May 21, 2004
The Acushnet departed from the Coast Guard's Integrated Support Command base in Ketchikan March 14 and transited through the Canadian Inside Passage, arriving in Bellingham, Wash., two days later. Fairhaven Shipyard kept busy on a tight schedule as U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Fir's drydock job was completed just in time for the Acushnet to fill the vacancy atop the blocks. For the next two months, the Acushnet's crew and the Fairhaven yard workers labored day - and sometimes night - to complete the long list of enhancements and repairs. The improvements go deeper than the new paint job that replaced harmful lead-based coatings. Almost every aspect of the cutter received attention, from the decks and the bulkheads to the machinery and systems. New equipment was installed, spaces and tanks were emptied and thoroughly cleaned, old parts were replaced, and elements critical to the cutter's operational and functional abilities performing below specifications were repaired.
According to information provided by the USCG, the town and shipyard accommodated the Acushnet and crew extremely well. As the contract period drew to a close, the crew enjoyed a cookout and softball game against Coast Guard Station Bellingham at Lake Padden Park. U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley, from Kodiak, kept the "cutter in drydock" rotation going by going up on the blocks as soon as the Acushnet was out.
The Acushnet began its post-yard shakedown and journey back to homeport May 14 calling at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. along the way. The HMCS Whitehorse was a very hospitable Canadian host and both crews got together for a cookout and softball games. The transit and training continued through the scenic Canadian Inside Passage and brought the Acushnet back home to Ketchikan. Qutoing a news release, the crew will enjoy well-deserved time with their families before heading out for their next patrol.
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