December 7, 2019-

Three men remain alive, of the Americans who fought at Pearl Harbor.  It’s been 78 years, since that day that brought the United States into de jure  conflict with Imperial Japan. The de facto war had been going on for some time, with Lend Lease and with Americans enlisting in other nations’ military forces.

The conflict was both the second-worst war of the Twentieth Century, after its predecessor, and the scenario for the hardest choices this country’s leadership has ever had to make.  The contributions of our best service people, the sacrifices of our civilian populace and the courage of underground fighters, across the globe- and on every inhabited continent, all are part of what makes World War II indelible in the memory of a conscious citizen.

Earlier today, one of the last Pearl Harbor veterans was laid to rest, on the sunken remains of the USS Arizona, the prime memorial site of that horrific attack.  Next weekend, our memorials to fallen veterans continues, with the laying of wreaths in each National Cemetery, across the country.   We will maintain our tributes to those who fell, and to those who came back, continued to serve those they loved and, in many cases, struggled with their demons.

Their fight for the common good, however ongoing and difficult, is indelible.

A Small-Time Mariner’s Voyage, Day 4: Bidding Paradise Farewell


Oct. 14, 2014, Honolulu-  Hawai’i’s role in the life of the United States, and the world, became more complex with the entry of the Trojan horse that was the entry of outside commercial interests into its affairs.  The people of any given nation are far more polyglot now than they were even fifty years ago.  For the land now called the Aloha State, this has meant being a constant target, both domestically and from foreign interests.  A stark reminder of the last time this happened is the USS Missouri/ USS Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor.  We sailed past this stirring sight, on the calm waters of Pearl Harbor, knowing that during our journey, there were no threatening forces between here and San Diego.  Our only challenge was building and maintaining a strong and unified sense of purpose during the six days of return from deployment.


As soon as we headed away from shore, a storm was seen over O’ahu.


As the clouds headed swiftly over the island’s central cordillera, Pai’Olu Olu Point was visible from the starboard side.SAM_3018

Also visible were two gulls  following us, in the off chance that food would be tossed out the galley portal.  No such luck, though.  The Navy is being more careful with what gets put into the ocean these days.


One brown gull hit the deck, and was momentarily stunned.  It took about ten minutes for the poor creature to get re-oriented and head off skyward again.


As the morning wore on, we caught a glimpse of Moloka’i, as we headed through the channel separating it from O’ahu.


The successful start to our cruise to San Diego was celebrated, with the first of several cakes.


The sea reminded us, every so often, of who was boss.  All in all, she would be a reasonable Madame.