icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content

A Man at Sea

A Man at Sea

The Evergreen, U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender, Don's first assignment

A man without a purpose in life can be likened to a ship without a rudder.,

A ship anchored in a harbor is safe, but in reality that's not what it is designed and built for. Donald Delorie can attest to that belief in full measure.

Don's career began as a young boy who had a passion and love for sailing on the high seas. Step back in time with me

 Donald Delorie, in the prime of his life, preparing to embark on his journey on the high seas.

to the day when his father, George Leonard Delorie gave him his first job, working on board a schooner, owned and operated by him. It was hard work, calling on all of Don's inner strength to hold his own, transporting maple and oak tree trunks to saw mills run by lumberjacks in the Eastern Provinces of Canada. He was determined to rise to the task, proving his self worth and succeeded in doing so.

Don subsequently enlisted in the United States Coast Guard for a four year tour of duty. His first assignment was on board the Evergreen, a Bouy Tender, working with an Oceanography Crew as assistant engineer. Their purpose was to conduct
numerous tests, collecting water samples, etc. in various depths of the frigid Artic ocean to analyze and record their findings for the United States Navy. Don recalls the 50+ foot ocean swells and huge icebergs. The ship would virtually rise to the top of the swells and then rapidly descend with a powerful thud before rising once again. It was an ongoing motion that left the crew on the alert for the unexpected. He apparently had good sea legs, as he never experienced sea sickness as opposed to many of his fellow mates who did.

After his enlistment in the coast Guard was completed with an honorable discharge, he sought employment as a Tug Boat Engineer that subsequently lasted for 41 illustrious years.

Don's longest assignment was seven years on board a Canal Tug Boat named the Choctaw, It was 75' in length, driven by a 2,000 Horse Powered Engine, with a crew of seven, including the captain, first mate, chief engineer, assistant engineer, two deck hands and a cook. They worked the canals in the spring, summer, and early fall. Once the canals froze over they worked on the Eastern U.S. Coastline and Toronto, Canada.

His final assignment was working for two months on the Cougar, a sizeable tug boat, docked in port for some major maintenance. He reminisced saying he suddenly realized that the time had come for his impending retirement.

The Cougar Tug Boat

My interview with Don Delorie proved to be very revealing as he shared his nail biting experiences on a schooner as a young lad, in the Coast Guard, and his final career on Tug Boats of various sizes for 41 years. It was evident that he took great pride in his work with no regrets.

On the reverse side, he expressed his profound love for his devoted and supportive wife over their many years of marriage, as well as his three sons who have succeeded in great measure in their respective careers.

My finals thoughts on Don are — His wisdom was knowing what to do next, skill in knowing how to do it, and dong it well. That summarizes Don's life as a great American patriot who loved his country. Thank you for your service Don. You have left a lasting legacy that is certain to inspire many who choose to serve on the high seas.

Larry Pelland

Larry worked in the hospitality industry, serving as director of sales and marketing at a convention and visitors center.

Learn More

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living

Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Larry Pelland and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More

News & Opinion from Senior Correspondents Across the Globe