March has been a stressful month for the fourth class here at the Academy. A few weeks ago, we began taking out Boards. Boards is essentially an oral test. We must memorize everything from ranks of enlisted and officers to the meanings of flags to Coast Guard history to light configurations of vessels. All of this information is jam-packed into a 46-page packet that was given to us right before Christmas leave. During the actual Boards, the 4/c must answer 10 questions and to pass they must answer 8 correctly. Upon passing, we earned privileges, including being able to write on our whiteboards and play music aloud. Once everyone in the class of 2016 passes, we earn full carry-on. Needless to say we are all trying really hard to pass and helping our classmates as well. Boards was difficult, however, now that I have passed, I feel extremely satisfied to have completed such a task.
Also in March, sailing season started again. This could not make me any happier. Life without sailing at the Academy for me was really boring. Before spring break I went to two regattas, one at University of South Florida and another in Charleston. Upon completing these “pre-season” regattas, the team and I headed to University of South Florida for our spring break training. It was great to get away from the snow in New London and train in sunny Florida. After completing training on Thursday, two teammates and I sailed in a Lightning (type of boat) regatta a few minutes away from where training was. We had a lot of fun, I included a picture of us sailing the Lightning! And although it was great to get away from the Academy for a week, of course I had to go back.
The next week the fourth class got slammed with a lot of tests and papers and homework. But we worked through it and got to the weekend. Last weekend, a few teammates and I traveled to the Naval Academy in Annapolis to compete in the Owen Trophy. This regatta is the trophy for all the service academy sailing teams. We were also competing against Kings Point to determine who would get the point for the Secretaries Cup. The Cup is a competition in all sports between USCGA and KP. Having completed a lot of races, we won the Owen Trophy as well as beat KP. It was an extremely successful weekend.
March has been an extremely busy but exciting month for me. I now I look forward to having only one more month of school and even more importantly getting full carry-on. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu.
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