4 March to 11 March 1969 Perth, Australia to Heard Island, Antarctic Ocean
We left Perth on the morning of the 4th with the fantail and the flight deck loaded down with supplies for Heard Island where we were going to help the Army build the satellite tracking station.
It was warm and calm the first two or three days out, and I even slept on the fantail at night.
When it started to get rough the flight deck had to be shored up because it was swaying with all that weight on it.
Every cruise we‘re always suppose to be in the roughest waters in the world. On the Northern cruise it was the North Atlantic, last cruise it was Cape Horn and Drakes Passage off the tip of South America, but I think the Indian Ocean has them all beat. I mean I‘m no seadog, but comparing this ocean with the rest I‘ve been in, this has them beat.
B-1 blew a piston and busted the liner in half before we got to Heard Island. They just finished wiping out the main bearings and getting the engine back together.
11March to 17 March 1969 Heard Island, Antarctic Ocean
Heard Island is located in the sub-Antarctic, south southeast of Africa. It is stormy just about the year around, and the first day was no exception. One of our LCVPs had a nice hole put in the side of it trying to put it over the side, and the men going ashore barely made it.
The Army had two LARCs there already so they broke them out and started running them. They are half boat and half truck, using the front tires to steer in the water. The LARCs were needed to haul cargo because (1) the water is shallow a considerable distance from shore, too shallow for our VPs (draws 3-feet), (2) the LARCs can carry more weight than a VP.
The first day was just too rough to do any unloading so we stood by until tomorrow. That night the Captain decided to go back out to sea because the anchor was dragging, and he didn‘t want a repeat of last year when we ran aground at Palmer Station.
We had a nice pleasant night at sea. The winds were blowing 70 knots with 30-foot seas. It was real good sleeping.
The next morning we went back in, and this day turned out beautiful, so unloading and building commenced.
During chow that day there were some dudes out fishing off the stern, so I went out and watched them. The day was like a nice winter day back home with the sun out and the air warm. Well, I took my shoes off (didn‘t have any socks on) and grabbed myself a fishing pole, and commenced to fish.
I wasn‘t there more than ten minutes when I got a bite and started reeling him in. As I was just pulling him out of the water the reel came apart, and ran all the line out. Well, I got the reel back together, and tried it again, then the same thing happened. It happened three times so I figured the fish was tired of me fooling with him, so I pulled him in by hand. I just got him on the stern when