Saturday, February 18, 2012

Captain's Blog 2/18/12

'One day and a wake-up' - that's how the saying goes. Actually it is 'one day and an early wake-up'. We are taking the pilot at the Cape Cod Canal at 0530, and entering the Canal at about 0545, so we have to get everyone up early and running on all cylinders. Reveille will be at 0400 - this will account for the yawns at Sunday dinner - to get them packed up and ready to disembark shortly after 0800, just in time for church!

The morning will be a whirlwind for everyone, getting up early, packing up, cleaning, standing in the cold air, and the anticipation of 'getting off the ship'. It is a ritual we enjoy every year. There are certain protocols that we follow each time which all the readers should know. First all, we have to turn into the slip at slack water, which can vary from the predicted time by 20 minutes, we will get near the dock at about 0700, and we may hover for some time.

Next, once we get into the slip the tug boats will push us hard against the dock to allow us to tie the ship up firmly (good enough for five months!). While that is happening we'll be working the gangway, but will not allow crew or cadets down it until the ship is settled in place without the tugs pushing. It can take some time, so please be patient.

Once the gangway is open the first down will be cadets that have either won the privilege, or purchased it at auction (remember the Wounded Warriors'!). First off will be 4/C James Nguyen who won the Las Vegas night most funny-money; then 4/C Michael Murphy, and then 4/C Nick DeMarco - both who bid high at the auction. The cadets will then be permitted to disembark based upon the inspection of their berthing compartments.

All spaces must be clean, trash emptied and gear all packed in duffle bags and knapsacks. While this is happening the officers and crew will be allowed off. We will not open the ship for visitors until the bulk of cadets and crew are off the ship. It is chaotic, but for only about an hour!

Admiral Gurnon has told me that the Pande Dining Hall will be opened for warmth from the weather and some hot coffee. There's always a great view of the ship from that location.

See you all tomorrow...

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