Friday, September 30, 2005

215 Years of the Coast Guard

I obviously missed this one but back in early August the Coast Guard celebrated its 215 year anniversary. According to this blurb I came across this morning, the CG officially began in 1790 when Congress authorized the construction of a fleet of “revenue marine” cutters. Essentially tax nazis under sail, the cutters were responsible for enforcing “…the nation’s tariff and trade laws..” as well as protecting the collection of federal revenue. The Coast Guard as we now know it received its name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the Life Saving Service. I’ve been boarded by the Coasties…underway no less. I was on the maxi Javelin as first mate making way through the C&D canal (between the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays) under power when suddenly a tender roared up out of nowhere. Before we knew it three very serious and polite young men were standing on the deck. Our only real concern was an open seacock down in the port head…the Captain had the sense to speak loudly enough for our chef (she was making a pot of coffee below decks) to hear what was going on and initate the emergency “boarded by Coasties” drill – which consisted of closing the seacock and stowing a dummy porta potty in the head. High drama, yes. But when you’re actually in need of them (and they’re there)…it’s surely a welcome sight. Have a great weekend!

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