My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part VI

Palmer Station Comes to Life – copyright 2009 Jack W. Cummings

Edisto-in-Arthur-Harbor In the Antarctic all life hinges on the weather, and in this US Navy photo the crew of the Edisto can be seen warding off pieces of pack ice with a fire hose. That said, beginning on the 13th of January, all hands onboard the Edisto wasted no time in “laying to” the daunting task of moving personnel and equipment to staging areas onshore. Three days later the Edisto would rendezvous with the USNS Wyandot in the vicinity of the Melchior Islands some 70 miles to the north. Her duty now would be to escort the Wyandot through the “ice” to her anchorage near Palmer. The cargo hold of the Wyandot held the bulk of material needed to build and supply Palmer for the next year – minus furniture for our living quarters – more about that later.Wyandot-and-Edisto-at-Palme

US Navy Photos from cruise book

During the ensuing days and as weather permitted, small boats from the Edisto and Wyandot, plus an LH-34 Sikorsky helicopter attached to the Edisto, operated almost continuously moving cargo to shore. Edisto’s log shows that on the 21st of January she was escorting the Wyandot northward. I assume that offloading was a success, except for our missing furniture. I am not sure where the Wyandot went next, but I have located an official US Navy photo identifying her at Hallett Station in 1964, over 2600 miles away. Quite possibly she had offloaded cargo at Hallett Station before arriving at Palmer and was heading back to the states. Continue reading “My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part VI”

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My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part IV

Heading South On Board the USS Edisto – copyright 2009 Jack W Cummings

On 10 December 1964 the USS Edisto left Boston Harbor and set a course for Anvers Island on the Palmer Peninsula in Antarctica (Some time ago the peninsula was renamed “Antarctic Peninsula). Commander Norval E. Nickerson had been the commanding officer of the Edisto since May, 1963. He had completed 3 Arctic deployments since taking command. During that time the Edisto had participated in Arctic replenishment of all the areas requiring icebreaker services in Labrador and on both the east and west coasts of Greenland. CDR Nickerson had under his command not only a crew well trained in Polar Operations, but also a ship that had been proving herself since she was commissioned on 20 March 1947. Anyone wishing to learn more about this proud ship can do so at http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Edisto_1965.asp

Continue reading “My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part IV”

My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part III

Our New England Honeymoon – Copyright 2009 Jack W. Cummings

When a woman marries a sailor on active duty, her life with her new husband becomes one of uncertainty. Not so much with the character of the man she married, but with the fact that he is not always the one who decides where they will be stationed/living from year to year – that is just the nature of being married to “the Navy”. For Barbara our first two years of marriage was a sweet and sour affair. Sweet, in that we got to spend a lot of time together our first year, but the sour part was being separated for over a year and missing getting to spend our first two Christmases and Wedding anniversaries together.

Continue reading “My Second Antarctic Adventure – Palmer – Part III”