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Small Boat Station, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link   All Posts
 Megan Rudy My classmates and I got off the plane from Germany, and took a two hour bus from Boston back to the Academy. We had two days to repack and get ready for our second phase of the summer. I was stationed in Florida with one of my best friends, Katie. We were so excited to go to Florida and have a somewhat relaxing six weeks of summer.

We arrived in Florida on a Friday and waited outside the airport in the heat and humidity for someone from the station to pick us up. Finally a young seaman picked us up and we talked the whole way back. She had gone to college in Colorado and we talked about how much we missed the mountains. I was super excited to be in Florida and to learn more about stations and the Coast Guard. We arrived at station and were told that we would be in different rooms. I was downstairs in the CO’s room, which was very nice, and I had only one roommate, while Katie was upstairs in female berthing with four roommates. We had arrived after dinner had been served, so we were given leftovers from the fridge. We met our sponsors and went around getting our sign-offs and then helped with clean-ups, which occur before the new duty section arrives, which is every two days. The next day we woke up to reveille at 7 a.m. and went outside to see what was going on. We helped with boat checks and saw dolphins. We met again with our sponsors and were given or comms packet and our schedule, which we started right away. We were supposed to get communications qualified – a duty in which you answer the station radios and phone and you have to know what to do and say in case of emergency.

We continued getting sign-offs and our schedule for a week until we realized that it was pointless to go into the comms office at certain times because there were new break-ins and it was impossible to get sign-offs. Slowly we began to do our own thing, but it was hard to talk to people on station because a lot of them kind of avoided us. After nearly completing our sign-offs we were told that we had to get everything resigned by officers. This just made us annoyed, because we had already been there three weeks and were ready for our board and we were told to start over. We also had started running to the beach everyday for our workout, which was really nice and we had to workout a lot after gaining some extra weight on Eagle.

After a while, we started doing boat crew stuff and going out on night patrols. It was really cool to actually be out and see what they do. I got to help with boardings and went on a search and rescue mission for a guy who’s Jet Ski had broken down. People then began to talk to us more and we found a lot of things out about the station. Both duty sections seemed to always gossip about each other and compete. It was really funny to watch because we were there all the time. Then, Katie and I helped three of the petty officers build two piers which was a 5 hour project for two days in the middle of the afternoon in Florida. Although it was very hot and the work was hard, it was also rewarding, and I think it made the enlisted people on station respect us more. The next day, we got pepper sprayed, which was also an experience I will never forget. At that point, we only had one day left until we had our summer leave and I went home to Colorado.

More about Megan.