I decided just to start my journal today. I'll briefly re-hash January and February as I see fit. January, I was just in the state of shock. He left on January 8th and I don't know when our paths with cross again. Let's just move on from there. Cold Cold Cold is about all I have to say for the rest of January, and most of February. As of February 21, we had only 2 days above 30. What is with that! February was not a good month, and I'm glad it is over. It was a month of no heat, snowstorms, car problems and that ongoing garage problem (gotta get that thing fixed). Archie won't eat he breakfast or his apple. Four days later he was eating both. Don't know what was going on with that.
March 1, 2007
I have the most interesting patient. I'll call him......Dave. Dave spent 4 years in the Coast Guard and said he doesn't regret one minute of it. Here is his story. Dave did he basic training at Cape May, NJ. He said they had to train often in something called a "surf boat". Don't know what that is but from what I gathered, they had to row it (NO MOTOR). Dave said he never saw another surf boat after basic. Dave went to radar school in New London and a billet became available on a 180ft weather vessel. He went south and spent the next 4 months going to and fro from San Juan to the West Indies (or somewhere like that), until one day a wave from Hurricane Donna split the hull open. He said the limped to the nearest port and they decommissioned her on the spot. He sat around for a short time and received word that a 83ft boat needed a radar man in St Thomas. He said it was a wood hull boat that had been built for the Normandy invasion (we all know the Coast Guard got the castoffs of the other branches). He said since the boat would sit high in the water it could do about 56mph (don't remember knots) He said they did lots of patrols and had a big auto gun on the pt type boat. Dave said the Navy was jealous at their speed and agility. He really liked that boat and has Coast Guard stuff all over his living room. Every 6 month the would have to go to San Juan and put it in dry dock. He said they would close the gates, pump out the water and start cleaning scrubbing painting everything. Dave said when they pumped the water out of the dry dock, native worker would bring sacks to scoop up all the fish. They kept them in coolers on the dock until it was time to go home. Later, Dave had a difficult assignment (haha). The skipper did not want to be the harbor guy for the boaters. He gave the job to Dave. They were on "tropical hours", which I guess means they got off early afternoons. He would ride his motorcycle to the harbor and search for vessels stickers. He would then ask to board the vessels and do safety checks, have some coffee, meet some since people, fill out some paperwork and go home for the day. When I asked Dave why he didn't reup, he said his next duty station would either be in Alaska or an ice breaker in Boston. He loved the warm weather so he got out. During this time he also married, his wife didn't like St Thomas because she felt landlocked (8mi x 12mi). Before joining the USCG, he worked at the post office in Indy. He moved back to IN and returned to his old job. His eyes still light up when he talks about her (the boat). I wonder if his eyes lit up like that when he talked about his wife. Don't know if she is dead or alive, we didn't discuss it.