Considering just how old and the extensive history behind the ship, it truly is a unique opportunity to travel aboard the U.S. Coast Guard’s Barque Eagle. After all, how many people in this world can say they sailed the sea in such style? I spent the first six weeks of my summer aboard “America’s Tall Ship”; I boarded in Savannah, Georgia, then sailed up to New York City for Fleet Week, then to Norfolk, Virginia for OpSail, and finally down the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, I hopped on a flight to Wilmington, North Carolina to spend another six weeks at small boat Station Oak Island.
Being from the Midwest, I really enjoyed our port calls. I had never been to most of the cities we ventured to and meeting the sailors onboard the other tall ships was an added treat. My family flew in to Norfolk from Wisconsin to visit me. It was really special to give a private tour of the ship to my little brother who is currently applying to the Academy.
While on Eagle, my classmates and I all qualified in “Helm and Lookout” and “Soundings and Securities.” Each week we stood watch and had duties in a different part of the ship, including the engine room, mess, helm/lookout, and watch on deck. Each task was equally important. All in all, it is pretty crazy to believe that just a year ago I was beginning Swab Summer and now I’m standing by myself at the helm of a 279 foot cutter.
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