April 2006

Ed Hale's Navy (well... Coast Guard, Actually)

If you've been fortunate enough to have found Hales Marine Services before the introduction of this article, you might have noticed a crusty old former Coastie (that may be redundant) walking around the yard with a no-nonsense attitude.

While this profile could be applied to a number of people at Hale's Marine (without the Coastie part), you may have experienced an Ed Hale sighting.

Ed Hale encounters are not as rare as Yeti sightings but they may be just as discomforting, especially if you get in the way of Ed completing a job for one of his customers.

What makes Ed such a "no-nonsense" man? Arizona Boating and Watersports caught up with him in a rare introspective moment and decided to explore the mystery further. It seems his link to boating goes further back than his service in the US Coast Guard.

"I grew up spending the summers in Florida with my grandparents who always had a boat," Haled explained. "Boating didn't come free however, my grandfather would have me out there when I was very young, helping him paint the bottom, clean the drive and whatever else needed to be done. The reward was going out in it."

Ed paused and went on. "My grandfather was one of the most influential people in my life," he added.

After high school, Hale joined the Coast Guard. "It made me a man," he said, giving credit to the service.

"My different stations were Auke Bay, AK aboard the Cape Carter, then to Air Station, North Bend, Oregon. After that, I went off to school in Yorktown, Virginia. and became a Machinist mate third class."

Hale was then sent to St. Louis, MO and, after four years of the Midwest, it was time for him, in his words, to "get back west" and he reported for duty with the CGC Polar Sea.

The Polar Sea traveled all over the world in Hale's three years aboard her including the South pole twice and the North pole once. "What an experience," he said succinctly.

Something about his last assignment made Hale want to spend some time in the sun so, after he retired, he moved to Phoenix and started Hale's Marine.

He brought his strong sense of professionalism to his new "duty station" and today offers clients a full range of boating repair and maintenance services including "lake to lake" transportation.

For more information on Hale's Marine Services, visit them at 22241 North 24th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027 or call at (623) 879-7236.

Their Web site is located at www.halesmarineservices.com.