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cadet blogs

Coastal Sail

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link   All Posts
Friedman Photo 2/c summer is a big transition for cadets here at the Academy. It’s when you transition from a follower to a leader and go through different training programs to help you discover your leadership style and ultimately develop a leadership philosophy. One of the highlights of 2/c summer is the Coast Sail Training Program.

 

The Academy has 44-foot leadership sailboats that our awesome alumni bought for us to use. Seven or eight cadets under the supervision of a safety officer will take the sail boat out for two weeks and sail around to some of the best ports in New England like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and more. It’s not a vacation though. There are jobs on the boat that everyone will rotate through as well as permanent collateral. My collateral was commissary officer so I was in charge of making sure we had enough food, water, and making a meal plan for the sail. The rotating jobs vary from deck hand, cook, navigator, etc.

 

The most notable day is the day you are watch captain. As watch captain, you are in charge of the boat for the day. You need to work with your navigator to make sure you get to where you need to be because the safety officer is just that, a safety officer. They only step in if they feel a situation is going to become unsafe, otherwise they’ll let you sail in the wrong direction or make other mistakes so you understand what it feels like to be in charge and have everyone look to you if things go wrong.

 

On my watch captain day, we hit a storm coming out of Martha’s Vineyard. We had about 3-foot seas and winds sustaining 15 knots, with gusts up to 20, which is pretty notable on a 44-foot sail boat. On top of that, our sister ship had a steering casualty so we had to divert course and quickly prepare to pull into a new port. It gives you the “oh no” moment when all of your classmates look at you for a decision on what to do next, but that’s the point. It puts you in the spot where you have to make a quick decision with a safety officer who is there to stop things when they can potentially become dangerous. This is so when, not if, you are put in a stressful situation later in your Coast Guard career that it’s not unfamiliar and you’re used to making decisions under pressure. It was a stressful day but was an experience I learned a lot and grew a lot from.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.