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cadet blogs

Whale That Was Fun! An Admissions Trip to Sitka, Alaska

(Academics, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Well, here I am back at the Coast Guard Academy after an amazing weekend in (you’ll never guess it) SITKA, ALASKA!! How lucky am I, right?! Well, as some of you may know I had an internship this summer through the Marine Sciences department at the Sitka Sound Science Center in Sitka, Alaska, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion and naturally I wanted to go back. Lucky for me, our internship invited us back to Sitka for a weekend in November for the annual Whale Festival, or Whalefest. Whalefest is a four-day event full of research symposium presentations, scientific talks, a film night, wildlife tours, concerts, and much more! Of course we simply had to go, but we weren’t sure how we would get the funding so I did a little bit of research. As fate may have it, on the Friday before Whalefest weekend, the University of Alaska Southeast, along with the Science Center, was hosting the National Ocean Science Bowl competition right there in Sitka. This is a competition where high schoolers from all over the state (even the country) come to compete in a trivia style competition with questions solely focused on our ocean environment. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do a little recruiting so I talked to Admissions and pitched my idea and BAM! It worked, we were going back to Alaska!!


I know it seems crazy to fly all the way across the country for the weekend, but it was definitely worth it. We arrived Thursday night just in time to have dinner with all our friends from Sitka. Then, Friday we volunteered at the Science Bowl competition all day! I was wearing my favorite Coast Guard Academy lacrosse shirt (had to represent!) and talking to the high school students about the Academy every chance I got! After that, we got to attend some of the scientific talks and experience Whalefest, which was a blast! On Saturday morning, we donned our very professional Service Dress Blue uniforms and gave an hour long presentation to the community and the high schoolers from the Ocean Bowl about the Academy and the admissions process. Our presentation was a huge success and people were asking lots of great questions (they also loved the Bears backpacks, brochures, and pens we handed out as well). After the presentation we explored the festival some more and soaked up the beautiful (rare) sunshine that was shining down on Sitka that weekend. On Sunday, I went out in a little skiff with some friends and got to see the humpback whales bubble net feeding and breaching out of the water! It was absolutely incredible (and a tiny bit scary) to see these massive and majestic animals so close to us! Overall, the weekend was absolutely amazing and I am beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to go. I will never be able to thank the Coast Guard enough for the opportunities it has given me to learn and to travel and explore and experience the world.


More about Cece.


Pole Vaulting, Diving, Triathlon, Surfing...Oh My!

(Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo I don’t play a varsity sport, which is totally acceptable at the Academy; after all I’m going to college to gain a degree in civil engineering, not to be recruited to play sports professionally. My freshman and sophomore year, I did pole vaulting with the indoor and outdoor track and field team, and diving with the swimming and diving team. Being on a team at the Academy helped me leave the Academy for sports games and make many great friendships.


Going into my junior year, I decided to focus more on school, which led me to do a sport with a smaller time commitment; triathlon. Triathlon has a short season: from the first day we get back from summer break until early October. It is a club sport at the Academy, which means there are fewer game days and the practices are much more flexible. This season I competed in the Cranberry TriFest in Lakeville, Massachusetts and the Buzzard’s Bay race in Cape Cod. There is a large and growing triathlon community here and an assortment of competition, including students from other colleges.


This fall I had a plan to balance triathlon with surfing. I decided to buy a surfboard this year and was fully committed to going out. Although all of the breaks are in Rhode Island, at least half an hour drive away, it’s definitely been worth it. And with warm days dwindling away, I may need to take out my booties and hood soon. Overall though, just being out on the water with some adrenaline flowing and a change of scenery can be really refreshing and therapeutic.


Lastly, I decided to do my third marathon this fall. My two best friends, a handful of other cadets, and I drove down to Washington, D.C. to run the Marine Corps Marathon. The first 13 miles were a blast; the signs supporters come up with are hilarious. From “don’t trust a fart after mile 10” to “if only the government ran as well as you,” they kept me smiling for most of the way. During the second 13 miles, I was so thankful for Skye and Vicky who kept me motivated to keep up the pace and finish strong. We finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes, which I am ecstatic about.


More about Amy.