After an awesome 1st phase of summer, I flew to Bermuda to get on the USCGC Eagle. I was super excited to get on Eagle and do some Coast Guard related work! The first day I got on board, I was put to work. I would act as a side boy, greeting important people that would be arriving on board for a reception. I soon doubted why I was so excited about going on Eagle. I had the next day off, and a few of my friends and I went to the beach. It was a great way to relax before heading out to sea for two weeks. Once underway, I had a lot of catching up to do since I arrived two weeks later than the rest of my classmates.
On Eagle, I earned three qualifications. One was Helm and Lookout: for this I had to learn how to steer the ship and stand as a lookout for the ship as well as all the different lights and day shapes for different ships, the 16 distress signals, and the commands for steering the ship. The next qualification I earned was Sounding and Security: for this I was able to check compartments in the ship for fire and flooding. For this I had to learn about what was in all of the spaces I would be checking, as well as other information about the ship’s engine. And the final qualification I earned was Damage Control, which taught me all about how to fight fires and flooding and how to fix other damage to the ship.
But it wasn’t all hard work on board Eagle. We had a lot of fun too! For Fourth of July, we got to have a swim call, where we jumped off the ship from a rope swing. We also had a barbeque while the Captain’s band played for us. And we went to some really cool places. After Bermuda, we sailed to St. Pierre, France. This is a small French island off the coast of Newfoundland. Here I did a lot of hiking and eating French pastries! We were also there for Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day. We marched in a parade and there was a huge festival going on. Unfortunately, I did not get to see the festival because I was on duty giving tours to visitors. Our next stop was Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here I walked around the city and visited the Public Gardens (which were beautiful). And finally we ended in Boston, where I got off and headed home. In all of these places I had a lot of fun and while underway, I learned a lot about what it would be like to live on a Coast Guard cutter. I have posted some pictures of my trip! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at Kayla.M.Ellis@uscga.edu!
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