The term shallow water sailor, sometimes jokingly applied to Coast Guardsmen, has its origins in the misconception that Coast Guard duty keeps one close to land. Indeed, there are many Coast Guard duty stations that are land based—and for obvious reasons. But Coast Guard duty can take one into any or all of the seven seas of this planet. This story begins on land, but through subsequent assignment takes the reader quite a distance from land and into some intimacy with the deeper parts of mother ocean.
The time of this story is the era from 1956 to 1960. Eisenhower was President for a second term with Nixon as his Vice President. Khrushchev was First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and seemed to enjoy exacerbating the Cold War. The Korean War had ended in 1953, but there was trouble aplenty brewing on the planet.
This book is a tale of wildly contrasting assignments within the Coast Guard during a three-year period and takes the reader through a kaleidoscopic change of scenery from Miami, Florida, to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, to Hollywood movie studios, a visit to pre-Castro Havana and a final gambit that covers almost the entire expanse of the Bering Sea. It is an esoteric journey through places and activities far out of the ordinary.
Although I have written it as a “novel,” the events depicted here are true and the characters involved are even more so.