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cadet blogs

Summer Training

(Athletics, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Katie Schumacher After three weeks solid of swab summer cadre, I shifted gears back into school mode for one week as I spent seven hours a day learning Rules of the Road, or, more commonly ROTR. It is like driver’s ed., but for boats. A fishing and a sailing vessel are meeting…who has the right of way? What stern lights do a vessel show if it is towing alongside, inland? When is a special flashing light used? By the second day, my head hurt and by the end of the week, my brain was stuffed. It felt great to pass the test Friday morning.

Then I wrapped up my summer with Luders, a two week sailing program to learn about leadership, life skills, and being underway. I was on the Blue Goose (one of the four Luder boats) with LT Kennedy, our safety officer, and six other cadets. The first two days were spent learning how the boat handled under power and sail and to introduce us to what life we would be like the next ten days underway. We went to BJs and stocked up on 54 pack cracker snack packs, muffins, meat, cheese, crackers, fruit snacks, and various other snacks to supplement our meals. I have never bought so much snack food.

We sailed around the northeast to Mystic, Block Island, Cuddyhunk, Wood’s Hole, Oak Bluffs, Newport, and Stonington and I learned to appreciate sailing. I loved it when we were keeled over on a close haul and were experienced enough to tack quickly back and forth with little to no delay. My favorite was the day we were going to anchor for the night outside of Wood’s Hole. I was helm, which was in and of itself awesome. We stopped for lunch and a wild swim call and proceeded to our anchorage, attaching to another Luder for the night. We were ready for dinner and more swimming, until we were told to go back out. We continued on to Wood’s Hole to moor up for the night as we had a problem with our sewage. Nearing dark, with the tides and current at their worst, I steered through the tight passage to Wood’s Hole. It was dangerous and an adrenaline rush like none other, but we made it through safely, moored up for the night and went to a café for dinner as a boat. Then, I had caramel cashew crunch ice cream, which was really good. After that I went to sleep on deck beneath a sky full of stars.

The next morning, I worked out in the gym facility at the Coast Guard base and assisted the cook and mess cook of the day in preparing an assortment of gourmet pancakes for breakfast. Extra ingredients included oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas, and white and semi-sweet chocolate chips. They were breakfast as well as our snack for the day on the boat. A successful entrance, night, and breakfast. Good Luder memories.

More about Katie.