ANOTHER EVERGREEN STORY
By Mark Wood
Morale hit itís nadir when this most notorious of all cutters left Governorís Island.
The CGC Evergreen (WAGO 295) would be my nomination for madhouse. Evergreen was a 180' buoy tender that was neutered of its boom and painted white for oceanographic operations. We were usually away from our homeport of New London for about nine months out of the year. An average 180' buoy tender had a crew of about 45. The Evergreen sailed with an average crew of 60 including the TAD oceanographers and MSTís. With that many people packed together for a 45 day International Ice Patrol or Bermuda Ops, morale tended to go down hill soon after leaving port.
One particular trip down to Bermuda to test life rafts, we were anxious to visit Bermuda in a mid patrol break. Our CO wasn't particularly a people oriented person and halfway through the patrol, canceled our visit. We did have "radar liberty" in that we were permitted to visit the bridge and view Bermuda from the radar screen.
Due to heavy weather, we incurred heavy damage and had to cut our operations short and steamed to Governors Island for a month of dockside availability. When we were about ready to shove off for our homeport after having been absent for two months, the OOD received a call from the OOD of Support Center Governorís Island. Seemed that the Support Center CO wanted the Evergreen to send a work detail to the stretch of grass known as doggie island to clean up the dog poop before getting underway. Morale hit a low point then, but even with morale that low, anyone with the least amount of pride will not let someone else screw with his own ship!
We cleaned up the dog poop but sometime after we got underway and while the Evergreen was steaming down Long Island Sound for a much desired homeport stay, the CO of Governors Island (or one of his family members) found a paper bag full of dog poop sitting at his doorstep. (He should be glad that we didn't set the blasted bag on fire!)
Oh yea, this has been a no $hitter.