At the time this blog is posted, most people in the United States are busy readying themselves for a well-deserved evening of revelry ringing in the New Year.
They are free to do so, in large part, because of our Sailors around the world. Lt. j.g. Steve Naylor of Waterbury, Connecticut is one of them.
He’s serving aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77), which has already crossed into 2018 in the Pacific Ocean:
LTJG Naylor here, ready to assume OOD, duties as assigned,
The New Year is near, it’s on all O’Kane watchstanders’ minds,
Of the year past: the port calls, the dining-ins, the long underways,
That one funny story, that training moment, and the weekend getaways.
Of Hawaiian Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer, (it’s really all the same)
Surely…but, oh surely this has been the year of the mighty Dick O’Kane!
The New Year is nigh! And I have the watch, oh! so late.
To be out at sea with 2018 close by, it must be fate!
But before I get too excited, I must log how our plant is lighted:
2A, 1B engine fires burning while the shafts are turning!
At split plant, of course, but wait there’s more!
2, 3, and 5 Sea Water Service Pumps are at full operation,
Number 1 Reefer, cold as can be, thank goodness for refrigeration!
1, 2, and 4 ACs are running, cold air and berthing shall be met,
No sailor asleep shall break even a sweat!
To Combat Systems, my log must continue,
For Alpha Uniform has mandated O’Kane is in a BMD window!
SPY is high power, 360, oh my!
If any hostile missiles are spotted, we’ll shoot them out of the sky!
5 Inch is loaded to shoot Illum fireworks out to the stars,
There’s a steel beach celebration on the flight deck, everything is grand so far.
The Captain hums, “Auld Lang Syne” whilst making a toast with CMC by his side,
“O’Kane, 2017 has been one hell of a ride!
We’ve had a few lows,
But the highest of highs,
We’ve sailed to the edges of the Mighty Pacific,
From Alaska to Guam, it’s all been terrific!
And into 2018, O’Kane’s story will go on,
Our saw will sharpen and we will strengthen our bond!
Through the end of Deployment until we sail into Drydock,
Oh, by the way that’s soon, so submit your 80% lock!
Ok back to the fun stuff, let’s hail the New Year with a bang!”
And with that the crew shouted, their voices shrill as they rang,
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6…
5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
And with that, I give the watch team a smile,
2018 is here, The deck log is done, at least for a while…
Editor’s note: Learn about the Navy’s tradition of the New Year’s Day Deck Log on Naval History and Heritage Command’s blog.