Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Best Awful Day Ever

I'm not even sure what to say about today. It's not over yet, so who knows 
what is yet to come. So far, though, I have been delighted with some great 
experiences even in the face of some really crappy circumstances.

My tooth ache from two patrols came back. Raging back. With angry and fiery 
vengeance. On Friday afternoon. The day before we got underway. I asked Doc 
(HS2 TW) for something stronger than 200 mg of ibuprofen which just wasn't 
cutting through the pounding agony in my face. He gave me 800 mg of ibuprofen 
which I could take one every eight hours. It wore off after five.

In the meantime, we got down to the oparea, met up with four other cutters, 
embarked over 140 migrants and some contraband that went immediately down to 
lock up. Nothing like jumping in with both feet, as CO said over the 1MC when 
we had about half the transfers done.

Finally, Monday morning arrived, and I took the first opportunity I could to 
get set up with dental sick call at the local MTF (military treatment 
facility). I rode in on the Station 45' Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) when they 
came out to drop some partner agency representatives off to us. The ride in 
was glorious; flat calm about an hour after dawn, not too many boats out and 
about, and we tied up right as the base was observing morning colors. The duty 
HS from last night told me exactly what I needed to do this morning, and the 
HS3 at the clinic was ready and waiting for me. Logistics had a GV all ready 
for me to go, and by 0900 I was filling out paperwork at the dentist's office.

The awful part of the experience was the tooth extraction. Never done that 
before. Never want to do that again. 'Nuff said.

On the brighter side, the dentist and all his assistants were thoughtful, kind 
and seemed to truly care about providing good service. The dentist was very 
concerned that he couldn't find a smoking gun for my discomfort, but was much 
more confident once he heard the whole back story about a pending extraction 
that I hadn't gotten done yet. He explained everything thoroughly, and his 
technician was very apologetic for having to jam the big x-ray frame all the 
way back into my mouth to get the roots of the molars in the picture. I was 
even lucky enough that the office had one cancellation and one no show so they 
could do the procedure straightaway and take their time with it.

I was back in Coast Guard territory by 1145, even with a stop at the grocery 
store for soft foods so I had something to eat for the next few days without 
making special requests to the cooks onboard. It took a few moments to figure 
out how I was going to get back to DILIGENCE, but that just gave me time to 
gather up all the parts and packages that had been delivered to us for 
transport back to the ship. It was gonna be Christmas in May when I got back 
to the ship!

Our cutter boat made a run in, dropping off some of those partner agency 
representatives who had quickly finished what they needed to do onboard. BM2 
CJ and MK3 CC loaded the packages all into the boat, and away we went.

What a glorious ride we had out to the ship. It took about 20 minutes at 30+ 
knots, and once we got away from the traffic-ridden harbor area, we *flew* 
over the glassy calm water. I saw a fish boil about 30 yards off the port bow, 
with silver and grey flashes churning all over each other. And the fresh air 
smelled damp and briny with a hint of fishiness. The ship was far off on the 
horizon, barely a spot when I first saw it. It grew larger, with more details 
coming into focus until I could see the individual faces peering at me from 
the flight deck and fantail. We have a new migrant tent for the flight deck 
that, if possible, even improves the lines of a very good looking ship. 
         DILIGENCE framed by DILI 1. Just another day at the office.

So, what could have been a shitty day turned out to be a string of really good 
things one after the other. Love it when that happens!

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer
USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616)
**UNDERWAY**

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