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cadet blogs

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh I Wanna Take Ya’

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo After San Juan, Puerto Rico; we sailed to Aruba; then Cozumel, Mexico; and ended in Miami, Florida. (Jamaica wasn’t one of our port calls, but we were singing the Beach Boys’ song “Kokomo” all the way from Puerto Rico to Aruba.)

 

My parents met me in Puerto Rico. They flew down from Pennsylvania and spent a week there to see me and to take a vacation for themselves (but mostly to see me). I hadn’t called home much lately since I was preoccupied with studying during finals week, and there’s no cell phone reception at sea, so it was nice to catch up with them. The next day, my friends and I explored the fort in San Juan and then went shopping in the area. We had three days in each port, two of which we had liberty, and one of which we gave tours on Eagle.

 

The first day in Aruba, I volunteered for a community service project repainting an elementary school. The hours I got that day count towards my community service requirement for this semester, and it was a fun opportunity to leave a mark on a foreign country. The second day of liberty, I spent with Eva’s parents at a resort. For dinner, Mr. Sandri caught a red snapper, and we went to a local restaurant called the Old Cunucu house where they prepared the fish as an appetizer for us. The food there was delicious.

 

In Mexico, my friends and I went snorkeling. The water in the Caribbean is so clear in some places that you can see the whole way to the bottom. Being a great vacation spot, Cozumel offered so much to do, but we were limited in our time there.

 

One really nice thing about being underway is that you don’t have to worry about money. There’s not much that you can buy when you’re at sea, so all the money you earn is saved for the port calls. This is definitely another benefit of going to a service academy. We not only get our education paid for, but we also get to travel to amazing ports and have some money to spend while there. I wouldn’t say it’s free because we work hard, but it is definitely more than worth it. I felt so privileged when in Aruba, I turned to my friend and said, “It’s okay that we didn’t snorkel today. We can just do it in Cozumel next week.” Just thinking about how much I got to do and see this summer makes me so excited to see what my future in the Coast Guard holds.

 

More about Sarah.

 

Summer Before Graduation

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo First class summer for cadets is the final one and very rewarding in the preparation to be become officers in the United States Coast Guard. I had the wonderful opportunity to be stationed on the USCGC Adelie, an 87’ patrol cutter out of Port Angeles, Washington.

 

The location was amazing. Port Angeles is home to five Coast Guard cutters, a small boat station, and an air station. The town has a large Coast Guard presence, as well as being close to other Coast Guard locations, including Seattle, Washington and Astoria, Oregon.

 

Port Angeles is the northern point of the amazing Olympic National Park, which is more than 900,000 acres large. The park is ecologically diverse, with the Pacific coastline, the meadows of wildflowers, the mountain vistas, and the rainforests. I soon learned that eleven weeks was not nearly enough time to fully comprehend the beauty of the park.

 

I had a great time conducting Coast Guard missions aboard the Adelie. The Adelie’s primary missions are conducting escorts of Navy vessels, search and rescue, and security boardings of small craft in the Puget Sound. I learned so much from the crew, and I worked hard to get qualified in different positions. For example, I qualified as an in-port Officer of the Day (OOD), the Watchstander for the cutter while in port. This position leaves the entire cutter in my responsibility after the workday after the rest of the crew departs for home. It’s amazing that someone like me, at the young age of 21, was given such a great responsibility.

 

I learned so much in eleven weeks, and I cannot wait to return to the “real” Coast Guard next year. It was very rewarding to do what I did this summer, and I cannot wait to be able to continue as a career.

 

More about Kevin.