The US Navy Guided Missile Frigate the USS Crommelin arrived in Hilo the other day for the celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival.
USS Crommelin (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates sits in the Hilo Harbor.
This morning outside the ship at the Hilo Harbor, Charmaine Shigemura from Mayor Kenoi’s office told the men and “woman” of the USS Crommelin that the County of Hawaii was proclaiming it “USS Crommelin Day”.
Charmaine Shigemura proclaims "USS Crommelin Day"
Earlier in this post I quoted the word “woman” as when I asked one of the sailors how many women were on the ship they said just one.
See... there is at least one female aboard! Can you find Lieutenant Junior Grade Crystal Roberts
When I asked why only one… I was told that they did have six at one point but slowly but surely they move on to other things (just as the men do too). It was also noted that to retro-fit the USS Crommelin so that more women could be on board the ship at all times would be too costly at this point since the Crommelin is scheduled to be decommissioned in October later this year.
Some of the sailors of the USS Crommelin
Many of the sailors that were in port last night got to attend last nights Merrie Monarch Hoike performances and the sailor that I talked to said it was something he will never forget. Today, the Merrie Monarch Royal Court was on hand as this basically was a cultural exchange between the people of Hawaii and the members of the US Navy.
2012 Merrie Monarch Royal Court
Gifts were exchanged between Rear Admiral Frank Ponds and the Royal Court.
Rear Admiral Frank Ponds gives a gift to the Merrie Monarch
The sailors were treated to a little Tahitian dance themselves!
Tahitian Dance for the sailors of the USS Crommelin
Ok… the best part was when some of the sailors got called out to dance with the Tahitian dancers.
One sailor got to pick and choose who he wanted to have dance with the dancers and I could see big smiles on all the sailors faces as he was calling out names.
Ok… this does it for me… this reinforces the fact that some folks just don’t know how to dance! Can someone please tell me what the white sailor is doing in this video?
After the entertainment, the members of the Royal Court were invited onto the Crommelin where a couple more small speeches were given.
Merrie Monarch Royalty boards the ship
Then the guests of honor were treated to lunch at the back of the ship which consisted of fruits, vegetables, spring rolls, kalua pig, bacon wrapped prawns and of course cake!
The King and Queen talk story with Admiral Ponds, his wife and his staff before lunch
Out of all the sailors aboard the USS Crommelin I was able to ask around and find the one and only sailor on the ship that was from Hawaii and he’s actually from Waianae on Oahu and he had this to say about his time in the Navy.
After lunch, tours of the ship were held for the Royal Court, members of their family, the entertainers and the general media.
I wish it wouldn't have been cloudy. This would have made for an interesting picture with Mauna Kea in the background.
I have heard that many of the sailors were going to go visit veterans at Yukio Okutsu Veteran’s State Home later this afternoon while others are going to enjoy their time in Hilo.
Have fun sailors!
The Crommelin is scheduled to depart Hilo on Sunday and return to Pearl Harbor and with it’s pending decommissioning… this will be the last time that the Crommelin is in Hilo.
A cool little Merrie Monarch cake!
I’d like to personally thank Ensign Tyler Sharp for welcoming me aboard the ship and making me feel welcome amongst some of America’s Finest.
Mahalo for your hospitality Ensign Sharp!
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Entertainment, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Hilo, Military, Transportation | Tagged: Hawaii, Merrie Monarch Festival, Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, USS Crommelin | Leave a Comment »