a short story that I previously published on Fred's Point/CounterPoint. Will
you add it to your site for perpetuity?.
Ed Comment - If there
was ever a ship mis-matched to an operating area, the
210' CGC Confidence was it.
CGC CONFIDENCE - Photo
Purloined from Fred's Place
worst roll of a ship I ever experienced was the last day of a two week
Alaska Patrol in the Winter of 1975. There was a HUGE dome of high pressure
over the Alaska mainland spilling very cold air at a rate of about 50-70 kts
with higher gusts into a deep trough of low pressure over the Gulf of Alaska.
Needless to say, the this energy kicked the sea state something unbelievable.
40 ft rollers off of Chiniak Bay comes to mind. This meteorological condition
is known as the Alaska Williwaw.
About five miles out of Woman's Bay and the Support Center, we lost
ships power for some reason or another. I don't remember the degree of the
rolls. I don't really want to. Without the juice to drive the
transmitters, receivers, or crypto, I wedged myself in the crypto room. There
is a seat complete with a seat belt at the operator's position but with the
degree and intensity of the rolls, the structural integrity of the seat
pedestal was in question.
In the crypto room, the ETN2 (crypto repairman) has a metal chest of repair
parts which is bolted to the bulkhead above head level. Taking one roll, the
bolts holding the metal chest sheared and the chest came inches from knocking
my head off.
Worse yet, one of the Ensigns came into Radio Room and demanded a voice radio
patch to RCC Kodiak. I told him that would not be possible due to lack of
power. He got intolerable in the way a five year old does when not getting
what he wants. He said "just make it happen!!!" and stormed out of
On the CGC Confidence, there is a voice tube for passing messages from
Radio to the Bridge and back. From that tube, I heard someone yelling at top
of his lungs, "we're going to broach!" which means that the spit is
really hitting the fan and that now would be a good time to think about coming
to Jesus. For the uninitiated and aircrew members, when a ship or boat
broaches, it rolls to the point of non-recovery, possibly to the point
Fortunately, King Neptune was smiling on us. We didn't roll over.
for us, a competent group of Engineers got the ship's power back on line so we
set the course to enter Woman's Bay and home.
After mooring up, I asked the Ensign if he still wanted that phone patch to
I received no
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