NEW YEAR'S EVE AT SEA

Extracted from "We've Been There", by Esther V. Stormer, Copyright 1992

It has been long standing seafaring tradition that the first watch at sea on New Years Eve must write the log entry in verse. Here is an entry written in the days of yore on a long winter's weather patrol:

Steaming as before 80 turns on both shafts
Heading into seas, then putting them aft
Up wind for awhile, then run off before'
Pitch, roll and pound, then roll some more
The C.O. sleeps well in his cabin below
Because he's convinced that his OD's "know"
The Exec lies snoring in his stateroom, too;
After movie and poker there's not much to do.
The Chief Engineer dozes, 'tween each pleasant dream
Of boiler exploding amidst clouds of steam
Will the turbine hold up until he's relieved?
Are the words of his predecessor to be believed?
The lookout peers out in the stormy night
Wishing that Boston and home was in sight;
Nothing there but a forty foot swell
New Years Eve at sea is certainly Hell
Down below decks in the engine spaces,
The watch stands ready to go through their paces.
"Let's wait 'til they soogee, then we'll blow tubes;
We'll show those deck apes we're not the boobs.'
The weathermen ready a great big balloon;
And dream they're home in a local saloon.
Nothing to do, but sit and beef
And wait for the CASCO to bring their relief.
Strike eight bells, change the watch
Welcome the New Years without any Scotch.
Next year the DUANE was moored at home
And I won't need to write any poem ........

Return to the Coast Guard Stories Page