On the morning of the 8th (January), they started flooding the dry-dock and put us back in the water again. The only problem we had was the packing on the starboard shaft was leaking bad, and it continued to do so ever since.
We proceeded across the harbor to Point Howard for refueling, and left on the morning of the 9th (January). On the way out we had General Quarters because of a stack fire in B-1 Engine Room. Also, one of the helos flew Bob Webb in to go on emergency leave because his wife was sick. He‘s now stationed at Fort Macon, TAD from the Southwind.
9 January to 20 January 1969 Wellington, New Zealand to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
The trip back down to the ice was routine. By routine I mean rocking and rolling on the ship‘s part, and the usual watches and work.
Sunday the 12th watches were dogged and I went on the mid-watch. January 14th I went down to relieve the watch and noticed a different sound in #6 Main Engine, coming from the front end. About 0005 (5 minutes after midnight) the engines were slowed down to an idle, and I could plainly hear the noise then. I call Main Motor and got permission to secure #6 Main Engine to check it out. I removed the inspection cover on the front end and discovered two bolts holding the vertical drive bracket for the governor had sheared off. So then we started to work, not at once because the brass couldn‘t decide what to do. Finally about 4:00 a.m. they decided and we started pulling out the front end.
The flexible drive gear was also damaged, but we had none in stock, so we just dressed up the teeth with a file. Repairs were completed January 16th, and #6 Main Engine tested out okay.
20 January to 7 February 1969 McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
When we arrived in the Sound we found the channel to be broken all the way to McMurdo Station, and saw it for the first time. During our stay at McMurdo Sound and vicinity we escorted ships in and out to resupply McMurdo Station, and kept the channel open.
We made a run to Hallett Station, about 500-miles North Northwest. Hallett Station is a station for the purpose of penguin research. We took them supplies and left our Education Officer, Ensign Riordon, there to administer servicewide exams and Institute courses.
Our first liberty at McMurdo ended in chaos, so no more liberty for awhile. Too many fights. Well, I didn‘t go ashore that night so I was in good shape.
The following weekend I had liberty, and that night too ended up with fights. I was in on that. It wouldn‘t be so bad if we had fought the Navy or Kiwis (New Zealanders) but we always fight among ourselves. The biggest feud going is Deck Force against Engineers.
We also had a ship‘s party that weekend. It lasted from 6 at night until 4 the next morning and involved 75 odd cases of beer. I left around 12 because I fell off a table and hurt my back. The next morning it took me about a half hour to get out of my rack, I hurt so bad. I don‘t know how I