13 October to 14 October 1968 Baltimore, Maryland to Norfolk, Virginia
Southwind left the ESSO Fueling Dock, Baltimore, Maryland at 1000, Sunday, 13 October 1968 bound for McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. We had trouble getting out of the harbor because the gyro compass kept kicking off, but we finally started down the Chesapeake Bay.
We anchored off Naval Operations Base, Norfolk, Virginia the morning of the 14th of October, and started loading on what little munitions we were taking on board. Since they took off our 5-inch gun in the yard, we had very little to load.
In the latter part of the day the two HC-4 helos from U. S. Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey arrived. There were a few of the helo crew that made the last trip back again. I reckon an icebreaker is a racket for them.
A few ―40‖ boats from Group Norfolk came out, and also a VP for us. Some of the old engineers off here that got transferred were on them as boat engineers.
14 October to 23 October 1968 Norfolk, Virginia to U.S. Naval Station Rodman, Panama Canal Zone
We left Norfolk that night and headed out to sea. The seas weren‘t too bad until we left Cape Hatteras, then we hit a bad storm, and this old pig started acting up with its rocking and rolling.
I had to stand Throttleman watch in B-1 (Engine Room) until we got to Panama to break in two new guys. One from Jersey, the other from New York, and both dumb as rain. B-3 was secured, but ready to run, which made me mad because I would like for my engineroom to run all the time, and I hate to stand watch in a different engineroom. Each engine has a different time, and I never did get used to them in B-1.
When we got into the Caribbean it was still rough, which is unusual for the Caribbean, at least it was the last two times we went through it, slick as glass and hot.
When we passed between Cuba and Haiti, our old friends in the Cuban gunboat followed us as usual. When we started transiting the Canal, all of the new crew was out with their cameras. It was nothing new to the ―old salts,‖ having been through twice before.
We pulled in Rodman Naval Station the afternoon of the 21st of October and Section II ended up with the duty (my Section). It was no big deal anyway because we couldn‘t leave the base because of the civil war going on in town. I spent my duty night cleaning fresh water coolers and the main engine in B-3.
23 October to 13 November 1968 U.S. Naval Station Rodman, Panama Canal Zone to Wellington, New Zealand
We left Panama on the 23rd and headed out across the Pacific for Wellington, New Zealand. The Pacific really disappointed me this year because it was rough all the way across, and most of the time cloudy.