MST2 Mark Pfrenger
Relieving Cutter Mendota
We Relieve You! Cutter Mendota Goes Home
Arriving on station was a long string of drills designed to sharpen the skills of each Sebago Sailor. It kept all of us from just jumping overboard from pure despair that this little patch of ocean would be "ours" for the next three weeks.
In this shot the Mendota (WHEC-69) comes alongside for a highline drill that passes her mail and maybe a few movies. The RM's had the duty of opening the mail bags, sorting the contents, and then acting as ship's postmen at mail call. The first real news from home in a month was a mixed bag of, "Honey, the lawn mower broke!", "The car payment is overdue...and I am too!", or even "Hey, I got something special for you when you reach the dock, Sailor!"
Regardless of how bad the patrol had been for the Cutter leaving station, relief day was the best marker of their journey - another week and they would be HOME! For us, the tedium begins as we mark the next 21 days as call sign 4YB - the mid-ocean point of the North Atlantic aviation and marine trade routes.