruise, there is usually a big turnover of personnel, many incoming are non-rated or inexperienced. Recognizing that mooring and unmooring, a ship is often done under the eyes of the public, plus the fact that an icebreaker may make few dockside landings during the course of a cruise, it was deemed wise to carry out some indoctrination in this task so that we may always look good. At the Yard one day, for drills and instruction, the order was passed by the PA system:"All hands take stations for mooring instruction." The cutter tied up across the dock thought this was a great joke and called out many friendly taunts. But that's the way of Coast Guardsmen everywhere.

Antarctic Peninsula

Playing around old Palmer Station, we came upon a stash of beer in original cartons behind the building. Sampling it, it turnout out to be fine except for what we called ―goobers‖ in the bottom of each can. We didn‘t eat the ―goobers,‖ but we cut into the supply of beer. Maybe that same day, we noted a sheet of corrugated roofing material about 15 feet long and 3 feet wide. It was obvious that if one end were bent up, the sheet would make an excellent toboggan, the corrugations making it steer straight. This done, the toboggan was towed up the glacier, about 10 of us piled on and with one man designated to yell ―ROLL!‖ we started down, gathering speed each second. Yes, we rolled off in time and the toboggan continued down to the rocks where it became airborne. I don‘t remember if we salvaged the sled for another run or not but I know that DCC Pierce has a photographic record of the event.

Southwind’s Return to Puntas Arenas, Chile

Going back to the Antarctic Peninsula and one of our returns from Punta Arenas when we learned that a SeaBee had fallen on the rocks and severely damaged his shoulder. Got him on board without delay and started North once more. We requested a destination to put off the injured man and heard discussions between the Navy and State Department but no advice for us. Approaching the junction of the Beagle Channel and the route to Punta Arenas, we (that is, I) elected to proceed to Ushuaia (Argentina). On arrival at anchor we were boarded by an Argentine Naval officer who said he had intercepted our messages and knew our problem. He said that if we put the man ashore, he would be taken to the hospital, stabilized, and put on a plan at 0600 the next morning for a flight to Buenos Aires. The hospital there would undertake to take care of the injured man. We later heard from Argentine authorities that the injured man was satisfactorily mended and on his way. We had a nice musical evening at the inn in Ushuaia.

Southwind’s Twenty-Two Day Power Run from the Canal Zone to New Zealand

Held full power trial on the way. Trial consists of having all machinery in top-notch condition, bringing all up to ―red line‖ and holding it there for 1 hour (I think). Engineering Officer George Saunders reported that everything was operating well and asked if we could hold the trial for a while longer. We did - for 24 hours - cutting our arrival time at New Zealand considerably. Of course, we sent a revised ETA and arrived off Wellington to a great silence. Requesting a pilot, we were asked what we were doing there at that time. Well of course we got a pilot and were tied up in town where we learned that the Embassy had noted the new arrival time, but not the new arrival date. A good time was had by all in Wellington.


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