As the sun rises this morning, I will be on my way to Florida, with my family for a 5 night Disney Cruise. It’s our 2nd Disney Cruise, as a family, but today will be very different for me.
Back tracking 51 years, or the Winter of 1967, I had returned from a different type of cruise, that is on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Halfmoon (WAVP-378). That cruise was to GITMO, to play war games with the U.S. Navy. This was my 2nd cruise to GITMO, but this return was very different.
When we return, late February, something very different happened. A swarm of Engineers swarmed our rusty bucket of bolts, and started to talk about air conditioning. March, Air Conditioning, Snow, hmm, something weird is going on. Oh, our communications gear had issues with the Navy while we were in GITMO, where the equipment broke down. Not unusual for us. But Air Conditioning.
Would find out later, that through out the Halfmoon other folks were measuring, writing, suggesting changes that would happen quickly. But what ?
By this time, the CGC Halfmoon had been my home for 2 years. Much of that time was “as sea” on our various missions. Just not at home, or where there was much “news”.
About the 15th of March, 1967, we had a All Hands On Deck meeting on the “mess deck”. Very rare gathering at best. We were told that we would be leaving on an “extended” cruise and thus all of the folks boarding the ship and new equipment, noise, that had been going on and would continue for a couple of more weeks.
On April 1st, 1967, the CGC Halfmoon would leave Staten Island for the last time, and head somewhere, to warmer weather. There had been a prediction that a Coast Guard Cutter would leave New York and not return, or so the story goes. Well, in fact, we did NOT turn to Base St George for 1967.
We would return 22 January 1968, from a cruise to Vietnam. Through the Panama Canal (both ways). 2 other, east coast Cutters would make that trip, meeting up with 2 others in Hawaii. To the Philippines, then to our various missions off of the Vietnam Coast.
April 1st, 2018, another cruise, but from Florida for 5 days on a cruise ship Disney Magic
5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami
Experience the many exciting amenities of Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and one more Caribbean port of call, where white-sand beaches, brilliant blue waters, balmy breezes and aquatic adventures await. Spend 2 relaxing days at sea enjoying your cruise ship’s onboard delights—from nightclubs and lounges to family-friendly entertainment venues.
According to the fine print, the Disney Magic is 3 times the length of the Coast Guard Cutter Halfmoon. The crew of the Magic is 7 times that of the crew of the Halfmoon (war time crew level). And, I’ll bet there won’t be the rust on the Magic that the Halfmoon had until she ended her career in 1969.
The only time the 5 cutters with tied up together, after our journey across the Pacific.
And our welcome home, with the traditional Navel Welcome Home. My folks were on the pier when we arrived.
Will be so glad to have Jennie, Patrick, Carrie and Patti, on this April 1st cruise. Oh, and I won’t have to work this cruise.