Arctic East 1968

The Last Voyage of the USCGC Eastwind (WAGB-279)

In 1968, the Polar Icebreaker Eastwind made her usual alternating deployment to Greenland. We did not know then that this would be Eastwind's last voyage, after 24 years of faithful service to both ends of the earth.

Eastwind never received all of the many ShipAlts and improvements made to the other three cutters of her class, and thus budgetary restrictions caused her to be the first to be selected for decommissioning.

Fortunately, we had a good supply of 8mm film in the ship's store, and many scenes were taken of her day-to-day activities during the 1968 Arctic East Cruise, with the intent of sharing the hastily-prepared film with families and friends at the Post-Cruise Banquet.

Now, with the advent of frame-accurate nonlinear digital editing, we have been able to re-edit the original 8mm footage, adding additional scenes and pertinent still photos, as well as stereo music and commentary.

Naturally, since we had to work with 30-year-old consumer-grade 8mm silent film, you cannot expect the ultra-sharp resolution of modern TV, but we think you will enjoy this unusual memento of a "Grand Lady of the Seas".

Here are a few screen shots from the video, which runs a little over half an hour:

Although this film deals with the activity of those who sailed aboard Eastwind in 1968, we believe that it would be an interesting memento for other personnel stationed aboard this fine vessel over her 24 years of polar activity.

Also included is the Booklet entitled "Letters from the Land of Ice" which describes cruise activities for which we had no useable film, and has photos and illustrations of the unusual pre-season cruise to the Great Lakes, a first for a deep-draft icebreaker.

For more information:

For more information, or to order:

Capt. C. W. Bailey, who was Commanding Officer of the EASTWIND and who made this film, passed away this past Spring; however as his son I will continue to offer the video to any interested parties.

Send E-mail to for current availability information.


    Now Available! Capt. Bailey's autobiography --- a fascinating story of a lifetime at sea.

Again, if you have any questions, please E-mail me at

Thank you for your interest!

Go to main web selection page

Web page Copyright 1998-2004 Brian F. Bailey, W4OLF.
Last modified November 10, 2008 .

Click here to visit the web page of the former USCGC Calypso (WPC-104), now M/V Circle Line XI, probably the oldest diesel vessel in commercial service still running on her original engines.