11 April 1967

Dear Friends and Families of the Kennebec,

	The last letter that I wrote to you all was just before we left
Manila, in the Philippines. We have, as you might expect, been busy
since that time. The ship made a tour out to the Tonkin Gulf, down
along the coast of South Viet-Nam and then back across the South China
Sea to Subic Bay. We spent several days in Subic loading fuel and
making some minor repairs before we sailed again. The ship made
another round of the carrier operating area, fueling some of the ships
that are helping to stop the infiltration traffic along the coast of
North Viet-Nam. From there we headed south again to make our fueling
route along the South Viet Namese coast. This time we refueled the
hospital ship REPOSE and delivered a large amount of supplies to her.
Then we continued on down the coast delivering fuel and mail until
we finished our run and were able to turn northward for our next
port, Kaohsiung.

	Kaohsiung, on the island of Taiwan, is a very busy port and
industrial city of about 640,000 people. The port is quite crowded
and expanding all of the time. Here, one can see so many of the
problems of Asia; a busy, industrious people are trying to raise
their standard of living, they are trying to get manufacturing
industries going and working hard to increase their capacity for
trade. Many of our men spent an interesting couple of days touring
the city, sampling Chinese cooking, shopping for souvenirs and just
plain sightseeing. Sightseeing in a pedicab, which is a cross between
a bicycle and a rickshaw, is a unique experience. Everywhere we looked
there was something new and fascinating to see. Now, we are at sea
again enroute to our operating area.

	Perhaps you would be interested in reading a little about the
monsoon season out here. My own parents were quite interested because
it is so different from the weather pattern in the United States.
In this area there is no real winter or summer; the daytime maximum
temperature only varies about ten degrees through the whole year.
However, there are two principal seasons, the Northeast and the
Southwest monsoons. Monsoon doesn't mean a storm at all, but only
a steady wind. We call them trade winds and in Kaohsiung I learned
that the Chinese words mean "commercial winds". The Northeast
monsoon dominates the area from November through March, and gives
us a steady wind from the northeast at an average of fifteen knots.
The Southwest monsoon blows from May through September at about
twelve knots from the Southwest. During April and October, when
the winds are changing, we have variable winds and unsettled
weather with some rain and fog, somewhat like springtime weather
in the States.

	During the Northeast monsoon the eastern coasts of Viet-Nam,
the Philippines, Taiwan and China are quite often fogy and rainy
with low cloud cover. During the Southwest monsoon the eastern
coast of Viet-Nam is clear and dry, with occasional thunderstorms
in the afternoons. The west coast of the Philippines, including
Subic Bay where we usually refuel, is humid and rainy during the
Southwest monsoon because the wind comes off the South China Sea
carrying heavy moisture and builds up into daily thunderstorms and
rain as it hits the mountains along the coast.

	The other main feature of the weather in our usual operating area
is the typhoon season. These storms occur from April through October,
and are very similar to the hurricanes along the United States East
coast and the cyclones in the Southwest and Middle West.

	All of this may be more than you really wanted to know about the
weather out here, but the weather affects so much of our life at sea
that I hope it is of some interest to you.

	Write to your man on the Kennebec when you can, and be assured that
our thoughts are most often with you and with our families.

                              R. F. HUNT
                              Commanding Officer