Haiti in 1984 — Travels Aboard USCG Cutter Lipan

Here is a rewrite of a story I wrote for Storylane. Edited and re blogged.

Truth & Passion

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Haiti, the smell drifted across the water as our ship, Cutter Lipan, maneuvered to the pier slicing through the humidity and haze that filtered the scintillating heat of the sun. The crew was ready for some time ashore, away from the current drug patrol. Being the Duty Officer I would stay aboard for the first watch while the rest of the crew went sight-seeing.

The brutal smell of Port-au-Prince in the summer of 1984 was only second to the reality of life on its streets. The poverty, heat, and disorder suffocate the senses. I stood on the signal deck of the ship during that first afternoon and scanned the city through the “Big Eyes” (large binoculars). As Port-au-Prince sits in a half bowl that funnels the city down to the port, there is much to see. Just like the old city it is, the higher up the hills you ascend…

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