NEWCLIPS FOR JULY 3, 2008 PRESS RELEASE COAST GUARD CUTTER EAGLE TO VISIT TACOMA July 2, 2008 http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/21/214253/ COAST GUARD RELEASES JORDAN COVE LNG WATERWAY SUITABILITY REPORT July 2, 2008 http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/21/214627/ NEWSCLIPS Boating deaths on the rise The News Tribune http://www.thenewstribune.com/adventure/story/403940.html Published: July 3rd, 2008 01:00 AM Even though the boating season is just reaching its summer peak, recreational boating fatalities are 26 percent higher than this time last year. As of June 26, there have been 29 reported recreational boating fatalities in the Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, according to a U.S. Coast Guard news release. That is compared to 23 fatalities by this time last year. Of the 28 fatalities, 22 of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. Washington leads with 12 fatalities, up from 11 this time last year, the release said. Of those 12, 11 persons were not wearing life jackets. Though there are laws requiring children 12 and younger to wear life jackets while on a boat, two of the 12 fatalities were children. Of the other three states, Oregon comes in second with eight fatalities, up two from this time last year; Montana had four, up two; and Idaho had five, up one from the number of fatalities the previous year, according to Coast Guard statistics. Alcohol has also played a key roll in recreational boating fatalities. Of the 28 fatalities, alcohol played a significant roll or was a primary cause in seven of those deaths, the release said. Guard says Coos Bay could manage LNG traffic By The Associated Press http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/07/02/breaking_news/doc486c258d2c022235567105.txt PORTLAND — The Coast Guard says safety and navigation steps such as security zones and daylight transits of Coos Bay would be required to manage deliveries of liquefied natural gas to a proposed processing plant at Jordan Cove. In a letter to federal regulators dated Tuesday, Coast Guard Capt. F.G. Myer says the bay is not suitable for the energy project, but a series of steps could make it so. Steps include computer modeling to determine whether the bay’s channel is big enough for certain large ships, security zones of 500 yards around ships in transit and a 150-yard zone for moored vessels. The letter says the daylight transits of the bay would be for at least the first six months of operation. The LNG project is one of three proposed in Oregon. The terminals would accept imports of supercooled natural gas from abroad, reheat the liquid into a gas and ship the gas to West Coast markets through proposed pipelines. Coos Bay not suitable for LNG, but can be made so http://www.kcby.com/news/local/22846734.html NORTH BEND - A Coast Guard report to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Coos Bay is not suitable for an LNG terminal, but adds that it could be made suitable. The Coast Guard's report completed their review of the Water Suitability Assessment for the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas terminal project that had been submitted by Jordan Cove. This report, which was needed before FERC could complete their Draft-Environmental Impact Statement, focuses on the navigation safety and maritime security risks posed by LNG traffic, and the measures needed to responsibly manage those risks. It calls for a number of needs to be met, including an automatic identification system receiver and a camera system set up for the Port to be able to continuously monitor the waterway, among many other requirements highlighted in the five page report. We spoke with Jordan Cove Project Manager Bob Braddock who says most of the issues raised were actually first pointed out by Jordan Cove themselves. Adding that none of them are seen as being too difficult to meet, since they've been working on them all along. The biggest thing, he said, would be additional staffing for local Police and Fire agencies, which Jordan Cove would be financially responsible for and would have to take time to train. Ultimately, he says, this is a small step in the long process, which continues when FERC releases it's Draft-E.I.S. That could happen in about a month. Now, the Coast Guard was also asked about potential recreational and commercial fishing vessel traffic delays. Captain Frederick Myers, Captain of the Port of Portland, says the Coast Guard would not have to shut down Coos Bay. Myers says, "we identified existing best practices that can be used to control vessel traffic for both safety and security, while minimizing delays." You can see a copy of the report yourself by going to the Newslinks section of KCBY.com, then click on the link titled Coast Guard LNG Report. Gig Harbor's Tall Ship The Amazing Grace is an entertainer, racer and teacher Susan Schell of the Gateway http://www.gateline.com/106/story/1762.html The waters of Puget Sound between Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island and Tacoma will become a virtual playground for the gathering of the tall ships this weekend. Gig Harbor’s flagship, the Amazing Grace, will join the parade as the bows of the magnificent ships cut through the waves. “Tacoma is one of the biggest festivals on the West Coast — it has the most ships,” said Janis Denton, co-owner of the Amazing Grace with her husband, Steve. “People do come quite a distance to see these ships.” Even before Tacoma’s festival, the Amazing Grace will be busy firing her cannons against other ships in mock sea battles in Victoria, British Columbia, during a Tall Ships Festival. Then she will race to Port Angeles against the Adventuress and the U.S. Coast Guard Eagle with six crew members and two captains. For the festival, the ship got new varnish, a newly painted hull and a new square sail. “There are 18 lines on that sail,” said Denton, who got involved with the festivals when they purchased the ship a couple months before the Tall Ships Festival in Tacoma in 2005. The Dentons not only wanted to be in the festival, they also wanted to offer rides aboard the ship to the public. “When we went down there and saw all those ships anchored in the dusk, we thought, ‘Let’s take people in there and show them what the boats look like when they’re not docked,’ ” Denton said. Since, then the Amazing Grace has had many jobs, not only as an entertainer and racer, but as a teacher. The ship becomes a floating classroom, where the Dentons train people to sail. “We train a lot of young people who have never been on a boat before,” she said. “They are totally green. We teach them leadership, sailing skills and teamwork. Basically, we’re just sharing what we’ve enjoyed all our lives.” Some of the trainees are at-risk youth, or “homeless folks that come off the streets,” Denton said. The group works with several organizations, including World Vision and the Tacoma Rescue Mission. Denton said the trips and training are invaluable because it removes people from their regular environment, which may not be a positive environment, and it gives them a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. “She can sail in very light wind,” Denton said. “She’s a lot of fun to sail. We take out volunteers and at-risk kids and have refreshments. It’s a way of giving back to those who are less fortunate. The boat is used a lot. It’s a big part of the community.” The ship can be chartered for weddings, family reunions or birthdays. The whole Denton family is involved in sailing the Amazing Grace. Steve and his son, Peter, are both captains. Daughter Amanda is also a sailor. “I’ve been sailing most of my life,” Peter Denton said. Tickets to sale on the Amazing Grace during the festival are still available. For more information, visit www.amazinggracetallship.com. Coast Guard ship hits ferry; no one seriously hurt By SUSAN HAIGH ; Associated Press Writer Published: July 3rd, 2008 03:04 AM | Updated: July 3rd, 2008 03:07 AM http://www.thenewstribune.com/tacoma/24hour/nation/story/403144.html NEW LONDON, Conn. -- A Coast Guard cutter collided with a Block Island Ferry carrying more than 250 passengers in dense fog Wednesday, but no serious injuries were reported, authorities said. The ferry was on an hour-long run to Block Island, and the cutter, a buoy tender named Morro Bay, was returning to its home base in New London, Conn., when the collision occurred about 12:15 p.m., the Coast Guard said. "At this point, the circumstance as to how the crash occurred is part of the investigation. It is not available this early," Chief Petty Officer Amy Thomas said. "We regret any inconvenience or distress this might have caused anybody on the ferry." Visibility at the time of the collision was about 200 yards, the Coast Guard said. The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the crash. The 175-foot ferry sustained a 44-inch-long dent about 5 feet above the water line, and was escorted to Block Island by another Coast Guard ship. The cutter, which has a crew of 18, sustained minor damage, Thomas said. The Coast Guard vessel had radar equipment, and Thomas said it was her understanding that all equipment was operating properly. Crew members from both vessels will undergo drug and alcohol testing, she said. The Coast Guard said the Morro Bay was returning to its homeport after a ceremony in Newport on Tuesday to welcome its new commander, Lt. Douglas Wyatt. The 1,000-passenger capacity ferry, named Block Island, always uses radar and was using it at the time of the collision, said William A. McCombe, the ferry company's security officer. It is the primary year-round vessel that services the island, he said. Three people reported minor injuries. Two were treated at an island medical center and released, McCombe said. A car on the ferry had minor damage after a motorcycle fell onto it, he said. "That boat has made thousands of trips. This is the first incident that I know of like that involving that vessel," he said. The fog was thick and the ferry's horn was blowing every five minutes, said Brad Barco, 28, who was with his girlfriend on the top, outside level of the ferry. "I knew we weren't going to be able to stop. I was like 'We're going to hit this thing,'" Barco said. "And then it got closer, closer, closer. They started honking their horns back and forth. And before we knew it, we made impact." The owner of a restaurant and hotel complex at the ferry port said the ship was carrying 55 cases of clam chowder, 1,000 pounds of shellfish and 2,000 pounds of produce. Steven Filippi, owner of Ballard's Inn, said the Coast Guard would not let him get the food off the ferry and, by the afternoon, some of it had gone bad. A history of differences Posted by Kathleen Merryman @ 03:36:00 pm http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/ Capt. Christopher Sinnett first came aboard U.S.C.G. Barque Eagle as most Coast Guard officers do – as a cadet. “I grew up in a military family,” Sinnett said in the ship’s wardroom Wednesday. “I understood and liked the military lifestyle. I was on the wrestling team and a competitive sailor.” He’d looked at other military academies, but none of them had anything to compare to the ship he now commands. “I was aware of Eagle and knew I wanted to get on board. I wanted to be on board under sail in a lot of wind, and to be climbing the rigging when the ship was moving underneath.” He trained on her in the summers of 1979 and 1980, when the Iranian hostage crisis and the Mariel boatlift off Cuba dominated headlines. “It was a very active time in world and Coast Guard affairs,” he said of the big picture. For him, though, those summers were about the adventure of learning the ship and the teamwork required to sail and maintain her. “At that point it did not mean as much to me as it does now,” he said. “The more life experience you get, the more you understand the history that lives on in Eagle.” Eagle was built in 1936 as a sail training ship named the Horst Wessel. “This was a propaganda stunt on the part of the Nazis,” Sinnett said. “Hitler chose the name. Wessel and Hitler had fought together during World War I, and they remained friends. “Horst Wessel had written a marching song that Hitler liked,” Sinnett said. “He made it the marching song of the German military. Before World War II, Wessell was killed by a jealous ex- boyfriend of the woman he was living with. The Nazis used that for propaganda, because the jealous boyfriend was a communist.” Hitler and his cohorts were whipping up propaganda casting communists as the enemy, and Horst Wessell shot dead on his doorstep fit right in. “It was that whole ‘a patriot of the revolution assassinated by the communists’ thing,” Sinnett said. So hull No. 508 in the Blohm and Voss Shipyard was destined to be named for Hitler’s song- writing friend. Hull No. 509 would be named for Otto Von Bismarck. We’ve had British people come on board,” Sinnett said. “I take them aft, where the original construction still exists, and they learn that this ship was probably built within 100 yards of the Bismarck. They take this breath. They pause for a second when it hits them what that means.” The Horst Wessel was a smokescreen as much as she was a sailing ship. Under the treaty of Versailles, Germany was banned from building a warfighting navy. “The reason the Germans were building sail training ships is they were prohibited from building naval warfighting vessels per the Treaty of Versailles after World War I,” Sinnett said. “The sail training ships were being used to train the sailors going into the warfighting arena. The original engine in here was the same type that was being installed in the U-boats when Hitler was illegally rebuilding the German navy. They were training U-boat engineers and sailors for their warfighting ships.” During the war, the ship served mainly as a troop transport. It had anti-aircraft guns, which it fired at Allied planes. There are stories, but no record that it hit anything. At war’s end, three of Hitler’s sail training ships remained to be claimed as war prizes. “In 1946, the American team led by U.S.C.G Cmdr. Gordon McGowan found Eagle in the bombed out city of Bremerhaven,” Sinnett said. “They spent months working with members of the former German crew to get her back in working condition. She had deteriorated during the latter stages of the war. They got some of the crew out of POW camps. The Germans had to interpret the placards on the ship. They sailed her back to the United States, encountering a massive hurricane along the way to New York City. “Everybody worked together,” Sinnett said. “In 1946, they pulled into New York City with some of the sails in tatters, but the ship intact. They made some cursory repairs and finished the transit to the (U.S. Coast Guard) academy in New London. She started work immediately.” Since then, the Coast Guard has reconfigured the berths, replaced the power plant and water and sewer systems. But the rigging, the masts and hull are original. Throughout the ship, there are tokens of her first life – photographs of her under construction and berthed in Bremerhaven, brass plates bearing her original name. “What made Eagle a valuable training platform in her first days is the same thing that makes her valuable today,’ Sinnett said. “Technology changes. People don’t. The challenge of going to sea is the same for today for an 18- or 19-year-old as it was for a teen prior to WWII. It’s achieving personal goals and working together as a team to achieve the unit goals, which translates into accomplishing the mission. That’s what the American public wants. They want us to accomplish the mission.” There’s one more lesson in Eagle’s history, Sinnett said. “Where you start does not dictate where you end or what your journey is. Eagle started life as the Horst Wessel, working for what is arguably the most evil regime in the history of the planet, and has spent the last 62 years working for the United States, teaching others how to save lives and to conduct humanitarian missions. Burden of Proof For guys who party too hard on land, Alaskan fishing boats can provide a useful refuge. But not always. By Laura Onstot published: July 02, 2008 http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-07-02/news/burden-of-proof.php It was around 3 a.m. last Easter morning when Joey Galbreath stood on the lip of the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger, looking down at the Bering Sea. He knew he had to jump. He just wasn't quite ready to leap into what seemed a certain death. The Ranger had unloaded its catch of yellowfin sole in Dutch Harbor the day before, and started steaming west along the Aleutian Islands to fish for mackerel off the far tip of the island chain, just beyond the international date line. Now, most of the 47-member crew was enjoying some much- needed rest. At sea they'd worked long days gutting and processing the catch in the bowels of the boat, and the time spent heading in and out of port was a chance to catch up on sleep. Just after 2 a.m. alarms blared, but didn't get much reaction. Alarm tests are regular occurrences on these boats, known as factory trawlers. But when more blasts followed, a bleary-eyed crew made its way to the galley to find the phones ringing off the hook as supervisors tried to find out what was going on. Galbreath was in sweats, a T-shirt, and bare feet. Someone, he wasn't sure who, announced they were taking on water in the rudder room, fast. Within an hour the order came: Abandon ship. A mayday call went out to the Coast Guard: "Mayday, mayday...this is the Alaska Ranger...We are flooding, taking on water in our rudder room...Number of persons is 47 people on board." Galbreath and his shipmates ran for the deck, where a crew member was handing out the red neoprene full-body survival outfits known as Gumby suits—Coast Guard–mandated gear designed to keep a body reasonably warm in frigid Arctic water for up to six hours. Coast Guard rules also require enough life rafts to accommodate everyone on board—the Ranger had three. But when the order to abandon ship came and the first raft was launched, it shot out too fast. The lines connecting the rafts to the boat are designed to break, so a sinking vessel doesn't drag the raft under. But as 20-foot swells pitched the Ranger, the line broke too early, before crew members had time to get in, and the raft drifted away. The second and third boats were released with more give, and a few men managed to shimmy to them along the still-connected ropes. A couple more men went down ladders over the side of the Ranger and started swimming for the rafts. But the people still aboard were running out of time as the ship continued flooding. Then the boat listed sharply to starboard. It was about to go down. The crew still on deck could only throw themselves on the mercy of the ocean and hope the Coast Guard arrived soon. That is how Galbreath found himself standing on the edge of the ship, staring into the inky blackness. He could barely move. In the rush to get everyone into Gumby suits, he had been tossed a jumbo, despite being just 5 feet 7 inches tall. Now the legs were bunching up, making it difficult to walk. His hands fell well short of the gloves. He doesn't know why, but "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple was running through his mind: A thousand oceans I have flown, And cold spirits of ice. "Along with 'Oh shit, I'm going to be dead,'" he says. Then he jumped. Galbreath, 37, hadn't planned to make a life at sea. After struggling for years with drugs and alcohol, he ended up on the boats the same way many before him did, looking for some direction—a little metaphorical solid ground. In the 1980s, the business of converting fish into transport-ready seafood began to shift away from onshore plants and out to the fishing boats themselves. The industry was taken over by giant ships known as factory trawlers, equipped with onboard processing equipment. The ships, including the Ranger, can be nearly as long as a football field, and most are based in Seattle. They drag nets through ocean waters scooping up a huge catch, which is then gutted, packed, and frozen by the crew. Unlike the union anglers and career fishers who typically work on smaller vessels, trawler crews generally don't need much in the way of fishing or sailing skills. It can be an ideal job for people like Galbreath, who come to Seattle for work, fly to Alaska on the company's dime if they get hired, and move into the belly of the ships, where the vices that made living on land and holding down a job a struggle are kept at bay by the long hours and strictly regimented days. Except when things go bad, of course. Five people were killed when the Ranger went down, including the captain, the chief engineer, the fish master, the mate, and one crew member. Even though Galbreath and 41 others survived, many are still recovering from the trauma of the event and the injuries suffered during their escape. And half of them have filed lawsuits against Fishing Company of Alaska, the Ranger's Seattle-based owner, seeking lost wages and compensation for injuries both physical and mental. The complaints filed so far contain nonspecific allegations of negligence by Fishing Company, a relatively small player in the industry that counted seven boats in its fleet before the Ranger sank. George Knowles, a specialist in maritime injury and a former crab fisher himself, is representing eight of the sailors. He says the details of the allegations will come out later, but likely will focus on whether pushing the ship too quickly through the icy waters damaged the rudder, and whether drinking, or negligence, by the senior officers hampered their ability to get everyone safely off the boat. In testimony before U.S. Coast Guard investigators looking into the sinking, one crew member said senior officers, including those responsible for the evacuation, were drinking on board. Three more crew members have said as much in interviews with Seattle Weekly. Fishing Company attorney Michael Barcott says his client disputes those allegations. The contracts forbid bringing drugs or alcohol on board and demand that the crew stay sober on the vessel. Anyone caught breaking the rules faces immediate termination. Barcott argues that the crew members filing suits have a vested interest in alleging anything that will suggest negligence on the part of the company. "They have their own agendas for saying what they say." Galbreath denies ever drinking on the vessel, but says he did plenty of boozing on shore before he started working on the ships and during the stretches between fishing seasons. He grew up in Portland, where he bounced among jobs. Most of his income from occasional construction gigs went to booze and drugs, he says. In 1992 he was arrested for driving under the influence. A drug-possession charge and conviction followed in 1994, along with a series of drug-related probation violations, according to the Portland District Court Clerk's Office. Galbreath laughs hearing his record read back to him over coffee at a Sheri's diner on North Division Street in Spokane, where he lives now. "That sounds about right," he says, a little sheepishly. Galbreath left Portland in 2001, arriving in Seattle on Fat Tuesday. People were rioting in Pioneer Square. The next day the Nisqually earthquake hit. Perhaps he should have recognized the signs. It wasn't long after he got to Puget Sound that he met a guy from Texas who'd hitchhiked up to work the boats. The Texan told Galbreath of the riches he'd heard could be made gutting fish on the trawlers. So that year, the two men went to sea as processors on the 295-foot SeaFreeze Alaska, owned by the Seattle-based United States Seafoods. So much for the fantasy: The Texan quit within a week, Galbreath says. (Quitting at sea means sitting in a tiny bunk as dead weight until you can be dumped at the next port.) "There's a lot of elements that don't match up with the money that you make," says Galbreath. Specifically, he says, the long, hazardous days can make walking off the boat with $30,000 after less than a year's labor hardly seem worth it. Fishing crews generally work around the clock—12 hours on, six off. They're lucky to get four hours of sleep in the small shared rooms. Their pay is based on how fast they can fill the boat's hold with frozen blocks of fish and offload it into a port, so there's incentive for everyone to maintain the most relentless schedule possible. Galbreath says he lasted the duration of a contract, but as soon as he got off the SeaFreeze he decided he'd had enough of fishing. Back on land, the work was inconsistent. "A little of this, a little of that, a lot of concrete construction," he says. And there was his penchant for draining his bank account on substances. Yet soon the money was gone, and in his memory his time at sea had taken on the patina of adventure. He got in touch with the Fishing Company, and in 2006 went out for the first time on the Alaska Ranger. Ryan Shuck, 31, joined Galbreath on the Ranger the following year. After high school in Libby, Mont., Shuck had worked as a logger until cutbacks in the local industry cost him his job. He moved to Great Falls with his girlfriend, but most of the work he found paid around minimum wage. "We just couldn't live on it," he says. In January 2006, Shuck heard about people making good money in Alaskan canneries. He bought a plane ticket to Kodiak and got his first taste of the fishing industry. But again work started to dry up; he was running out of money and heard there was more to be made on the boats. Fishing Company was hiring, so "I basically bounced a check to get to Seattle," he says. Shuck was hired onto the Ranger in May 2007. His job was to tally up the different species of fish as they were hauled on board. He recounted them constantly through the processing and storing, ensuring the totals matched when they offloaded in port. Getting caught inflating the numbers carries heavy fines for the company and would cost the counter his job. But falling short costs everyone money. With his housing and food provided and nowhere to spend cash at sea, Shuck says, he got to shore after his first trip out with a hefty bank balance. The plan, he says, was to spend a few years working 10 months for Fishing Company, then return and collect unemployment for two months before heading out again. But like Galbreath, Shuck had his own demons waiting for him on land, making it hard to keep all that cash he banked on the boat. "I used to have a pretty heavy drinking problem," he says. "I spent a lot of my money on that kind of stuff, entertaining my friends, having barbecues and keggers, and you know, [a] 'Look at me, I'm a big fisherman'–type thing, and then I'd be broke and then I'd have to go back up to hustle and get a bunch more money saved up again." When the Ranger pitched onto its side in the early Easter morning hours, Shuck was near the life rafts. He made for the rope ladder hanging down the side. As he was climbing to the raft, the ladder swung out and slammed him into the boat. He dropped into the ocean. He managed to grab the rope attaching the raft to the Ranger, but when the boat's propeller suddenly kicked into reverse, the force pulled Shuck under the raft and water started rushing through the face mask of his survival suit. He let go. He tried swimming for one of the rafts as it floated away from the Ranger. But "I just didn't have enough power to beat the ocean," he says. Shuck floated into the Bering Sea alone and waited for rescue he wasn't sure would come. Galbreath and Shuck are fairly typical of the contract workers who come to Seattle willing to work, but who are unable to hold down a more standard 9-to-5 job due to a penchant for booze and drugs, says Eric Hollis, operations manager for Fishing Company of Alaska from 1994 to 2006. His duties included overseeing the recruiting and hiring of crews. Issues with drugs or alcohol aren't a problem as long as crew members pull their weight when they're on the water, Hollis says. "I noticed over the years, people that had maybe a substance- abuse problem would actually do very well out on the ship," he says. Although, Hollis adds, when the trawlers dock in places like Dutch Harbor to offload a catch, "there's all kinds of places [for the crew] to get into mischief, and they do." But while a boat is a safe haven in some respects, it's definitely not in others. A 2006 Coast Guard study found that, over a decade, an average of 58 people died each year in commercial fishing—more than half due to boats sinking, capsizing, or catching fire. The rest died from falling overboard or other accidents. Most of the boats that go down are smaller fishing vessels, says Jennifer Lincoln, an occupational safety and health specialist with the Centers for Disease Control. The Ranger is the first factory trawler to sink since she started tracking commercial-fishing deaths in 1990. Increased efforts to keep the boats and their crews safe, including requiring the survival suits, have had a noticeable impact, Lincoln says. The Ranger sinking could have been much worse, she points out. "Although a tragedy—where five people died—42 people lived. I mean, that's an amazing story." The Coast Guard, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, has been holding hearings to try to determine the cause of the sinking. Captain Michael Rand says the agencies can't justify the expense of sending a camera down to look at the ship, more than 1,000 fathoms below the surface (a little over a mile in onshore parlance), especially since "in this case we have a lot of good information from the crew members and others." The agencies have yet to release a final report on the sinking, but summaries of the testimony at the hearings have been made available after each session. Second Assistant Engineer Rodney Lundy testified on March 29 that he was checking chlorine levels at around 2 a.m. when he heard the high-water alarm. He ran to the rudder room to find water quickly seeping through the floorboards. He told the agencies he didn't have time to look for the source of the leak. "I didn't want to drown. First thing in my mind was: Close that door." Lundy alerted the bridge, and within minutes the crew had been roused and power cut to the parts of the ship that were flooding. As the crew donned survival suits and wrestled with life rafts on the icy deck, the power on the entire boat went out and the ship tipped about 45 degrees toward the starboard edge—the right side. Galbreath had popped up in the Bering Sea to find two other crew members floating nearby. The three men linked arms, talking each other through the ordeal, Galbreath remembers. Water was getting in through his face mask and his body temperature was dropping. After the mayday call went out, the Ranger's sister ship, the Alaska Warrior, changed course to start a rescue effort. The Coast Guard cutter Munro, 127 miles away, also headed for the scene, according to a Coast Guard timeline. At 4:04 a.m., the Guard launched a rescue helicopter from an island back near the Alaskan mainland. It arrived on the scene just after 5 a.m.—three hours after the Ranger's alarms first went off. Pilot Lt. Brian McLaughlin testified that as his chopper approached the place where the ship went down, a blinking light appeared in the swirling water below. "As we got closer, we began seeing more and more strobe lights," he told investigators. About 20 lights flashed over one nautical-mile area (about 1.15 miles). The helicopter crew threw a portable pump off the chopper to free up room, sent in a swimmer with a basket, and started hauling people out of the ocean. Galbreath has no memory of being rescued. He managed to stay lucid until the Coast Guard lights showed up, he says. Then he passed out. Enough water had filled the suit that its feet had to be cut off to get him into the basket and hoisted to the helicopter. Apparently, Galbreath says with an embarrassed laugh, rescuers had a hard time getting him to let go of the basket once he was on board. The rescued crew members were taken to the Munro. Galbreath says rescuers later told him that when he got on board his body temperature was 88 degrees. It took 45 minutes to bring it up one degree. But he recovered and was flown back to Seattle. Exactly how "dry" the Arctic Ranger really was before it started to take on water is a subject of considerable debate. Crew member Julio Morales testified at a hearing that when he was floating in the sea with chief engineer Daniel Cook, he could smell alcohol on Cook's breath. (Cook did not survive the accident and so isn't around to address the charge.) Another time, Morales told investigators, fish master Satoshi Konno, whose job was to determine the best place to drop nets—and who was never found after the Ranger went down—smelled of liquor when he was watching Morales sort fish. Morales isn't alone in his allegations. Three other crew members interviewed by Seattle Weekly— Shuck, Eric Haynes, and Jeremy Frietag—say drinking occurred on the boat. None of the three say they saw Cook drinking, but all say booze on board was tolerated as long as it didn't interfere with the catch. Frietag, a steward responsible for cleaning some of the officers' staterooms, says he picked up several bottles of liquor from the quarters. Shuck says the long days of hauling and processing the catch made drinking nearly impossible. But both crew and officers would keep the onshore party going while they were steaming back out from Dutch Harbor. "I've seen almost everybody drink on board," he says. "I've drank on board." If there was drinking aboard, especially by officers, Fishing Company's potential liability could increase considerably. For now, everyone is rushing to assert the largest potential claims possible. That's because under the 1851 Federal Limitation of Liability Act, a shipping owner who loses a vessel can file a motion in federal court to limit all potential damages to the value of the vessel. Everyone seeking damages has an interest in making their claims known to the court deciding the limits, according to Kevin Sullivan, one of the plaintiff's attorneys in the case. So far, 21 personal-injury suits and two wrongful-death suits have been filed. Fishing Company sought protection under the Act on June 24. Sullivan says it's rarely successful. Following the accident, Galbreath shacked up with friends in Everett, where, he says, he kept the memory of the disaster at bay with a steady stream of drugs and alcohol. It worked until mid- April, when he and some friends were in downtown Seattle drinking. Galbreath doesn't know exactly what set him off, but suddenly he was on his knees outside Westlake Center, drunk and sobbing. Unable to stop, he made for the nearest payphone and dialed 911. He spent a night in the Harborview psychiatric ward, then checked himself into Fairfax, a Kirkland psychiatric hospital, for two weeks. Shuck came over from Spokane to pick him up. Galbreath then lived with Shuck in Spokane for a few weeks before moving into the apartment of a woman he met in a bar. He's since been looking for a job, but says he suffers nerve damage in his hands, along with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental-health problems that have led to a cornucopia of medications, including mood stabilizers such as lithium and Lamictal, and Prozasin to prevent nightmares. He's currently receiving $600 a month from Fishing Company's insurers to cover medical and living expenses. In May he got in touch with City Gate, a religious nonprofit that maintains subsidized housing in downtown Spokane. Galbreath says he was approved for a room at $200 per month. "It's a dinky little room, but it's yours." His plan for the next step changes every few days. He took a digital-music editing class at the Art Institute of Seattle between stints at sea and really enjoyed it, so maybe he'll get back into that. Or start some kind of business. Or become a nurse. Or write a book about his experience on the Ranger. One thing Galbreath does know—he can't cope with the idea of going back to sea. Shuck is in similar straits. He has six doctors treating everything from a problem with his foot to psychological trauma from the sinking. Under maritime law, a boat's owner is responsible for covering medical costs resulting from accidents, according to Knowles. Though making plans is on hold while their suits wind through the courts, the one thing Galbreath and Shuck both say they want is to stay clean. Neither has any intention of going back to the forced semi-sobriety of a life at sea, so they're trying to make it on land. Both have joined 12-step programs, attend the meetings, and talk openly about their struggle. Galbreath's only trip anywhere near a ship since being plucked from the ocean was to Fishermen's Terminal to lay five roses at a makeshift memorial for "Captain Pete" and the others who lost their lives that Easter morning. Galbreath tears up when talking about the accident—not when he recalls fearing for his own life, but when he thinks about those who died. "I didn't do nothin'," he says. ABOARD THE EAGLE, PUGET SOUND - I slept right through reveille. My roommate Food Service Chief Leta Gibbons had to remind me that if I wanted breakfast, it would not come to me, and it would be gone by 7:30 a.m. "Good morning, shipmates," Capt. Chris Sinnett greeted us over the ship's address system. After a breakfast of fresh fruit, strong coffee, perfect eggs and pancakes, we mustered on the waist of the ship at 8 a.m. "Bring the chocolate," Leta had told me. Muster would be an ideal time give cadets and crew an advance taste of Tacoma hospitality. I'd bought 60 pounds of Brown & Haley confections as a token of the warmth with which we will welcome them. The morning started in fog, and the cadets were alerted to the approach of another Coast Guard cutter, the Boutwell. As it drew near, they lined the starboard rail and stood at attention. On a whistle signal, they saluted as the two ships passed. Crew aboard Boutwell returned the courtesy. The long-standing naval tradition is called "rendering honors." Bos'n's School of Deck Speak Posted by Kathleen Merryman on the Tall Ships blog at 11:09 a.m. Tuesday The Eagle Bos'n (that's boatswain to you sandpeeps) Keith Raisch is here to translate some of the favorite phrases you're likely to hear aboard Eagle at port, under sail and under power. We are typing in capitals, as all commands are delivered in a BOOMING SEA VOICE. "RISE TACKS AND SHEETS:" "It's not one I like to give, but is the command to take in the foresail or the mainsail, collectively known as the courses. They are the lowest sail on each mast. We take the sail in when we have lost the wind and are going to motor, or as part of a tack." "EASE THE BRAILS AND INHAULS! HAUL AROUND ON THE OUTHAULS:" "That is the command given to set the mizzen sails, upper or lower." "AVAST:" "It's the nautical way of saying 'FREEZE' It stops everything." "UP BEHIND:" "When there is a bunch of people on the line, or it gets to where they are working against you, calling 'UP BEHIND' gets them off the line so you can work it without that resistance." "LIBERTY! LIBERTY! LIBERTY!" "Your work day is done. You can get out and see the town and do whatever it is you want to do to play. Within limits." "Hip, hip, hurrah! Eagle!" Posted by Kathleen Merryman on the Tall Ships blog at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday The Eagle was passing Seattle's Shilshole Marina around 4 p.m. Small boats were gathering around her, and three retired and restored Coast Guard vessels were motoring in front of her. The Eagle motored into Seattle, just as she will into Commencement Bay. Her sails are massive, to give her speed and power. But because she is square-rigged, and so big, she does not have the maneuverability under sail to enter a confined passage with other vessels in the area. So, when it makes a festive entrance, instead of setting sail, Eagle sets cadets. Eagle crew tastes Brown & Haley sweets from Tacoma By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/402740.html Annette Boston joined the cadets who climbed the ratlines on all three masts, made their way out the yardarms and stood there as Eagle crossed Elliott Bay. Dozens more cadets climbed the ratlines and stationed themselves there. Chief Electrician's Mate Michael Barnthouse stood nearby, looking up. He's been part of the way up a mast twice, and that was enough for him. The cadets are different. "They say you haven't been on Eagle unless you've gone all the way to the top. They like it," he said. "They're fearless." Two Coast Guard helicopters circled. A Seattle fireboat passed by with a salute of spray. The crew dropped anchor. "Thank you, Eagle!" shouted Jack Sullivan, commodore of the Seattle Yacht Club. "Hip, hip, hurrah," the crowd responded. "Hip, hip, hurrah! Hip, hip, hurrah! Eagle!" TALL SHIPS TACOMA WHAT: Thirty-one ships from around the Western Hemisphere meet in Tacoma for five days of onboard and onshore education and fun. WHEN: Thursday through Monday WHERE: Thea Foss Waterway, downtown Tacoma COST: Festival is free. Boarding and sailing passes on sale at www.tallshipstacoma.com. A History Of Difference By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/02/a_history_of_differences Capt. Christopher Sinnett first came aboard U.S.C.G. Barque Eagle as most Coast Guard officers do – as a cadet. “I grew up in a military family,” Sinnett said in the ship’s wardroom Wednesday. “I understood and liked the military lifestyle. I was on the wrestling team and a competitive sailor.” He’d looked at other military academies, but none of them had anything to compare to the ship he now commands. “I was aware of Eagle and knew I wanted to get on board. I wanted to be on board under sail in a lot of wind, and to be climbing the rigging when the ship was moving underneath.” He trained on her in the summers of 1979 and 1980, when the Iranian hostage crisis and the Mariel boatlift off Cuba dominated headlines. “It was a very active time in world and Coast Guard affairs,” he said of the big picture. For him, though, those summers were about the adventure of learning the ship and the teamwork required to sail and maintain her. “At that point it did not mean as much to me as it does now,” he said. “The more life experience you get, the more you understand the history that lives on in Eagle.” Eagle was built in 1936 as a sail training ship named the Horst Wessel. “This was a propaganda stunt on the part of the Nazis,” Sinnett said. “Hitler chose the name. Wessel and Hitler had fought together during World War I, and they remained friends. “Horst Wessel had written a marching song that Hitler liked,” Sinnett said. “He made it the marching song of the German military. Before World War II, Wessell was killed by a jealous ex- boyfriend of the woman he was living with. The Nazis used that for propaganda, because the jealous boyfriend was a communist.” Hitler and his cohorts were whipping up propaganda casting communists as the enemy, and Horst Wessell shot dead on his doorstep fit right in. “It was that whole ‘a patriot of the revolution assassinated by the communists’ thing,” Sinnett said. So hull No. 508 in the Blohm and Voss Shipyard was destined to be named for Hitler’s song- writing friend. Hull No. 509 would be named for Otto Von Bismarck. We’ve had British people come on board,” Sinnett said. “I take them aft, where the original construction still exists, and they learn that this ship was probably built within 100 yards of the Bismarck. They take this breath. They pause for a second when it hits them what that means.” The Horst Wessel was a smokescreen as much as she was a sailing ship. Under the treaty of Versailles, Germany was banned from building a warfighting navy. “The reason the Germans were building sail training ships is they were prohibited from building naval warfighting vessels per the Treaty of Versailles after World War I,” Sinnett said. “The sail training ships were being used to train the sailors going into the warfighting arena. The original engine in here was the same type that was being installed in the U-boats when Hitler was illegally rebuilding the German navy. They were training U-boat engineers and sailors for their warfighting ships.” During the war, the ship served mainly as a troop transport. It had anti-aircraft guns, which it fired at Allied planes. There are stories, but no record that it hit anything. At war’s end, three of Hitler’s sail training ships remained to be claimed as war prizes. “In 1946, the American team led by U.S.C.G Cmdr. Gordon McGowan found Eagle in the bombed out city of Bremerhaven,” Sinnett said. “They spent months working with members of the former German crew to get her back in working condition. She had deteriorated during the latter stages of the war. They got some of the crew out of POW camps. The Germans had to interpret the placards on the ship. They sailed her back to the United States, encountering a massive hurricane along the way to New York City. “Everybody worked together,” Sinnett said. “In 1946, they pulled into New York City with some of the sails in tatters, but the ship intact. They made some cursory repairs and finished the transit to the (U.S. Coast Guard) academy in New London. She started work immediately.” Since then, the Coast Guard has reconfigured the berths, replaced the power plant and water and sewer systems. But the rigging, the masts and hull are original. Throughout the ship, there are tokens of her first life – photographs of her under construction and berthed in Bremerhaven, brass plates bearing her original name. “What made Eagle a valuable training platform in her first days is the same thing that makes her valuable today,’ Sinnett said. “Technology changes. People don’t. The challenge of going to sea is the same for today for an 18- or 19-year-old as it was for a teen prior to WWII. It’s achieving personal goals and working together as a team to achieve the unit goals, which translates into accomplishing the mission. That’s what the American public wants. They want us to accomplish the mission.” There’s one more lesson in Eagle’s history, Sinnett said. “Where you start does not dictate where you end or what your journey is. Eagle started life as the Horst Wessel, working for what is arguably the most evil regime in the history of the planet, and has spent the last 62 years working for the United States, teaching others how to save lives and to conduct humanitarian missions. You’ve Been Raisched By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/02/you_ve_been_raisched You could get keel-hauled. Or you could get Raisched. Bos’n Keith Raisch has served aboard Eagle, as he says, “a substantial period of time. Enough so that most officers today know my name.” And not in a soft, cuddly way. He is known for hurling obscure questions at cadets, and, when they do no know the answer, barking “GO FIND OUT!” GFO, for short. He is proud that cadets have put an acronym to his name: Recruited And Involuntarily Selected for Climbing and Hauling. That means that if they flunk a pop quiz, or happen to be skylarking around the ship, he’ll find them something “challenging” to do. Here’s a sample of things you’ll need to know if you run into Bos’n Raisch aboard Eagle: Q: How many transverse water-tight bulkheads does Eagle have? What and where are they? GFO: Eight. The ship is sectioned into segments to protect its water-tight integrity, which protects all aboard. A bulkhead is a solid steel wall that runs from side to side and from the keel to the main deck. They are at frames 10, 25, 37, 49, 63, 75, 90 and 107. “Mariners all over the world stole the idea from the Chinese, who put them in junks,” Raisch said, giving you the opportunity for a bonus point. Q: How many emergency escape scuttles or trunks does Eagle have? Where are they? And what are they? GFO: A scuttle is a small circular hatch just big enough for a person to get through should the ship head for the bottom. Scuttles lead from any of the lower compartments where people live or work to the main deck or the weather deck. Eagle has nine of them. Q: What’s a sea painter? GFO: It’s a rope used to position a small boat alongside the ship under the davits so it can be picked up, or to keep the boat alongside when it is launched. Q: What does is mean to pay the devil? GFO: In wooden ships, planks have caulking in between them. It was usually cotton and tarred oakum. On a long transit, as the hull would shrink and expand, the caulking would come out or leak. “The stuff below the water they could not do anything about. The stuff above the water was easy,” Raisch said. “The one at the water’s edge was always very difficult to deal with. It became known as the devil. Replacing the caulking was known as paying the caulk, so for this particular plank, it was known as paying the devil. It was not uncommon to wind up between the devil and the deep blue sea. Up, But Not Over By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/02/up_but_not_over All my life, I’ve been afraid of heights. It’s a legitimate fear. Lots of people have it. But I’ve come to use it as an excuse. I’ve depended on it to keep me off of steep, narrow mountain trails, driving the Going To The Sun Highway in Montana’s Glacier National Park and scampering to the tall parts of tall ships. Reporters can do that. Photographers can’t. Janet Jensen, who is shooting the glorious pictures you’re seeing of Eagle, is, as she puts it, “not fond of heights.” I had no idea. Any time she has needed the advantage of height for a shot, she had shimmied into a safety harness and, accompanied by a cadet, climbed up the ratlines and over into the tops. She does it, she said, by using her professionalism to stifle her fears. Reporters can take notes from just about anywhere, and I prefer deck level. Lt. Chris Nolan has, from the start, assumed that I would, and probably should, climb the rigging. To do so would give me an idea of how cadets turn a challenge into a favorite part of their duty aboard this ship. So, every evening, about an hour before sunset, he has reminded me that I should go up. Every evening, I have managed to become engrossed in a compelling interview until the sun’s gone down. Until Tuesday. There it was, a big red ball, sinking into the Olympics. And there he was, Lt. Nolan, smiling, telling me I could do it. I snapped and cinched myself into a harness under the tutelage of senior cadet Ron Vyas, 21. “You can do it,” he said. The rules are simple, he said. Never put two feet on the same horizontal line at the same time. Never hold onto line. Trust only the cables running from the deck to the mast. Attach the harness clip to the rigging any time you stop. “You can do it, ma’am,” Vyas said with the kind of gentle reassurance one does not expect from a 21-year-old. He even had me believing it. With Seattle’s skyline coming to light behind me, I stepped onto the ship’s rail and started climbing the ratlines at about one fifth of cadet speed. The ratlines form a tall, skinny triangle made of cable and line. Thirty feet up, I clipped on to get my bearings. Around 40 feet up, the courses narrow, which meant my ladder changed shape. “You can do it,” Vyas told me. “You can do it,” Nolan said, looking down from the platform. I began to believe them. Very slowly, clipping on at every advance, I went up until my head was just under the triangular platform. Sailors call the platforms “tops.” That’s short for “fighting tops.” In the age of war under sail, snipers of the Royal Marines would climb the ratlines, stand on the tops and shoot at sailors on the decks of enemy ships. Back then, some tops had “lubber holes,” hatches in the deck of the tops. Landlubbers could climb the ratlines, then just pop into the top. Eagle’s tops have no lubber holes. The platform is the tricky part. The lines look as though they require a climber to bend backwards. There’s a turn in the route, which would be no problem at all to negotiate say, three feet off the ground. Sixty feet in the air, it stopped me. “You can do it,” Nolan and Vyas told me. “You can clip on.” I did not believe them. I made it up, but not over. Tonight, I will take Lt. Mike Keyser’s advice. He, too, hates heights. He has made it up and over at least five times. “Try again,” he said. “You can do it.” I will. Eagle Sets Cadets By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/01/eagle_sets_cadets Eagle was passing Seattle’s Shilshole Marina around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Small boats were gathering around her, and three retired and restored Coast Guard vessels were motoring in front of her. Cadet Annette Boston darted over to her father, Larry Boston, of Oceanside, Calif. “I’m going up to man the shrouds,” she said, and made for the mizzenmast. Eagle motored into Seattle, just as she will into Commencement Bay. Her sails are massive, to give her speed and power. But because she is square-rigged, and so big, she does not have the maneuverability under sail to enter a confined passage with other vessels in the area. So, when it makes a festive entrance, instead of setting sail, Eagle sets cadets. Annette Boston joined the cadets who climbed the ratlines on all three masts, made their way out the yardarms and stood there as Eagle crossed Elliott Bay. Dozens more cadets climbed the ratlines and stationed themselves there. Two helicopters, a big HH60J out of Astoria and a smaller HH65 from Port Angeles, flew by the ship in tandem. Below them, U.S. Navy Admiral Jim Symonds of Navy Region Northwest, applied sunscreen, a wise precaution on a lovely day. “Isn’t this absolutely amazing?” he said. “I had no concept of how big this ship would be. To see those young people going up those masts. It would not be me going up there.” The Navy, he said, has no sailing ship as large big as Eagle. “We do have Old Ironsides,” he said. “It is still in commission.” Chief Electrician’s Mate Michael Barnthouse stood nearby, looking up. He’s been part of the way up a mast twice, and that was enough for him. The cadets are different. “They say you haven’t been on Eagle unless you’ve gone all the way to the top. They like it,” he said. “They’re fearless.” And then they were down on Bos’n Keith Raischh’s shouted command: “On the fore! On the main! On the mizzen! Lay in and down!” “That was a grand old time!” said one cadet, jumping back onto solid deck. The helicopters circled. A Seattle fireboat passed by with a salute of spray. The crew dropped anchor. “Thank you, Eagle!” shouted Jack Sullivan, commodore of the Seattle Yacht Club. “Hip, hip, hurrah,” the crowd responded. “Hip, hip, hurrah! Hip, hip, hurrah! Eagle!” If You’re In Seattle, Come Wave To Us! By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/01/if_you_re_in_seattle_come_waveto_us Eagle is off Edmonds, boarding a group of about 100 retired Coasties and Navy League members. They’ve motored out to Eagle so they can be aboard for Eagle’s transit to Seattle, where she will anchor off the Coast Guard Station. It will be a grand procession. Cadets have hoisted the big American flag off the mizzen mast. Smaller Coast Guard vessels are joining the service’s signature ship. Rescue helicopters are buzzing. And the show has not yet begun. If you are in Seattle, or in a position to get there by 4 p.m , you will see Eagle joined by the Coast Guard Heritage Fleet. Organized by Combatant Craft of America’s Chuck Fowler and Dan Withers, the parade will feature a restored buoy tender and two patrol boats. CCA’s press release points out that CG-83527, an 83-foot patrol boat, was built in 1944 and served in Tacoma from 1945 to 1962. It spent 20 years a a live-aboard in California before CCA bought and restored it for a new career as living history in Puget Sound. The 65-foot Blueberry was a buoy tender bult in Tacoima by the Birchfield Boiler & Shipbuilding Co. during World War II. She maintained navigational aids on inland waterways. Peter Whittier of Orcas Island bought and restored her., CCA said. She’s now owned by Mark Freeman of Fremont Boat Co. in Seattle. The former Point Divide, built by the Coast Guard in 1962, will sail by in its current incarnation, Maritime Instructor. Serattle Community College owns the 82-foot former patrol boat and uses it in its maritime training program. If you can get here, wave. We’ll all return the honor. Bos’n’s School Of Deck Speak By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/01/bos_n_s_school_of_deck_speak U.S. C.G Barque Eagle Bos’n (that’s boatswain to you, you sandpeeps) Keith Raisch is here to help you with your nautical verbiage needs. He’s here to offer up, and translate, some of the favorite phrases you’re likely to hear aboard Eagle at port, under sail and under power. We are typing in capitals, as all commands are delivered in a BOOMING SEA VOICE. “RISE TACKS AND SHEETS!: “It’s not one I like to give, but is the command to take in the foresail or the mainsail, collectively known as the courses. They are the lowest sail on each mast. We take the sail in when we have lost the wind and are going to motor, or as part of a tack.” “EASE THE BRAILS AND INHAULS! HAUL AROUND ON THE OUTHAULS!” “That is the command given to set the mizzen sails, upper or lower.” “AVAST!” “It’s the nautical way of saying ‘FREEZE!’ It stops everything.” “UP BEHIND!” “When there is a bunch of people on the line, or it gets to where they are working against you, calling “UP BEHIND!” gets them off the line so you can work it without that resistance.” “ON THE T’GALLANT GEAR! SHEET HOME!” “When the sail is ungasketed and just hanging in the lines, ‘SHEET HOME!” draws the leeches, or the sides of the sail, taut and begins setting the set.” “WALK AWAY WITH THE HALYARD!” “It’s the command given to do just what it says. Sailors are simple people. This command has all the folks line up, take hold and walk away with the halyard. The upper top yard weighs about two and a half tons, so by walking away, they are able to move it in a smooth fashion.” “LIBERTY! LIBERTY! LIBERTY!” “Your workday is done. You can get out and see the town and do whatever it is you want to do to play. Within limits.” Good Morning Shipmates By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/07/01/good_morning_shipmates Monday night, as darkness brought out the lights in Port Angeles and on the coast of Vancouver Island, Eagle motored in U.S. waters. I stood on the deck as long as I could, watching the cadets on the fo’csle keep watch. On the waist, cadets were studying, reading, pressing cell phones to their ears, doing chin-ups and push-ups and jumping rope. At the helm, four cadets and a seaman bundled into water- and wind-proof gear stood at three wheels and steered the ship. In my stateroom, Food Service Chief Leta Gibbons was gracious when I woke her up. Who but a Coastie would be nice to a stranger bumbling around an unaccustomed space? If an alarm sounds in the middle of the night, she advised me, I should wait in my rack until she is dressed, on deck in a position to save my life. How often do you find that attitude in a roomie? Clambering up the ladder to my rack, I was reminded that I have all the agility and skill of a garden slug. Lt. Chris Nolan has offered me the opportunity to climb the rigging. We’ll see. At night, we leave a red light glowing on the overhead. There is no outside light. The ship rolls a bit with the seas, and the engine, trite as it sounds, is a lullaby. I slept right through reveille Leta had to remind me that if I wanted breakfast, it would not come to me, and it would be gone by 7:30 a.m. “Good morning, shipmates,” Capt. Sinnett greeted us over the ship’s address system. “Shipmates.” What a fine concept. After a breakfast of fresh fruit, strong coffee, perfect eggs and pancakes, we mustered on the waist of the ship at 8 a.m. “Bring the chocolate,” Leta had told me. Muster would be an ideal time give cadets and crew an advance taste of Tacoma hospitality. I’d bought 60 pounds of Brown & Haley rocas, barks and Mountain Bar boo boos as a token of the warmth with which we will welcome them. It’s what any of us would do, given the chance. The cadets, especially, like you already. The morning started in fog, and the cadets were alerted to the approach of another Coast Guard cutter, the BOUTWELL. As it drew near, they manned the starboard rail and stood at attention. On a whistle signal, they saluted as the two ships passed. Crew aboard BOUTWELL returned the courtesy. The long- standing naval tradition is called “rendering honors.” Minutes later, on the port side, two hummingbirds flirted alongside Eagle for perhaps five minutes. Cadets dispersed to duties across the ship. “We’re scrubbing the waterways for the guests who will be on board,” said Laura Delgado, 18, of Mission, Tex. “We do board preps for every port,” added Jenna Carpenter of Cullowhee, N.C. “Cleaning, Brasso-ing, Making the ship pretty.” Pretty, Jenna, is an understatement. Square Rigged Ships Prefer The Ocean By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/30/square_rigged_ships_prefer_the_ocean U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle motored to an advantageous spot near the starting line of the first leg of the Tall Ships Challenge. Lynx, Amazing Grace, Lady Washington, and Adventuress were nearby, all with sails raised, all with captains working out their strategy. On Eagle’s deck, crew and cadets stood ready to fill the sky with canvas. The crew does not raise the main sails on a square-rigged ship. They lower most of them from the yardarms. Then, when they douse the sails, they climb the rigging up to the yards, and pull the sails on top of the yard by hand. That’s called furling the sails, and they do it on yardarms 30 to 140 feet above the deck. “The strategy was to get a good start and to make the best speed we could as close to the wind as possible,” Capt. J. Christopher Sinnett said. “Another part of the strategy was to avoid a close quarters situation with any of the other tall ships.” Eagle is a three-masted barque, and, at 295 feet, at least 100 feet longer than the other boats in the race. “The cadets and crew had spent half an hour preparing for the race, so that when the command ‘Set all squares’ rang out, Eagle went from no canvas to 18,000 square feet in about 60 seconds,” Sinnett said. “The remaining 5,000 square feet were set a few moments later, as we approached the starting line.” The plan was to head for Port Angeles. But the wind was southwesterly. “We were unable to get closer than 55 degrees off the course we needed to make,” Sinnett said. That means that two thirds of the way across the straits, Eagle needed to tack. “When we did tack, we quickly learned why square riggers were replaced by schooners,” Sinnett said “ Square riggers can only sail 75 degrees to the true wind. So when we tacked, instead of heading to Port Angeles, we were heading back to Victoria.” That’s about the time Eagle passed Lady Washington going in the opposite direction. “Because it was going to take so much time to work our way to windward and get to Port Angeles, we made the decision to enjoy sailing on the breeze we had, and to not worry about the race,” Sinnett said. “When we got close to Vancouver Island, we doused sail and set ourselves up for an evening’s worth of training while staying clear of the commercial traffic lanes.” Tuesday morning, Eagle will transit to Seattle, where she will anchor near the Coast Guard station Tuesday afternoon. Welcome Aboard By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/30/welcome_aboard Janet Jensen and I are set up aboard Eagle. I was tempted to say we are settled in, but this ship is so complex, that would be an overstatement. Over the next few days, we aim to give you a taste of life aboard America’s Tall Ship. That taste in the wardroom, the officers’ dining room, is pasta salad and sautéed broccoli. Lunch is early today, so everyone can be on deck for the sprint to Port Angeles, the first race of the Tall Ships Challenge. The first thing you learn onboard is that you knock on every closed door you intend to open. The doors are watertight, and you open them with a lever that could crush the fingers of a person opening them on the other side. Already this year, one person has a case of flat fingers. I’ll be rooming with Food Service Chief Leta Gibbons. Remember the stories from Astoria, where the cadets aboard ate everything except the amaretto non-dairy creamer? They hate amaretto non-dairy creamer. They wondered who bought it, and why. FSC Gibbons buys it. Why? “Because they hate it,” she said. She might be joking. She might not. She has fitted out her bunk, the lower one, with a satin quilt and decorative pillows. I have the top rack, and have pledged to make it every day. I also have promised myself not to sit up suddenly in the night and slam into the metal beams. We each have a locker, and there’s a sink and a fold- out desk. Each morning we will muster to the waist of the ship, the broad deck at the middle. Throughout the day, we will check in three times, so the officers will know we have not gone overboard. For safety drills, we will report to Lifeboat 3, starboard. We should not confuse lifeboats with the motor launches winched up to each side of the ship. “The lifeboats are in the big white cans,” EMC Michael Barnhouse said. We will be welcome on deck at any time, and we will be encouraged to pitch in and help with most any task. “Anybody want to get on a line, get on a line,” Barnhouse said. On Eagle, we’ll learn by doing. Standard In The Wind By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/30/standard_in_the_wind USCG Barque Eagle was tearing from Victoria toward Port Angeles at 11 knots. That’s about 14 miles per hour in land terms, which just doesn’t capture the sense of speed on the sea. The 60-by-30-foot American flag was beating in the wind, and being beaten up by the winds. It was time to replace the large national ensign with a smaller version. The question: How to transfer it from the flag halyard attached to the mizzen boom, onto the deck and into safe storage in a good wind with respect and reverence? And in the middle of the first race of the Tall Ships Challenge? Eagle does not have 60 feet of unobstructed deck space. It does, however, have the crucial resource Bos’n Keith Raisch identified. “Throw a lot of people at it,” he said. The flag came down like a sail. Unlike a sail, it did not touch the deck. Instead, 18- and 19-year- old cadets gathered it up and toted it to the waist of the ship. Then they tried to sort it out. Some held on to the edges. Some stood under it to keep it off the deck. Some worked on a plan. They adjusted the jumble of fabric until they had the blue field of stars at one end and the stripes bundled at the other. They negotiated the folds, backing under the deck to make room, until they could begin folding the stripes, triangle by triangle, until it was a perfect form of white stars on blue. All told, it took them about half an hour to fold the ensign, and ace what might as well have been an exercise in a leadership course. Heading For Eagle By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/30/heading_for_eagle We’re about to see Eagle fly. Photographer Janet Jensen and I will board U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle at 7:30 this morning for our transit home to Tacoma. We’ll be blogging to you from a day and a night at sea, two nights anchored in Elliott Bay off Seattle, and from the Parade of Sail into Commencement Bay. Eagle will be the final ship in the parade, which will be escorted by a Tacoma fire boat, and led by Lady Washington. Today, the Tall Ships will race out on the first day of the Tall Ships Challenge, the race at the heart of all these festivals. Vessels sail in classes based on size and class, and they set out with handicaps. We’ll tell you more about how that works as we learn it from Eagle’s crew today. All the ships will raise their sails and set off from Ogden Point at noon, though they’ll be leaving Victoria Harbour between 10 and 10:30 a.m. It will be the first chance for people here to see all the ships under sail, thanks to the high and gusty winds that forced some ships, including Eagle, to motor into the festival. The festival closed Sunday evening with a ceremony, a concert, and dozens of tired but happy vendors breaking down their booths and loading up their wares. The fleet was leaving. The fun was heading south. Comment on this post to ask us what you’d like to know about Eagle and the officers, crew and cadets aboard her. Janet and I will get your answers, and show you the details and the big, majestic pictures to introduce you to America’s Tall Ship. A Hot Time With Short Lines And A Long History By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/28/a_hot_time_with_short_lines_and_a_long_h Straight off the Victoria Clipper, we set off to see the Tall Ships, beginning with Adventuress, moored in front of the Empress Hotel. It was surprisingly easy – no lines and no waiting for those mid-sized ships. That’s a huge improvement over the 2005 festival, when people complained about long waits in hot weather. The weather’s about the same, in the 80s, and feeling like the 90s, but even for the big boats, the lines are short and survivable. At noon, it took about 20 minutes to see Lynx, Lady Washington and Canada’s sleek racer HMCS Oriole. It’s not that there are fewer people here. Festival spokesman Bill Eisenhauer says sales of $5 tickets to the festival grounds are at or above 2005 levels. Organizers have just developed a smarter, simpler system for getting as many people as possible onto as many boats as possible. Late in the afternoon, it took us only 15 minutes to get onto U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle’s self-guided tour. People here are still yearning to see Eagle under sail. On Thursday, the winds picked up before the Parade of Sail from Fort Rodd Hill into Victoria Harbour. The gusts, said, Eisenhauer, were so strong, organizers had to tell some ticket holders they could not board their ships for the parade past the crowded shoreline. The wind was so strong it could have powered Eagle to speeds unsafe in the harbor crowded with Tall ships, sea planes, tourist craft and kayaks. Fans are now hoping Eagle will be able to depart under sail on Monday, so they can see her at her best. While you’re watching, look for the pitch-black Nina, and consider the sailors who crossed the Atlantic aboard her three times with Christopher Columbus. The square-rigged caravel was difficult in the extreme to maneuver. And there were cows in slings below decks. The hold was packed tight with all the lumber, canvas, water, and food (including cows) that a crew sailing beyond the edge of the known world might need. There was no room below for living space. That meant that the 27 crew lived entirely on deck. They worked in the open, slept in the open, even cooked in a stove at the prow. Showers or baths? Are you kidding? Capt. Morgan Sanger wants all who step aboard the replica ship to get a sense of that hardship, and to look at their lives with a new perspective. “You think you have it hard today?” he’ll tell visitors. “Look at what your ancestors did. This is where the age of sail started. That’s what it took.” Even aboard Nina, things are infinitely easier today. She was built to a design based on old plans and 500-year-old shipwrecks. The craftsmen who made her lived in the remote coastal town where shipwrights of Columbus’ day chose to remain, and current craftsmen use the old techniques and tools. But now there are ice boxes, a gimbaled stove, a head, a cold-water shower and the DVD player on which Jamie Sanger, 16, and fellow crew members Doc Kaiser, 51, and Beth Frederick, 39, were watching “The Simpsons.” Silhouette By The Ship By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/13/silhouette_by_the_ship Ryan Koch, 11, plays with a viewing scope at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria in front of a window reflecting a moored USCGS Eagle Friday, June 13, 2008. The Eagle will headline Tall Ships Tacoma next month. Cast And Crew By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/13/cast_and_crew Astoria, Ore. - There were no lines to tour U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle Thursday evening in Astoria, just a steady stream of people delighted to have the chance to visit America’s Tall Ship. Cadets Kyle Stubbs, 19, of Newcastle, and Trent Meyers of Indianapolis, Ind., manned the dock. They welcomed families, seniors, Coast guard veterans and tourists delighted to be in town at the same time as the famous ship. They assured all that they were welcome, and that there was no charge to tour the ship. While Stubbs and Meyers greeted, other cadets in uniform shared pizza parlor flyers. The dialed their cell phones and tried to negotiate to have pies delivered to the city dock. It was surprisingly frustrating. They were assigned to the ship for the evening. They could not just wander off in search of a Hawaiian with extra Canadian bacon. When they dock in Tacoma, they said, it would be a fine thing to have great pizza readily available, a great thing to allow pizza delivery people access to the ship. “Pizza is a big thing cadets are fans of,” Stubbs said. “We don’t get it on ship.” Cadets with shore leave waved goodbye as they set out to explore Astoria. It’s not a city that specializes in night life. At 10 p.m., groups of them were still walking about, looking at shop windows, enjoying the chance to walk more than 300 feet in one direction without having to turn around. Stubbs and Meyers are leaving Eagle in Astoria, and a new set of their cadet classmates will board for the sail to Victoria and the passage south with Tall Ships. They won’t be in Tacoma, but they know what their shipmates will want. “Movies,” said Meyers. “You hear about these great movies that open while you’re at sea. We would appreciate the chance to see them.” Sports, the two agreed. You don’t get much baseball on a Tall Ship. “Mount Rainier,” Stubbs said. “We have a lot of people from the Midwest who have never seen a mountain like Rainier.” People will have leaves long enough to give them time to get to Rainier, even stay overnight. Transportation will be the hitch. Ditto for anything beyond a brisk walk from the festival. The crew and cadets will want to know how to get to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, hiking trails, theaters, stores and restaurants. They’ll also want to know which ones are the best and the most affordable. If they ask you for recommendations, the cadets said, don’t be shy. There’s one more thing for which they yearn: Hotel rooms. Friday morning at Astoria’s Red Lion Inn, Ben McElroy of Pennsylvania, Merritt Anderson of Alabama, Mark Tatara of Illinois and Cori Mikkalo of Oregon chowed down on the complimentary breakfast. Sausage, waffles, oatmeal, breakfast burritos. The works. The 19-year-olds had been among the cadets who ate everything on Eagle on the sail up from San Diego. The galley was bare. The only thing left, they said, was a case of amaretto coffee creamer. They hate amaretto coffee creamer. After their last skimpy lunch on board, they were delighted to spend three and a half hours re-stocking the ship. Breakfast, however, was not why they’d splurged on the hotel. They’d done it for the showers and the comfy, comfy pillowtop beds, and the television, and the chance to sleep in and just relax. Aboard Eagle, a three-minute shower is the rule, and cadets sleep 12 to 14 to a room on thin mattresses. Eagle is a fine experience, they said, and a good start on serving their country well. But sometimes, it’s good to be ashore. Light And Lines By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/12/light_and_lines A couple examines the rigging of the USCGS Eagle in Astoria, Ore. Thursday, June 12, 2008. Meet The Eagle Up Close By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/12/meet_the_eagle_up_close Nancy Cook and Zeti McKay stood at the highest spot in Astoria, looked down at the waterfront and picked out USCG Eagle’s masts. The new moms had hiked up to the Astoria Column carrying their baby girls, Izi Cook and Amelia McKay. Every morning they listen to the Columbia River shipping report on their public radio station. Thursday, there’d been a live broadcast on Eagle’s arrival. In a community in which the Coast Guard is a proud and constant presence, the arrival of its oldest and most famous ship is a big deal. People are just getting a grip on it, Cook said of the tall ship’s first visit to Astoria in nine years. McKay was sure the patrons at her business, Coffee Girl Café, were sitting outside, looking down the river and planning visits to the barque. Heading back down the hill, McKay and Cook did their own planning. “It’ll be the babies’ first time on a ship,” McKay said. If the moms made it down the hill by 2 p.m., when Eagle had been scheduled to open for tours, the babies had to wait. Eagle had been at sea for 17 days, and by the time it moored, its galley was bare. How bare? For lunch, cadets and crew got nothing but a bag of chips and a single slice of turkey on a hamburger bun. There were no complaints when a semi trailer truck full of provisions pulled up to Astoria’s city dock, and crew and cadets formed a line to hand boxes of provisions from the truck to the storage below decks. “We’ve been loading food on board for two hours,” said Lt. Chris Nolan, operations manager on the ship. The people who had lined up at 2 p.m. were understanding when they heard the tours were delayed. No one wants Coasties to go hungry. Eagle draws crowds wherever she moors, but the crew has a good system for keeping visitors both informed and moving, Nolan said. Cadets and crew polish her brass and scrub her paint – though white paint tends to show any rust . There’s an easy way to figure out who’s who on the ship, Nolan said: Check the uniform collars. Junior cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have red shields. Seniors have blue shields. Permanent crew members have the insignia of their rank. As guests come aboard, the cadets and crew deploy throughout the ship to answer questions efficiently and graciously. Their ship is an ambassador as well as a training vessel. A cadet, for example, will explain that what appear to be frayed ropes in the rigging are, in fact protecting the sails. They’re called “baggywrinkles,” and they make a barrier between the rigging and the canvas. Cadets, like Gina Gutterrez, 20, of Hartville Ohio, and Hayley Warshauer, 18, of Tucson, Ariz., will tell you that, after five weeks on board, they’ll be sad to leave the ship in Astoria to make way for the next group of cadets. “You learn a lot about teamwork,” Gutterrez said. “You can’t put the sails up by yourself.” Eagle came into Astoria under power, not sail. Nolan is hoping to have the wind to fill Eagle’s sails when she comes into Commencement Bay. Eagle does travel on wind-power 75 percent of the time, and that grand entrance is, after all, the Parade of Sail Meet The Eagle By Kathleen Merryman The News Tribune http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/tallships/2008/06/12/meet_the_eagle The USCGC Eagle enters the Columbia river near Astoria, Ore. Thursday, June 12, 2008. The ship will moor at the city dock next to the maritime museum. U.S.Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, half way between the Columbia Bar and Astoria's city dock, gave Robert Hutton a glorious start to his 41st birthday. Hutton, of Cascade Locks, Ore., is spending a week at the coast. He just happened to be at Ft. Stevens as Eagle approached. "It looks like it has big diesel engines," he said as Eagle motored toward him. The American flag streamed over her stern. Three Coast Guard rescue boats ran out to escort her in. Around her, the people in 50 small boats were fishing for salmon. Life's good on the coast. You can fish and get close to America's Tall Ship all before 9 a.m. Gary and Jerrilyn French had been waiting, with cameras and binoculars, since 6:15 a.m. "We're on our eighth year as campground hosts,"Jerrilyn said. "We're with a group called Friends of Old Fort Stevens," Gary added. The fort, he said, has guarded the mouth of the Columbia since the Civil War. The ditch behind them was once a moat. Jerrilyn focused her 400mm lens on Eagle. "This is just majestic," she said." It makes you feel proud of your country, very patriotic." They'd read about Eagle's visit in The Daily Astorian, but did not know that she was heading to Victoria, B.C. and Tacoma for Tall Ships.
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