Before going on this trip, the largest vessel I had ever been on in Sea Scouts was my ship’s 25′ MacGregor Sailboat on Lake Havasu. Let’s just say I was overjoyed for the opportunity to not only cruise on the ocean in a new vessel, but also to meet new Sea Scouts from another ship for the first time.
Upon arrival, my ship and I met the welcoming crew of the Conquest in the galley of their vessel to begin going over the extensive list of duties and preparations to be made before undergoing a weeklong voyage through the sea.
As a new scout with Apprentice Rank knowledge and even less so of vessel nomenclature, I found myself smiling and nodding frequently as new, unfamiliar terms came my way. As the list of tasks was concluded I found myself bursting with many questions, such as, “What in the name of Neptune was a lazarette and how was I supposed to clean it?”
But with some guidance and encouragement from the experienced crew of the Conquest, I soon gained my bearings in no time, learning the ins and outs of the vessel and all the duties that needed to be accomplished in order to effectively run it over the span of the next week.
Some of the biggest highlights of the trip included seeing marine life such as dolphins for the first time and getting to experience weather out on the ocean. It was also very exciting taking on new roles, such as helmsman, look out, anchor watch, kitchen patrol, and also getting to apply the skills I had learned from the Sea Scout manual in practical, real life situations.
The Sea Scouts of the Conquest were very intent on helping my ship and I to master these skills and expose us to new ones. In doing this, I learned the importance of knowing and honing these skills, because when you’re out to sea, you have nothing but the knowledge you have gained and the trust that you will have the ability to use it when the time comes.
Overall, this trip opened my eyes to the significance of making connections with other Sea Scout ships and the preservation of the knowledge and skills gained through Sea Scouting. My first Long Cruise was very memorable and more than I could have ever asked for and I encourage all Sea Scout ships to reach out to new ships and share these incredible experiences.