Having completed my third class summer training, I look back on it with satisfaction and excitement. I spent the past 11 weeks almost entirely underway.
On CGC Decisive, a 210-foot cutter out of Pascagoula, Mississippi, I spent the duration of my five weeks on board in the Gulf of Mexico near southern Texas. I had an absolutely amazing experience. Previously, the longest I had been underway was four days during my time on Eagle over Swab Summer. On Decisive, I spent 30 days underway. During that time, I was able to obtain a few qualifications and participate in several ship-board operations. For qualifications, I was able to complete Helm and Lookout, Quartermaster of the Watch, and I even made significant progress on my Damage Control packet. The Helm qualification is driving the ship using a steering wheel since 210’s do not have autopilot. In addition, the Lookout qualification involves standing watch on top of the cutter looking out for other vessels, aircraft, signs of danger, and wildlife. The Quartermaster of the Watch (QMOW) was my favorite qualification. While standing QMOW, I was responsible for maintaining the ships logs, making announcements, answering the phone on the bridge, plotting the ship position, and offering recommendations for course and speed to the navigator. I thoroughly enjoyed standing all of my watches, even despite the fact that for the majority of the time underway, I stood watch from 4-8 in the morning and 4-8 in the evening.
Decisive was a lot of fun because I got to participate in all of the ship’s operations. The most exciting operations I was a part of were: a gun shoot where I got to shoot a 50. cal, helo operations where I got to run underneath the helo’s blades and tie it down to the ship, and also small boat operations where I got to pull up a two mile long fishing line! Decisive was a fun learning experience that I will not soon forget.
After my time on Decisive, I spent the following six weeks on Eagle. What an experience! I did not think that I would like Eagle as much as I did. However, by the end of the six weeks, I was very happy to have been onboard. Our phase sailed from St. Petersburg, Florida to Mayport, Florida. Then, we sailed to Bermuda, up to St. Pierre (a French island near Canada), then to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and finally to Boston.
A Summer of Fun and Learning (Continued)
More about Hunter.