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cadet blogs

“You Just Hit a Bridge, Mr. Driscoll…”

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Don’t worry, I didn’t really hit anything. The closest I came to hitting anything, either on the water or on the simulator, was when my group laid down a trackline for an inbound transit of San Francisco through the central piling of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Needless to say, that was interesting when we approached it while transiting San Francisco Bay on the simulator.


My cadre section spent the past week at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), at the western entrance of the Cape Cod Canal, in Bourne, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, we could not get simulator time on the simulators here at the Coast Guard Academy; therefore, the Cadet Training Officer managed to secure us the use of MMA’s simulator and training vessel Ranger. We alternated between time on the simulator, practicing restricted waters and coastal navigation, and time aboard Ranger, practicing how to use a navigation team on a moving vessel. The time we spent in Massachusetts was well-spent—by the end of the week, we all had a better understanding of the teamwork necessary on the bridge. It was great to get out of Chase Hall, where we have to dodge swabs and AIMsters, and focus on seamanship.


Did I mention that MMA was in the Cape Cod area? When we weren’t busy safely piloting vessels and developing navigation briefs, we used our fifteen-passenger vans to explore the area. Each night, we went out for ice cream. In addition, we explored the various putt-putt golf, boardwalks, and bowling alleys of the area. My favorite adventure was go-karting with the program officer and the rest of my classmates. Go-karting is fierce! (We eventually were kicked out…oops…) It’ll be hard to settle back into life in Chase Hall following all the fun we had at MMA.


After this great week, it’ll be interesting to see where we go next in our cadre summer adventure, but I will be sure to let you know. Here’s a hint: our next two weeks are Coastal Sail Training Program, a two-week program sailing aboard the Leadership 44s throughout coastal New England. Stay tuned…


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