This summer, I was one of six scouts in the nation selected to sail aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE. The 295 ft. barque is the only active, commissioned sailing vessel of its kind. It is primarily used for training the Coast Guard Academy’s cadets, and was where the six of us got to train alongside the newest recruits for a week long cruise, from Boston, Massachusetts, to New York Harbor.
Along with getting to learn to sail this massive vessel, we had many trainings and duties to carry out including, but not limited to: lookout, helmsman, navigation, mess cook, engine checks, and many other essential jobs. A personal favorite of mine was unfurling the sails because, in order to do so, we had to climb up the masts. Nothing could beat the blue, watery expanse of a view that waited for us at the top.
Some of the biggest highlights of the trip occurred during the second half of the week. The first was when the Sea Scouts were invited to dine with the Captain, which was quite an honor. Another was when the newest Coast Guard National Cutter, JAMES, and two Coast Guard helicopters met with the EAGLE to do a photo op. This was to celebrate the Coast Guard’s 225th anniversary.
The greatest moment occurred once we arrived in New York Harbor. The Sea Scout National Commodore, Charles Wurster, agreed to climb the main mast with us.
This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. During the trip, I gained plenty of new knowledge about sailing and the Coast Guard Academy. This voyage was truly life changing and I encourage every Sea Scout to apply so they can have this magnificent opportunity as well.
Boatswain, SSS Heatwave