I am sorry it has been so long since my last blog; but I am finding that there is no such thing as “down time,” even if I am a second semester firstie! But I have been having fun, even if I am itching to get out of here. Don’t get me wrong, I love classes and military trainings and drill and snow, but the best feeling in the world is to take off from Rhode Island and land in Florida 30 degrees warmer. And this Spring Break, that is exactly what I did!
This Spring Break (Spreak, if you will… well even if you don’t, too bad. My blog.) But this Spreak I flew down from New London to Miami, Florida to take a seven day cruise on the Carnival Liberty. The first question I got from someone on the cruise ship: “Isn’t this, like, too much like being on a Coast Guard cutter for you to relax?” I have gotten this a couple of times, so let me just clarify for people: being on a 1,000 foot cruise ship is NOT like being on a Coast Guard cutter. Firstly, on a cruise, food such as filet mignon, shrimps, and pizza are delivered fresh every day and night. On a cutter, the only room service you can get is a half-eaten slice of week old pizza your roommate gives you. Secondly, a cruise ship has pools and hot tubs. A cutter has…the ocean. Thirdly, a cruise ship has stewards to clean your room, fix you meals, and even give you a massage. The closest thing you can ask for on a CG cutter is to not get yelled at because your rack isn’t tight, to stuff yourself with enough fresh fruit before it rots, and to not get tossed out of your rack overnight due to rough seas. But beyond that…. yeah, cruises and Coast Guard patrols are pretty much the exact same. But back to the point of my story: the cruise was amazing! Ten other firsties, myself, and my girlfriend got to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, USVI, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk. We snorkeled, tanned (I burnt), ate the local cuisine, and even got to sample some of the local rum and other liquors (responsibly of course). We met some of the best people in the world; our waitress Lizette from Peru, waiter Roberto from Honduras, and Jasenko from Bosnia. It was a great time, I made great friends, got to know some of my classmates even better, and got to spend a week with my girlfriend. What could be better than that?
Unfortunately, the trip had to end sometime. Stepping off of the plane in Connecticut, I felt the cold. Then I realized that there is no unlimited ice cream and frozen yogurt anymore. Later, the sunburn/tan faded back to white. Before I knew it, I was sitting in my first class back at school and wondering where the time went this Spring Break. As the teacher droned on and on about fatal doses of chlorobenzene, I couldn’t help but close my eyes, sit back, and dream of lying on the deck of the Liberty listening to Jimmy Buffett. Even if my first Coast Guard cutter has no beach chairs or free ice cream, I thought one thing: I am stocking up on Jimmy Buffett CDs before going on my first Caribbean patrol.
Nathan “Wheetay” White
P.S. Any questions, please email :) Nathan.D.White@uscga.edu
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