SLEEPING TWIXT THE HAWSE PIPES ON THE CEDAR

Submitted By Charles L Umpstead  

About a year ago I received an e-mail from a lady in the area of the State of Washington. She was gathering information for a scrapbook for her father who had sailed the CGC Cedar in the late 1930s and had seen my name in the book Northern Lights. Having spent the year of 1948 on Cape Hinchenbrook Lighthouse the she thought I may have some information interesting enough to add to her fathers momentos.

  I told her how, when I was relieved from Hinchenbrook I had departed on her fathers dear Cedar and how my berthing was assigned as a portable cot placed between the hawse pipes in the foc'sal. And how I was rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a clammering, hammering, banging, racket that no bugler ever matched. As quick as it started it abruptly stopped, and out of the sudden silence came a cry of, "give her six fathom more" and the deafening sound continued. After the proper length of anchor chain was payed out the noise stopped and I went back to sleep.  

The lady relayed to me that in the process of reading to  her father my experience, he had interrupted her before she finished and said, "I'll bet they put him between the hawse pipes."

So after 52 years I now realized I had been a victim. I believe any greenhorn going aboard the Cedar, not as ships crew, was given the berth between the pipes and that this had been going on for years as a way to have a joke and break the boredom of the long hard hours of working the Alaskan waters

The old Cedar sailor was in his 80s at the time of my contact and any recent attempt to reastablish contact has been fruitless. -- From Charles L Umpstead ENCM Ret

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