First Day Underway

[from the vaults, 2007] Friday, March 16 Hello Danamaniacs, Coasties, friends and family! Once again I write from on board a Coast Guard cutter underway. Man, I love my job. Last time it was 16 days in the Bering Sea on board the USCG cutter Alex Haley, a 282-foot medium endurance cutter out of…

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Richard Noakes of Victoria writes

I have only this morning finished reading Though Not Dead which I enjoyed more than others concerning Kate and her adventures. It was fascinating how you incorporated Alaskan history (of which I know very little about) into this special book. "Uncle Sam" was quite a man, in all senses of the word!!

When you consider he wrote from Australia to my large print publisher in Maine, who then forwarded the letter to the Homer Bookstore, who then passed it on the next time I was in town, I find it kind of astonishing that it only took 17 days to reach me.

My reply took a more direct route.

Though Not Dead and all my books available for download here.

# Permanent link to My first fan letter from Oz.

Last Day

[from the vaults, first posted February 19, 2004] Today I took my leave of the USCGC Alex Haley and her crew. I know that for the past two weeks I’ve been writing what amounts to a recruiting poster. All I can tell you is that I wrote what I saw. Was I able to…

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Two different days

[from the vaults, first posted February 18, 2004] What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we worked with another cutter, testing an electronic positioning system that will help the Coast Guard prove cases in court, which required ten hours of steaming back and forth, pinging the other ship on radar and recording both positions…

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Courtesy Call

[from the vaults, first posted February 17, 2004] So I got to do a courtesy call on another Coast Guard cutter. Which means I got suited up like the BTMs and took a boat ride. I can’t tell you how hard it has been NOT to beg, plead, whine and cry to do this.…

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Pushing responsibility down

[from the vaults, first posted February 16, 2004] The Captain scrubbed a boarding due to heavy seas. The bosun’s mate, the person who drives the boarding party over to the fishing vessel in the small boat, came to the bridge afterward, and the Captain explained the reasons why he’d scrubbed the launch. “Agreed,” said…

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About Seasickness

[from the vaults, first posted February 15, 2004] About seasickness, since almost every single non-Coastie person who has emailed me has asked if I’m seasick. Yes, once, the first full day of patrol. I woke up, sat up, and threw up. Later that same day I walked into the wardroom pantry and the seaman…

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Poetry and pizza

[from the vaults, first posted February 14, 2004] Two poems I found posted by the mid-watch on yellow sticky notes on a bridge window. I added the titles. Night Watch Cold wind blowin’ On the sea tonight One screw turning’ One screw tight Box steaming In the lee tonight Cold wind blowin’ On the…

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Fishermen and fire drills

[from the vaults, first posted February 13, 2004] We did a safety boarding on an opilio crabber. I tried to talk the boarding team into bringing back some crab but they wouldn’t go for it. Then I tried to talk Ops into swinging the boat hoist over to pick one of the pots as…

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