As cadets we collectively joke about living aboard “Cutter Chase”, nicknaming our dorm building Chase Hall for a saltier Coast Guard scenario. At first it sounds ridiculous to think of the floors as decks, beds as racks, and hallways as passageways, but with time these references begin to make sense and our life on land seems just a little more seaworthy. It is an undoubtedly a privilege to live in Chase, however, I don’t think there is anyone who would voluntarily “stay aboard” for more than a day.
And unfortunately this is just what happened October 29th and 30th, 2012 – As rumors spread about the rest of the city of New London being evacuated in preparation for the hurricane, cadets of the Academy were gearing up for a night in Chase. Lectures were cancelled in the morning as professors found it impossible to drive through the Hurricane Sandy’s chaos and by afternoon formation, all courses had been cancelled for that Monday and the next day. By 11:15 a.m., both my roommates and I had returned to our room and were uncontrollably excited. Caroline and I made a quick trip down the Coast Guard Exchange thinking we had better grab necessary supplies; beef jerky and salsa for her, iced tea and espresso beans for me. Then an indoor formation was held and the corps headed to the wardroom for lunch. Surprise announcements during lunch from regimental staff gave my freshmen class the privilege to wear “running suits” finally, and to watch movies during the storm. These were absolutely huge to us and immediately improved our morale, despite the threatening weather and ominous potential to be locked in Chase.
The fun of comfy sweatpants and canceled classes wore off quickly though; our room transformed into a chemistry review session and before long, we were all too exhausted to do much more. Now stuck in Chase, stressed and tired, we decided it was time for our own version of a sports period. Caroline had the genius idea to tie two issued jump ropes together and Allie suggested Double Dutch when our friends stopped in to say hello. To the normal college teenager, this proposition must sound like the complete opposite of fun, but to a group of cadets, aboard Cutter Chase in Hurricane Sandy, it was the best. We watched movies, helped our friends finish homework, and went to sleep early that night, but out of all the fun we had, I can definitely say trying to Double Dutch until our stomachs hurt from laughing was the absolute highlight of our day.
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