They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
“A soldier’s life is terribly hard,”
Says Alice.
From “Buckingham Palace,” by A.A. Milne

Change of Command - 14

That verse from When We Were Very Young kept floating through my head last week as James got ready for his Change of Command ceremony. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance, but when it came down to it, all it took was a couple of salutes and a few sentences. “I relieve you,” and “I stand relieved,” I think.

It was rainy and windy, but that didn’t keep a full house of well-wishers from joining us on the buoy deck of the ship.

Change of Command - 09

At the ceremony to mark his relief, James received a meritorious service medal from Admiral Ostebo and gave a wonderful speech recognizing the crew and all that they have done during his three years as captain. He entertained us with sea stories and surprised even me by recognizing how many days of the last three years the ship was underway (it was more than 60% of the time).

I loved the ceremony–seeing James and his crew in their dress uniforms and watching him inspect and greet each member as he said goodbye. It was hard not to get a bit teary and feel very proud.

After the official party with cake, of course, we moved the festivities back to our house and celebrated in typical Cordova fashion:
Change of Command Party - 9

You might be able to guess what this all means… That’s right, we’re moving. But not too far. We’re thrilled to be staying in Alaska. James has been transferred to Juneau. Our countdown has started, and I’ve got my moving cap on, simultaneously researching to get us set up in Juneau, while trying hard to squeeze every moment out of our time in Cordova. We’ll be in our new house by August 1st.

Christopher Robin Went Down With Alice

4 thoughts on “Christopher Robin Went Down With Alice

  • June 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    There’s nothing like seeing the boys in the dress blues. My boyfriend is in the Navy, and everytime they dress up and we go out on the town, I always feel like I’m with a celebrity!

  • June 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful celebration. Congratulations to James. I’m sure it was a bittersweet moment, but a very proud one. Best wishes to you both on his new position and new location.

  • June 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    As a retired Coastie, it was remarkable how tight the black-hull crews can be.  And Alaska is the only place where the folks don’t mind wearing their Bravos in June!  What fun.

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