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CATP and T-Boats

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Katie Schumacher I am not a fan of snakes. Two weeks ago, several cadets and I went down to Mobile, Alabama for CATP (our Cadet Aviation Training Program), which introduced us to the aviation side of the Coast Guard. There was little flight time available, as the base is part of Deepwater Horizon. In one short week, I acclimated to one of the most humid environments I had ever experienced. Bring on Swab Summer! It will never be as hot as it was down there.

During the week, I had plenty of free time to work out, and they had a nice bike/hike/run trail with signs every few feet stating “Caution, snakes present.” I did not think too much of this the first time I went running by myself. I did not see snakes, or any other wildlife for that matter. Fine with me. The next time I went running, I went with a friend. She saw the signs, but I informed her I had not seen any snakes and not to worry, especially at 1400 in the afternoon when the sun is baking everything alive. It was a crazy time to run, and a crazier time for a snake to be out and about. As we set our water bottles and I-pods on the bench, she shrieked, side hopped, and pointed. A large, black snake slithered away, ten feet from us. And she stepped on one when we actually started running. And she found one in a tree the next time we went running. My heart stopped for a split second each time, but her reaction always made me laugh for the next five minutes of the run.

I do not like jellyfish either. This week, I am on T-boats. We go down to the Academy pier and ten cadets and one instructor are on each T-boat. I am on the training vessel Honor. On day one, we learned about the different spaces on the T-boat and about how to turn the generator and engine on and prepare to get underway. Between yesterday and today, we practiced mooring and unmooring, man overboard drills, and weighing anchor. We were out from 1000 to 1430 today, having lunch onboard, as well as fishing and swimming. This was the coolest day all week, but some of us still decided to jump in the water and attempt to have a good time in the cold water. Most of us just jumped off; my roommate did a flip. The people onboard kept watch for the white jellyfish with red centers. When the jellies got too close, it was a mad swim for Jacob’s ladder.

More about Katie.