Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Good, The Frustrating, The Profound

Lots of good stuff today. Lots of frustrating stuff today. That's the way
the days go, underway. 

Let's see, how did the day start, again? Oh right...sunrise yoga. I put my
mat down as far forward as I could on the flight deck, on the starboard side
to get as much lee as I could from the wind. As I stretched back into my
third reverse warrior, I caught a glimpse of a glowing red sky peaking
between the cutter boat and its cradle. "Red sky in the morning, sailors
take warning" passed through my thoughts. Thankfully, it turned out to be a
gorgeous day.

I came in from yoga and tried logging on to my computer for my morning
ritual of checking emails before breakfast. Nope, wasn't going to happen.
Something was messed up with our server; IT2 JM was already talking to
TISCOM about it. But without a computer to work on, I wasted a large part of
my morning feeling like there was stuff I should be doing, but then
remembering that I couldn't. 

After lunch we met up with an FRC and took a group of migrants from them.
They had picked the people up yesterday. One of the group was a little girl
with her mother and father. Now, we've been doing this mission for nearly
six weeks at this point, but we hadn't seen any kids yet. It was hard. She's
a lovely little girl, holding tight to her dad's hand, maybe seven or eight
years old. She got a high-five from one of our crew on the fantail helping
them get settled on the flight deck. I wonder what she'll remember from this
experience. She's old enough to remember what happens, but maybe not old
enough to understand the why behind it all. Transferred from ship to ship,
hopefully she remembers men and women in dark blue who thoughtfully cared
for her well-being, looked after her for a few days and treated her like the
adorable little girl she is.

All afternoon long, and into the evening, it was a beautiful day. We haven't
had too many flat calm days this patrol. I'm determined to appreciate them
when we get them. Flat calm seas are a delight for personnel transfers. We
did, I don't know, maybe five of them today. Boat to the rail, boat in the
water, boat away, boat alongside, boat at the rail, boat in the cradle. I
heard a lot of that today. All done safely and smoothly thanks to the
exceptional professionalism of our coxswains, boat crewman, line handlers,
davit operators, boat deck supervisors, and boarding team members. 

As we were launching the boat for the umpteenth time today, I realized that
one of the things that I really like about this mission is the profound
sense of Coast Guard camaraderie we get to revel in while we're here. We saw
and worked with a station boat, an FRC and their small boat, and a WMEC 270
today. How cool is that? And we've had more days where we see other CG units
than days that we haven't this patrol. I think it's a very real reminder
that we're part of something much bigger than ourselves when we see and work
directly with other units. Heck, I don't know why it's such a thrill -- but
it is!

And after all that today, the sunset. The picture doesn't hardly do it
justice. So many colors filled the sky, with electric gold singeing the
clouds, rays of light beaming through the gaps, and blues and greys and
pinks and peaches and violets and silvers all mixed in, changing
imperceptibly every second so it was never the same before and after a blink
of the eyes. And just before full dark, a faint pink glow reflected the last
of the sun's rays, a blush of color in the night sky.

The good, the frustrating, the profound...just another day underway. 

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer

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