US Coast Guard Auxiliary
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Training on vessels at USCG Station Merrimack River
British Photos
Flotilla 38 visits our British colleagues
Stories & Photos
District-wide Member Training schedule
NAUTICAL CHART VIEWER; on the US Government NOAA site
The "eTesting" Center is available at: http://ntc.cgaux.org
Boatcrew & Surface Operations
Flotilla 38 members involved in the week long support mission.
Nor'easter First District Nothern news magazine

Vol 67 /Jun 2017 Nor'easter
Vol 67 Mar 2017 Nor'easter
Vol 66 / Issue 4 Nor'easter
Vol 66 / Issue 3 Nor'easter  
The latest edition of Navigator the Auxiliary's national newsletter.
(Requires member ID log-in)
Brian Welsh
Flotilla Commander
CGAUX Online Classroom
CGAUX National Helpdesk
Newburyport officially designated a COAST GUARD CITY by US Congress in 2012
Patrol Missions Underway in 2013
Potential Hazard to Navigation at Plum Island South Jetty

Work is finished on the south jetty at Plum Island, but local officials are concerned about a potential problem that could lead to a dangerous situation for boaters.

Over the years, older damaged stone blocks have fallen into the waters surrounding the far end of the newly rebuilt jetty.  These can be seen in the photo at left.

This stone debris is not visible at high tide and could therefore be hazardous to vessel operators not familiar with the area.

Photo courtesy of Ron Barrett
Check out a photo essay that documents the work on the jetty, it also provides some great aerial views that our members in operations will appreciate.
Check out an incredible photo essay provided by Brian Welsh, Flotilla Commander 38.  The aerial photos were taken by Brian during two AUXAIR missions he flew in October and November of 2016 from the Merrimack River to Cape Ann.

Go to AUXAIR Mission
Were you underway this past summer?

Here's a great photo taken from the deck of a Flotilla 38 vessel on safety patrol in the Merrimack River.

Crusing east at sunset towards the mouth of the river, downtown Newburyport in the distance.

Wayne Cedres, Coxswain and Mike Sullivan, Crew/Photographer.
Regularly scheduled monthly Flotilla 38 meetings
are held at the Plum Island Boathouse at 1930 (7:30 pm)

2 November 2017
Uniform of the day: tropical blue, or winter dress blue, or ODU (sleeves down), or appropriate civilian attire
Flotilla 38 Member Crews at Helo-OPS Support Mission in 5th USCG District / North Carolina
Flotilla 38 member Scott Crocker and his wife Leslie recently paid a visit to a former Flotilla 38 member in North Carolina.  They spent time with Charlie Pencinger and his wife Lois.  During the visit, Scott had the opportunity to crew with Charlie and members of his new flotilla on an Auxiliary mission. 

With his move south, Charlie transferred to Flotilla 16-01 located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  Flotilla 16-01 is in the 5th District, Southern Region, Division 16 and meets at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport.  Nearby is USCG Air Station Elizabeth City.  Division 16 is responsible for the Albemarle Sound and Outer Banks areas.  The usual area of operational responsibility for Flotilla 16-01 includes the Pasquotank River, Little River, Perquimans River and that portion of the Albemarle Sound adjoining them.  Between Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic is Kittyhawk and Kill Devil Hills where the Wright Brothers made aviation history.

CLICK HERE for more details and photos.
Photo Essay by Scott Crocker

The September flotilla meeting was attended by 17 Auxiliarists for a meet and greet with USCG BMCS Patrick Brown, the new Officer-in-Charge at Station Merrimack River.  Senior Chief Brown gave us a little info about his path through the Coast Guard and the awesome privilege and responsibility of being in a command position. He also expressed his appreciation for the mission and efforts of the Auxiliary, and his expectations going forward. He summed it up as follows, "keep doing what you are doing.".

That's right!  At the September flotilla meeting there was enough ice cream to make everyone happy.  We'd like to thank HARBOR CREAMERY, the newest addition to Pleasant Street in downtown Newburyport, for their generous support providing the ice cream.
I recently visited Merri-Lee Steeves, the owner of Harbor Creamery, to arrange for the ice cream for our event. She was thrilled to tell me that she has a warm place in her heart for our flotilla, because her dad, Walter J. Lesynski, Sr. was the longest serving member of Flotilla 38!  Indeed, he brought COMO Ron Booth and many other members into the flotilla.  Thanks to Harbor Creamery for their generous donation to help make our night SWEET.
Comment from Rich Rubino, Flotilla 38 Vice Commander
Merri-Lee recounts a story about her dad
My dad's name was Walter J. Lesynski Sr. and was known to everyone as Wally. He was recognized for 60 years of continued membership in Flotilla 38.  He taught the Boating Skills and Seamanship class for more years than I can count.  My mom was also a member of the flotilla right up until her death in 1998.   They would both be so pleased that you arrived at my door and that our ice cream will be at one of your meetings.  As a child, I remember all the times our mom and dad would head out to the Auxiliary meetings or the times when they would take my brother Jay and I along to Auxiliary family events. I also remember him going on weekend volunteer patrols up and down the Merrimac.  There are so many wonderful memories with my parents and their connection to Flotilla 38 and its members.
(Photo at right)
Wally Lesynski helps students master the bowline knot during the marlinspike session of a Boating Skills and Seamanship class.  The photo was taken sometime in the mid-1990s at the Newburyport Middle School. 
(Photo below)
Wally's official operational Auxiliary Facility that went on patrol was a 38-foot cruiser the Sea Princess, which he built from the keel up at his marina, the MeriMar Yacht Basin.  But he also had an unofficial operational facility the Deep Princess, a yellow one-man submarine.
Among the Auxiliarists assisting Station Merrimack with the open house during Newburyport Yankee Homecoming Week was John Mitchell.

Serving as his model for demonstrating gear worn during search and rescue operations is Hannah Welsh (daughter of Brian Welsh, Commander Flotilla 38)
Auxiliarists set up the Paddle Smart display and prepare Coastie, the remotely controlled and talking Coast Guard cutter (always a big hit with the kids). 
Merri-Lee Steeves, owner of Harbor Creamery in Newburyport and daughter of Wally Lesynski, longest serving member of Flotilla 38.
Check out a picture of Wally and Flotilla 38 in the early 1950s.
There's also an article of nautical history by Wally on another page of this website.
Nautical Notes
& Flotilla Missions
Many thanks to the crew that pitched in for clean up day at the Plum Island Boathouse. It was in need of a serious cleaning especially since the City of Newburyport uses it as a polling place and the preliminary elections were scheduled there three days later! The cleanup crew consisted of (left to right) Scotty Crocker, Paul Aceto, Jen Hale, Larry Carnevale, Mike Sullivan, and pictured below with Jen, John Strouse.

There is a training opportunity available for any Auxiliarist in need of the 4-hour TCT course. Note that this is the “4-hour full course,” the one required for initial and 5-year currency in operational programs. It is not the TCT refresher which is only 1-hour.

Date: Saturday 18 November 2017       Start time: promptly at 0800
Location: Coast Guard Base Boston, 427 Commercial Street / Building-1, 2nd Deck

Auxiliarists who wish to attend must email the instructor directly, Jim Healy
Flotilla 38 at
USCG Support Missions
Note that a number of stories and photos appearing on this page over the past months have been moved to Archived Stories and Photos.
(Links on left margin)
The annual elections took place at the September meeting of Division 3 at USCG Station Merrimack River.

The Division 3 Bridge for 2018 will be Scott Crocker of Flotilla 38, Vice Commander (left), and Glen Gayton of Flotilla 37, Commander (right).

Steve McCann of Flotilla 38 who served as Division 3 Commander for the past two years moves up to become the District Captain – Central (USCG Sector Boston) for 2018.

The Division 3 Change-of-Watch will take place on Saturday, 6 January 2018 at Salvatore’s Restaurant  in Lawrence, MA; more details to follow.
A very special guest delivered a great presentation at the October 2017 meeting of Flotilla 38.  Dyke Hendrickson is a writer with The Daily News of Newburyport, Massachusetts, for which he covers the greater Newburyport area, including Plum Island. He also specializes in news that highlights the waterfront and the rich maritime history of Newburyport and its Coast Guard roots.

Several years ago he researched and published a multi-part series in The Daily News about the 250th anniversary of the city. This project inspired him to write his fourth book entitled Nautical Newburyport: A History of Captains, Clipper Ships and the Coast Guard.  In 2015 he published an article in The Daily News highlighting the 75th anniversary of Flotilla 38.

He has always lived near a waterfront, and newspapers for which he has been a writer and/or editor include, the Portland Press Herald, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Boston Herald and now The Daily News.

The author has also contributed to USA Today, the Boston Globe and TV Guide. He has written numerous stories about the Coast Guard, the fishing industry and the world of sailing, including that of tall ships. He has earned state and regional awards for his reporting and feature writing.

During the meeting at the Plum Island boathouse, Mr. Hendrickson gave us an interesting and informative presentation on the maritime history of Newburyport.  He spoke about the merchant shipping and slaving eras, shipbuilding in Newburyport, events during the revolutionary war, and the history of the Coast Guard in Newburyport.

He shared interesting anecdotes such as the story of how a British ship was taken in Newburyport without a shot being fired, and how a gun battle between Coast Guard vessels and run runners off Plum Island during prohibition led to fatalities from friendly fire. 

Mr. Hendrickson also informed us that he recently signed a contract to write a book that will be entitled, Stories from the New England Coast Guard and that he is interested in locating “Coasties” who served in the region that he could consult for his book.