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cadet blogs

What We Really Did on Eagle

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo This summer, I had the opportunity to sail through the Caribbean on America’s Tall Ship. The first five weeks of summer I spent on Eagle with about 150 of my classmates and around 50 permanent crew members. (That’s a lot of people for only 295 feet of ship.) We got on board the day after the last final, and immediately started working. We loaded tons of food into the storage areas and then set sail.


While on Eagle, my shipmates and I had to work hard to earn sign-offs and qualifications. We were given packets at the beginning of the summer with lists of tasks to complete. Once we completed a task, a person qualified in that area would initial that we’d done so far. Once we had all the sign-offs for a category, we could take a board, an oral test, to earn that qualification. We were expected to be helm and lookout and engineering auxiliary qualified by the end of the five weeks. On top of these qualifications, we had several hours of damage control training and were able to take a written test at the end to earn that qualification. Additionally, in the first 11 days, while we sailed from New London to Puerto Rico, we had to memorize the names of all the lines on the ship and parts of a sail. We had to pass these two tests to earn liberty in the first port.


It was easy to get bogged down by the workload and close quarters, but I tried to stay positive. I was really looking forward to sailing the Caribbean after a long school year, but when I got to Eagle, I was surprised by all the work I found out we’d have to do between port calls. For the first few days, I was exhausted and not in the best mood, but I realized that my attitude would have to change if I wanted to make it through the summer. I took on a more optimistic approach, thinking about the great port calls that lay ahead and just the pure opportunity of it all. No other college students that I know get to take a five week field trip to amazing vacation spots with 100+ close friends for free. This opportunity was incredible, and I wasn’t going to waste it with any more negativity. When you live so close to so many people, though, their attitudes rub off on you. It became hard to not let other people’s attitude affect my goal to stay positive. I relied on the port calls to keep me going, and they made it all worth it. (See more in my next blog post.)


More about Sarah.


Are You a Sailor?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo Are you a sailor? No? Me either. It is completely okay though, because soon you will be. I don’t know if that sounds exciting to you, but if it doesn’t it definitely should. You are missing out on some of the funniest and craziest times you could ever have. This summer I had the opportunity to sail up the entire East Coast on the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle. Never heard of it? Here it is! It’s beautiful! I have some pictures if you want to check them out. I got to climb all the way to the royals! Those are the highest sails on the entire ship. While over a hundred feet above the deck of the ship, I got to spend time with my shipmates in an environment most people couldn’t even imagine. We sailed all the way up to Sydney, Nova Scotia, and then to St John’s, New Found land.


After that we anchored in New York. You guessed it, right in front of the Statue of Liberty. If you haven’t seen New York City at night, imagine how beautiful it looks from 100 feet up right next to the Statue of Liberty. Absolutely beautiful is the only way I could describe it. The things you can do in the Coast Guard are amazing. Don’t worry if you haven’t traveled much, because the Coast Guard can make that dream a reality.


More about Keemiya.