Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Arctic Patrol – Aug. 28, 2008

Journal Entry – Aug. 28, 2008 – Beaufort Ocean

The Coast Guard is extending High Endurance cutter operations from the Bering Sea into the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. This operation supports the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to extend maritime safety and security to the Arctic region in the face of retreating polar sea ice. The Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton will be the lead cutter in the United States’ push to extend security to U.S. Arctic waters. As part of this historic operation, the Hamilton is providing daily journal entries.

Position: Beaufort Ocean, 71-33.8N, 156-54.1W; 20 NM North of Point Barrow

Weather: Winds: NW 6kts. Temp: 45 F. Sea Temp: 40 F. Seas/Swells: 2 feet.

Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Arctic Patrol Aug 28, 2008

Crew Journal:

Written by: Captain Victor Gronmyr

Canadian Coast Guard

Pacific Region

On the 27th of August the Hamilton slowly worked its way around a 3/10 to 5/10 finger of ice roughly 10nm offshore from Wainwright in the fog. Just before lunch, the visibility improved and the ice was unveiled for the first time for the Captain and Crew of the Hamilton. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of being with 175 people experiencing ice for the first time.

Thursday, 28th of August, 2008. I spent time with some of the bridge watches comparing notes on radar use for detecting ice in reduced visibility. I was impressed with the vigilance and competence that the watchkeepers displayed in keeping a safe watch.

Rear Admiral Gene Brooks, MCPO Vanderwerf and Joel Casto departed the ship today. I enjoyed having the opportunity to swap sea stories and exchange ideas about the differences as well as the common interests that both the American and the Canadian Coast Guards share. The Admiral seemed to have the better sea stories, though as it seems to be his nature, always said mine were better. I was very impressed with the admiral and his staff. I truly believe that District 17 is in good hands.

At quarters prior to his departure, the Admiral spoke of his time aboard and to the officers and crew about maintaining the ship in a state of readiness to answer the call of duty. How even though the ship may be de-commissioned some day in the future, the ship had to be ready and that all could count on him to back them up to ensure that the ship would get everything it needed in order to be ready to answer the call.

I continue to enjoy my tour aboard the Hamilton as a Supernumerary. Interacting with the Officers and Crew who are genuinely interested with everything to do with the arctic is both refreshing and inspiring.

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