Saturday, June 24, 2006, 10:15 PM
I've discovered that there is a limit to the amount of TV I can watch, at least while I'm sober. I'd previously thought that given the right shows and movies I could watch TV for an indefinite period of time. Now I find myself bored to tears. Can't wait until land.
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Fog and Delays 
Friday, June 23, 2006, 05:35 PM
My departure from the ship has been delayed. We anchored off of St. Paul island as planned, however the C-130 that was to pick us up was unable to land due to heavy fog. Our CAPT wanted to stay another 14 hours to try again in the morning (there are five people leaving and 21 attempting to fly in), but district ordered us to immediately get underway for the MBL.

After multiple date changes it looks like I may be getting out of here by the end of the month. I suppose I really shouldn't say when or how just in case there are any Russian fisherman who read obscure American blogs.

Anyways, the point is that I'll quickly be returning to land. I enjoy standing watch more than really anything else on the boat, but this lifestyle quickly gets tiring.
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Hate and Discontent 
Monday, June 19, 2006, 04:15 PM
There's been a fair amount of hate and discontent coming from the wardroom, and the engineering section in particular, regarding my impending departure. A surprisingly large number of fellow officers, and no shortage of enlisted, have confessed that they hate me. The first day I found out I was leaving, Pat (the MPA) remarked at dinner, "if Peter leaves on the 20th that'll leave us in a 1 in 3 rotation." Feeling bad for not having delivered the news personally I replied, "I'm sorry, I've been meaning to talk to you about that." To which George Hall, one of my fellow engineering ensigns, replied "Oh, I've been meaning to talk to you..." He paused just long enough for the wardroom to become somewhat silent before finishing "I hate you."

In another incident one of my fellow ensigns was discussing one of our future port calls in Adak, AK. I mentioned that their local website lists the General Store under important phone numbers. As she inquired whether the town was large enough even to have a local bar, I maintained my silence as a large smile crept across my face -- completely unrelated, of course, to the fact I will be missing this wonderful port call. She got a confused look on her face for a few seconds, before exclaiming "I hate you!"
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Back To Land 
Saturday, June 17, 2006, 04:07 AM
I'll be arriving back in the Bay Area on June 21. Can't say that I'm sad to be leaving, but I do feel bad because I'll be leaving the other EOWs with a 1 in 3 rotation. Since that's the top level qual, there's nobody to drop down to dog the rotation. Until someone else gets qualified, they're stuck with the watches they have.

I'll have a little over three weeks before I head down to San Diego for DCA school.
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Rough Seas 
Friday, June 9, 2006, 12:49 PM
We hit some pretty rough seas last night, with rolls in excess of 20 degrees. A cheap microwave fell off the top of someone's locker in one of the other staterooms and is no longer recognizable as a microwave. I'm glad I took my seasick medication other wise I'd right now I'd likely be shouting at ants, praying to porcelin gods, talking to dinosaurs, conversing with ralph, feeding the fish, etc. More than anything, I'm just annoyed at being constantly tossed around.
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In Case Waking Up Didn't Suck Enough 
Wednesday, June 7, 2006, 06:50 AM
Every morning at 0630, instead of simply piping "Now, Revielle, get your *** up," they play an ear splitting whistle that is quite possibly one of the most annoying noises I have ever heard. The Morale Officer would do well to speadhead a drive to get rid of this practice.
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Burial at Sea 
Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 08:47 PM
Collateral duties are the bane of any junior officer's (JO) existence. The JO passdown generally consists of a dumping a vast quantity of unorganized folders, paperwork, files, and large binders on your relief with the admonishment "good luck." I was browsing through some of the items my roommate received in his passdown, when I came across a package the ship had sent out, but that had come back with RTS written on it in red. The sticker on it indicated "Signature required delivery: no one to accept." The address was an apartment building, so it's very possible he had moved. The package was already open, and inside was a framed letter, a DVD, and some shell casings. From the letter:
The remains of your father, the late Jacobus Van Slooten, were comitted to sea today in the Pacific Ocean as per your request.

The burial at sea ceremony took place on the ship's deck on May 9, 2005 at 10:30 a.m. The National Ensign was lowered to half-mast and a segment of the ship's company was mustered. The ship's Executive Officer was the military commander of the ceremony and the Chief of the Boat recited the committal. The Lay Leader performed the religious ceremony. The ship's Chief Petty Officers served as the Honor Platoon.

We have enclosed a copy of the ship's log which includes the ship's position at the time of the interment, a chart displaying the location, a DVD of the ceremony, a CD of ceremony pictures, and shells from the 21 gun salute...
It makes me sad to think that the son never received any confirmation of the dignified way in which his father was put to rest.

I have to get up for watch at 3 a.m., and really should be asleep right now.
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Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 01:35 AM
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time:
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Monday, June 5, 2006, 12:28 PM
We're underway again, so you should expect entries to become more frequent. I've been absolutely dreading this moment for the past week, but the more I think about it the less worried I am. Now that I'm fully qualified I should step into the underway routine more easily. More than anything, I simply regret missing the opportunity to hang out with some of the good people I've been spending time with recently. The past two or three weeks have been awesome.

The underway EOW rotation is 1 in 4, and I've got the darkside 1 in 4s (4-8, 20-24, 16-20). Hopefully Erin will get qualified soon and move up in the rotation.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 11:28 AM
I suppose I should mention now that I'm being shipped off to Alaksa. USCGC Mellon was kind enough to break down, meaning that instead of leaving for South America on June 20, we've been given the opportunity to leave for Alaska on June 5. USCGC Hamilton, the PACAREA unit of the year that only recently recovered from being welded to the pier, just finished their 40 day patrol. After completing one boarding and conducting a single SAR mission (for one of their own crew) they decided they'd done enough work for the year and headed home. It's cool though, because we'll cover the slack and make a full three month patrol.
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