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Departing from Bodega Bay

08/05/04 Thursday - The crew was up and ready at 5:30. We had the celebrated pancake breakfast. Engines were started at 6:15 and we were underway at 6:25. It was slightly windy in the harbor and pretty windy outside the breakwater.

The first 3 hours we took a "whoppin". We reduced the speed to about 6 mph and we were still getting smashed. Finally the winds subsided and we kicked the speed up to about 12mph.

Once we passed Point Arena the seas calmed way down and the rest of the cruise was easy. We arrived at Ft. Bragg about 4:45 and snaked our way in the narrow harbor. Jim was at the wheel and Dan and Don were on the lines. Jim did a great job of kissing her against the Coast Guard Station dock where we stayed as invited guests.
Entering Noyo River, Ft Bragg CA,  08-05-04
    F/V San Juan in Background (old tuna boat) Coast Guard Dock, 47' in foreground  

Quite a few of the "Coasties" went on tours through the ship and had fun in the engine room pondering how it used to be. We were met by Selby Drew, a local "83 Footer Sailor" and the group went out to dinner. Tomorrow we will delay our departure to show "her" to visiting R-Adm Kevin Eldridge CDR 11th CGDist. and any staff that want the tour.


L-R, B. Rogerson F-87 CGAux, M. Perkins BMCS OinC Noyo Station, Capt Pettitt CDR Group Humbolt, R-Adm Kevin Eldridge CDR 11th CGDist., Selby Drew BMCS USCG (Ret.)


 Then we will depart with Selby for the next leg, yet undefined. For now, its time to hit the rack. We are beat from just hanging on.
The following photos taken by Bruce Rogerson USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 87 Mendocino.
Guest Skipper, Selby Drew, ex-83 footer on the Oregon and Washington Coast. Dan and Rear Admiral Kevin Eldridge(11th CG District) The new and the old. 83527 Departing Ft. Bragg Dan in Engine Room


Scenes from around CG Noyo River from Selby Drew

Channel entrance Getting underway      
CG boat alongside        

This article appeared in the Ft Bragg Advocate-News.


Busy week at U.S. Coast Guard Station Noyo River

By Bruce Rogerson, Flotilla 87 USCG Auxiliary

While taking care of the regular business of vessel assist, search and rescue, boat inspections and more, Chief Perkins and the men and women of USCG Station Noyo River were at their best for a visit last Friday morning by Rear Admiral Kevin Eldridge, Commanding Officer USCG District Eleven. Earlier in the week the station hosted a lunch barbecue in celebration of National Coast Guard Day and provided overnight berth space for the veteran USCG Cutter No. 83527 alongside the station dock.

This was the admirals first visit to Station Noyo River, since he assumed command last year of District Eleven, which encompasses California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Eldridge is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and holds degrees in ocean engineering and chemical engineering. He has 30 years service with the Coast Guard as an officer and commanding officer on USCG buoy tenders at stations in Honolulu and Galveston, as Chief of Operations, District Eight based in New Orleans and prior to his present assignment, served as Assistant Commandant for Governmental and Public Affairs at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was accompanied on the visit by Capt. Pettitt, Commander Group Humboldt, Commander Turner, Group Operations Officer, Commander Cullen, District 11 SAR Operations Officer and the admirals aide Lt. Kabal.

During his time at Noyo River, Admiral Eldridge met with Senior Chief Michael Perkins, Officer in Charge, Noyo River Station, Executive Officer Don Miterko and the department heads to review operational readiness, equipment needs, personnel issues and future funding requirements for the station. Eldridge toured the station and talked to the men and women of the various departments, including deck operations, engineering, communications and the 21-foot rigid inflatable inshore rescue boat crew.

After donning the mandatory orange survival suit and gear, the admiral then boarded one of the two 47-foot motor life boats based at Noyo River for a short sortie out of Noyo Harbor under the new Noyo Bridge and down the coast almost to Point Cabrillo. Chief Perkins, conned the vessel as coxswain with Engineer PO Lawler, Boatswains Mate Jimenez and Seaman McCann as crew. The conditions were ideal with a calm ocean, little swell, no fog and a fine view north to the Lost Coast. During the ride, a whale was spotted about a mile off the outer channel marker and a pod of dolphins frolicking in the calm seas. The chief assured the admiral that these were far from typical conditions on the Mendocino Coast!  

On return to the station, Admiral Eldridge concluded his visit with an all hands meeting on the recreation deck. There he briefed the gathered Coast Guard personnel on the changing role of the U. S. Coast Guard following the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and as part of the new Department of Homeland Security. Greatly increased funding from Congress has enabled the Coast Guard to acquire badly needed new equipment, improve pay and conditions for personnel and assume the greatly expanded homeland security role of the Coast Guard in protecting the waterways and ports, large and small, around the U.S. He emphasized the continuing importance of the boating safety tasking of the Coast Guard and commended the station for its outstanding service to the men and women both of the commercial fishing fleets and the sport fishing community on the Mendocino Coast.

During his visit the admiral recognized Senior Chief Perkins with the presentation of an official Coast Guard Achievement Award for his outstanding service as Executive Officer, Station Humboldt Bay from May 2003 to May 2004. FA Shelby Charley was also recognized by the admiral for excellence in the performance of his duties at Noyo River over the past year.

The crew of the CG-83527 prepares to dock as the vessel entered Noyo Harbor last Thursday. Tony Reed photo.

National Coast Guard Day Aug. 4

National Coast Guard Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the act of congress on Aug. 4, 1790 establishing the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service which eventually became the U. S. Coast Guard in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was combined with the U. S. Life Saving Service. The U. S. Light House Service was merged into the USCG in 1939, creating the broad-based maritime safety service we know today.

On a sunny afternoon, Noyo River Station personnel hosted an informal lunchtime barbecue for the local community bringing together Coast Guard families, retired Coast Guard personnel from the area, veterans, local residents and boaters from the coast. Over hot dogs, snacks and some cool brews, the attendees enjoyed conversation, fellowship and memories in the Fishermens Park in the south harbor adjacent to the station. Many families were there with children enjoying the inflatable jump bag provided by the Station for the day.

Retired Coast Guard Cutter CG-83527

Last Thursday late afternoon saw the long white veteran wooden cutter snugly moored alongside the Noyo River Station Berth after a full days trip from Bodega Bay.

CG-83527 is the last remaining Wheeler Class 83-footer dating back to World War II and is on a voyage from Rio Vista on the Sacramento River to Port Ludlow on Puget Sound in Washington State. She was built in June 1944 by Wheeler Shipyard in Brooklyn and served in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico before being assigned on the cessation of hostilities, as a search and rescue cutter at Tacoma, Wash. where she served for 17 years before being decommissioned in December 1962.

CG-83527 was sold to a private owner and used as a houseboat for over 30 years before being willed to the Sea Scouts in Isleton where the Scouts used her for static crew training. Now she is on her way north under the command of Skipper Dan Withers, the driving force behind the effort to save and restore her for future use in a maritime park at Port Ludlow. Also on board is Royal Journey a retired Boeing engineer and former Air Force officer and Selby Drew from Fort Bragg who served on board similar 83-foot cutters during his 23 years of Coast Guard service.

CG-83527 left Noyo River on Friday afternoon after a surprise visit aboard by Rear Admiral Eldridge. The CG-83527 reached Eureka late that evening for a two-day stay.

To learn more about this old veteran vessel, her history, the voyage north and the restoration program, visit www.cg83527.org .



Departing Fort Bragg for Crescent City

08/06/04 Friday - We spent half the day at Fort Bragg, California where we were invited by the Coast Guard to stay at their facilities. Had a good time sharing the boat and stories with both the coasties as well as several 83 foot sailors that appeared. We were asked if we could stay a few more hours as the Admiral of the 11th Coast Guard District would be visiting and they thought he would enjoy the history. So we did.
Leaving Noyo River Out to Sea  

We got out of Ft Bragg about 13:30 and got underway northbound. Port Engine oil is full and stbd had 3.5 oil in pan. Added 1.5 gallon. Raised level to 5 from bottom of pan. Added .5 gal, raised level to 6 from bottom. That is the full mark on the dip stick. While running I discovered oil all over the deck. The dipstick keeps vibrating out of the tube. Royal added a screw to the deck and hooked a bunge cord around the dipstick knob.
We decided to go as far as the seas would allow because there are many locations with rough water. We decided to keep going as long as the water was calm. And it was all the way to Crescent City.

The trip was not trouble free. I lost track of how many times I started and stopped to change the fuel filter. There were 4 hours of rainy weather and lots of stress with fog. But most memorable was the hour of moonlight and millions of stars. I love the trailing prop wash.

08/07/04 Saturday - We arrived at about 6 am off the jetty at Crescent City. It was quite foggy and we could not find the first buoy, but the GPS said we were there. At about 6:15 am the sunshine welcomed us and so we finally found it. After tying up for some sleep we were awakened by a local knocking on the bridge. He wanted us to relocate the boat. So we worked on getting things cleaned up, took on 267 gal of diesel at fuel dock, relocated the boat, had dinner at a local restaurant and hit the rack.
At the dock Dan & Royal sacked out Dan changing out the radar

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