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cadet blogs

July: The Eagle Experience

(Just for Fun, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo As I am writing this, I am one week into my summer leave and two weeks away from my 3/c year at the Academy. To say that the past 11 weeks out in the fleet were exciting would be an understatement. Leaving South Padre, I was excited to see my friends from school, but also sad to be leaving all the awesome people that I met while at my station. The Coast Guard is truly an amazing community and I learned that firsthand while in Texas. After a day of travelling to the Academy, a night of no sleep and then a bus ride leaving the Academy at 4 a.m., we arrived in Staten Island, New York. There we were able to catch glimpses of the other half of our class leaving as we shuffled onto Eagle in our trops with sea bags over our shoulders. We were given the lowdown and attended safety briefs before they granted us liberty, which meant we were allowed to go out and explore New York City. After leaving New York, we sailed for a little over a week down to Philadelphia for a tall ships festival. During that week, we encountered a storm that tore our main course sail. It was around 6 a.m. and the emergency sail stations alarm went off. This created a whole lot of chaos in a room of 15 sleeping girls. We all got dressed as fast as we could and reported up to our masts. It was pouring rain and thundering and lightning. Luckily, we were able to take down the sail and the situation didn’t end too badly. At the time it was not a very fun experience, but it gave us some good sea stories to tell while giving tours in port.

 

It was really cool coming into Philadelphia because we got to see the other tall ships and there were a lot of people watching us pull in. While on liberty we were able to tour our sister ship the Sagres and many others in the area. After Philly, we had four days underway before we reached Bermuda. On the 4th of July we arrived at the beautiful island of Bermuda. The water was a gorgeous clear blue and the weather was perfect. We had three days on the island and they were filled with (many) trips to the beach, shopping in the small towns, and tasting the different cuisines. I had one day of duty when I gave tours and it was really interesting because the question that I was asked a lot was what it was like to be a woman in the military. Many of the people that came on board were from different countries and the idea of women in the military was very unusual to them. After Bermuda, we sailed 11 days to Maine and finished up getting our qualifications as well as passing the Damage Control Test. We completed our journey in Boston and while I was going to miss seeing my friends every day, I was very excited to be heading home. Eagle was a lot of hard work and the sleeping situations weren’t ideal but it was a great bonding and learning experience for the Class of 2018.

 

More about Mimi.

 

How We Wound Up Back Here

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo We ended up pulling into port two days early, which meant two extra days of exploring Seattle… not a bad deal. In a city full of coffee shops and galleries, I spent those days drinking espresso and observing art, seemingly being cultured while in reality I was buzzed from the caffeine and Washington atmosphere. Then, I extended my stay in Seattle to hang out with two of my best friends, where we climbed Washington’s Mount Rainier, went to Portland and splurged on movies. I didn’t want to leave the West Coast but my home is New York. I spent two weeks with my family, exploring museums and parks and getting my Chinese food fix. My cousins drove me to the Academy on the 15th and that’s how we wound up back here.

 

The main difference this year is that I’m in a new company. Personally, it’s a little unnerving because I’m pretty awkward but everyone’s really friendly and I have a good division. In a way, I can relate to the new fourth class more because we’re both in the situation where we’re surrounded by new people and a bigger role than what we had before. It’s not unlike the first few days I was on USCGC Mellon; it just takes time to get used to your surroundings. Other than that, things are going great and we have the physical fitness exam (PFE) this afternoon. Can’t wait!

 

More about Olivia.