USS Skagit Family Gram
1967 WestPac Cruise
It was a wonderful sight to see land off the port bow this morning, after ten days of blue Pacific waters. Today, the SKAGIT and crew rest in Apra Habor on the island of Guam, 5,400 miles from San Diego.
So far, the weather has been very kind to us, as we have had mostly sunny skies with a few rain squalls now and then. The seas have been surprisingly calm wind the temperature has been in the 90s most of the day. We are certainly thankful for our air conditioned sleeping and dining areas.
On the 13th of June we crossed the International Date Line and lost Thursday of that week forever. This may make our letters home take a "day" longer to get there, but keep writing to us, as news from home is always welcome.
We also entered "The Domain of the Golden Dragon" when we crossed the 180th Meridian. He rules supremely over this area of the oceans. To celebrate the event, the "Golden Dragon" (Lieutenant Taft) and his staff came up out of the sea to initiate several of our crew who had not crossed the Date Line before. We climaxed the afternoon's fun with an outdoor steak fry on the fantail of the ship. Now our entire crew are card carrying "Golden Dragons".
One of the things that helps pass the time is our nightly showing of a full length film in the crew's lounge. When all movies had been shown, we exchanged films with one of the other ships in the formation via highline transfer.
During our transit to Guam, SKAGIT was challenged by another ship to a soft ball game and tug-of-war when we arrived in Guam. Naturally, we defended our honor on the beach with three teams playing. After an interesting afternoon of sports, the tug-of-war was held. Successful was not the word to describe the outcome, but ALL HANDS truly enjoyed the picnic that followed. Featured over slowly roasting coals were Bar-B-Ques, hot dogs, and hamburgers, along with all of the usual trimmings. Soft drinks were provided by the losers of the games.
Sunday we held church services on the open bridge. This was a non-denominational service and was attended well.
Once we leave. Guam and continue on our journey West, our thoughts and energies will once again return to the daily task of preparing ourselves for our primary missions overseas.
W. A. Mackey
Captain U. S. Navy