The U.S. Navy has all kinds of awesome traditions, many of which will probably become the subjects of posts here at Triple P. One of the most whimsical is our subject today.
It is the custom on board U.S. ships, whether in dock or at sea, that the first log entry of January 1 be written in verse. This is a long standing tradition but, very unfortunately, many of the old logs have been lost to time. Fortunately, logs of the last century are still with us and today I would like to offer you an entry from one of them.
The following is the Tuesday, January 1, 1957 entry from the log of USS Rankin:
00-04 (as you will recall from this post, our 1st Lieutenant is currently standing the middle or graveyard watch):
This proud lady of the sea; Is moored starboard side to pier three; With standard mooring lines doubled up for any condition; And bow, stern, and forward spring wires in addition. At the Newport News Virginia Shipbuilding and Drydock Company; Receiving miscellaneous services from their facility. Throughout the ship condition modified baker is set; This ship stays ready like a worried old vet. Ships present in the area total quite a few; Units of the U.S. Fleet and foreign nations too. All are friendly right now, at the start of this new year; Pray this situation will continue providing us with peace and good cheer. SOPA is our own Commanding Officer today; He's an easy man to follow because he knows the way. It's been an eventful year - old '56; We've been round half the world, had lots of kicks. We have carried Marines, fulfilled many a mission; Were awarded a plaque for Battle Efficient Condition. But keep your foreign ports, keep Mandalay; Keep Marseilles, France - give us the U.S.A. The Exec's on board, the Captain's not on the scene; But no one is worried, the OOD is a United States Marine. - M. M. Brunner, 1st Lt, USMC
Well done, Lieutenant. If you'd like to know more about USS Rankin (pictured above on the day of her commissioning), she's a lovely website that you could spend hours going through. Enjoy!
Happy New Year, Brethren. I'm looking forward to sailing with you in 2010.