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3/c Summer: Guam and Eagle

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Julie Kane Coming back to classes and homework after the summer is always tough, especially when you’ve had an awesome summer. For my 3/c summer I spent five weeks with the CGC Sequoia in Guam and six weeks sailing aboard the Eagle. Even though my cutter in Guam did not get underway, I have never before learned so much in such a short span of time. The crew was awesome. They taught me a ton about the Sequoia, “The Black Pearl of the Pacific” and they included the 1/c cadet that I was there with and me in a lot of the cool stuff that they did. While I was there, I got hands-on experience learning how to use pipe-patching kits, submersible pumps, fire hoses, and eductors and earned my basic damage control qualification. I also practiced shooting pistol at the range and got pepper-sprayed as part of a qualification I will need eventually when I become a boarding officer.

In Guam, I also got underway with the CGC Washington for a short time, and drove the 110-foot cutter while we were practicing man-overboard approaches. I spent a week with the small boat station there in Apra Harbor learning about the 25-foot small boats that they use. One of the coolest things I did was participate in tactical training with them. I was harnessed into the gun on the bow as the coxswain did 180-degree turns going over 30 knots. While we weren’t on duty, the other cadet and I got scuba qualified and saw some of the most amazing coral reefs and tropical fish in the world. I went snorkeling, hiking, cliff-jumping, and cave swimming. Overall, it was a really awesome five weeks.

For the second half of the summer I was on Eagle. My phase began in Cozumel, Mexico; sailed to Veracruz, Mexico; Corpus Christi, Texas; Tampa, Florida; and departed from Fort Lauderdale. Since Eagle is an experience that pretty much all cadets will have, I’ll just share a couple brief stories with you.

On the way to Corpus Christi, we were sailing behind Hurricane Alex. The winds were so strong that they actually ripped a couple of sails and parted a few sheets (snapped the lines that you use to trim the sails). We were healed over at a 30-degree list and went through some good-sized waves.

Another cool thing that happened was one night a bunch of friends and I decided to climb up to the royal, the highest yardarm, to watch the sunset. It was a really calm, clear night, and just as the sun slipped below the horizon it turned from orange to green for a split second. The green flash is a pretty rare thing to see, so it was especially cool to see it from the royals. 3/c summer is a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to graduate and get out into the fleet.

As always, if you’ve got any questions feel free to email me at Julia.T.Kane@uscga.edu.

More about Julie.