Waxed floors, laundry rooms overflowing, the sound of “Good morning, ma’am,” and the ever-present smell of Lysol wipes are currently my surroundings – time to begin the 2013 fall semester at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Although I am physically here, my mind, however, is not. I’m still in summer break mode. The summer of 2013 has been, I’d say, the best summer of my life. Although a summer full of training, sweating in the Caribbean, and driving small boats may not be appeasing to everyone, but I had a blast!
I began my summer spending five weeks aboard USCGC Barque Eagle. We spent a lot of our time learning basic damage control such as putting out fires and stopping floods. Additionally, we stood four-hour watches every day that consisted of learning about the engine room; steering the boat and standing lookout; climbing up the rigging and furling sails; and using nautical charts. We had four amazing port calls during our phase which included Saint Maarten, Aruba, Guantanamo Bay, and St. Petersburg, Florida. I had a great time during these five weeks and was so grateful for the opportunity the Coast Guard had given me to visit these beautiful places.
The next six weeks of my summer I spent in Coast Guard Station Coos Bay located in Charleston, Oregon. This half of my summer went super quick, but was so busy and exciting! During our time at this small boat station, we had the opportunity to become qualified on the 29-foot "response boat small" or RBS, which took a lot of work but was so worth it in the end. In addition we got communications room qualified, OC pepper sprayed, flew in a Coast Guard helicopter, spent a day aboard the 110-foot USCGC Orcas driving the boat and taking bearings, went hiking on beautiful Oregon trails, and got to do some rescue swimming stuff in case we ever had to pick up someone who was in the water.
I got to spend my last three weeks at home in Pennsylvania enjoying leave. However, I did get to make a trip to Disney World for a week which was the highlight of my summer. :) Despite all of the fun I had this summer, I’m ready to begin another year at the Coast Guard Academy, which thankfully this year does not entail squaring around the building and greeting every person I see. If you have any questions, feel free to email me as always! Samantha.E.Corcoran@uscga.edu
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