ENS Shih here from Alaska! It’s gorgeous up here. Sometimes I kick myself for not putting those Alaska 110s higher on my billet list, because at this point of my life I could definitely live up here. JO life for me continues to just get more hectic and confusing, but some of it’s coming together…if that makes any sense. I am continuing to pursue my quals: Machinery Watchstander, Advanced Damage Control, Ship Rescue Swimmer…it’s pretty endless. The work is pretty endless too. Lots of collaterals (some which seem random), and assortments of tasks to do. I’m not going to lie, being a JO is not a whole lot of fun. It has its moments though, and a lot of it seems to be about attitude. I have my ups and downs every day, but my better days are when I stay focused and stay positive. A lot of this year reminds me of 4/c year…but a huge plus…we are making bank! I love my paycheck.
I am trying to think of the highlights from the past few months. RIMPAC 2012 was quite an experience. Naval war games with twenty some odd countries…pretty neat. After that, was exploring Alaska. Second time for me (went to Alaska my 1/c Summer), but like I said this is a pretty sweet place. Then the Commandant of the Coast Guard and Secretary Napolitano landed on our ship with some senators and our crew got to show off the ship to them. Now, we are off to the Arctic.
I’ll say this, I am not the biggest fan of being underway for five straight months. It could be a little shorter in my opinion, but there is upside. I am seeing and experiencing once in a life time opportunities, and after two years on the USCGC Bertholf I already know I am going to have a good number of sea stories. Who doesn’t like a good sea story?
Highlight of my Alaska trip so far has been able to see Kelly Francis! Her and my good friend Mike just recently got married (their wedding was amazing), and now they are stationed up in Alaska. Unfortunately Mike is underway and I missed him, but I saw the house and the brand new puppy, and I am sure the next time I am in the area everyone will be there!
On the Academy side of things…today is the first day of school at CGA. It’s a little weird that 2012 isn’t going back. Some of the 2011 Ensigns even said school should be starting today. I’m not sure how long it lasts yet, but CGA stays with you one way or another. Hope everyone’s first day went well, and I am sure as usual the school year will be an adventure.
That’s all for now, got to wake up soon and finish up fish school!
As always if you have any questions, please shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to answer!
More about Chris.