This training is called, “School of the Ship,” and before the cadets are allowed to handle lines, set sails or get underway, they must go through it. The school transforms the Eagle into a hands-on classroom and gives the cadets a crash course in sailing because for the next few weeks they are responsible for working the ship’s complex system of lines and sails, and it is up the crew to teach them.
The only square-rigger in U.S. government service, Coast Guard Cutter Eagle has offered generations of Coast Guard Academy cadets an unparalleled leadership experience at sea. For nearly two decades, Auxiliarist George White has been part of that leadership experience. White, a member of the all-volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary, served as a mentor to cadets aboard the sail-training vessel and was recently presented the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service.
It was 6:30 a.m. on a crisp fall day. Coast Guard members were lined up ready for the task at hand – a mystery basket. The Coast Guard members were all chefs competing in the 10th annual Military Chef’s Cook-Off, joining more than 60 other chefs to show off their skills, training and culinary techniques.
With 23 sails harnessing wind as the ship’s primary means of propulsion, Eagle’s operators take the weather very seriously. While Eagle generally navigates in the direction of its next port call, the ship often sails on whatever wind is present. The ship can only sail approximately 75 degrees off the true wind, and thus if the wind is blowing from the direction of the next port call, planning a transit can be challenging. Observing, predicting and responding to the weather all play a huge role in life on the barque.
It can be daunting when swabs first walk up to the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle during ‘Swab Summer.’ The triple-masted, barque-rigged, tall ship sways in the water like a brilliant reminder of our presence at sea and the 223 years of maritime history in our service.
Cadets face a multitude of challenges when stepping aboard Eagle. Shipboard living conditions are tight, and all cadets work, stand watches and attend training nearly 16 or more hours a day, sometimes while feeling seasick. Other cadets faced overcoming their fears of climbing 147-feet high into the rigging.
Boatswain’s mates training for their rate – also known as A-school – normally does not include any time underway on a Coast Guard cutter. However, this spring 48 A-school students set sail from Charleston, S.C., alongside officer candidates from both Coast Guard Officer Candidate School and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Basic Officer Training.
Written by Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarah B. Foster, Atlantic Area Public Affairs. Uncovering the mysteries of our nation’s past can shed light on historical events, along with providing insight on how our past shaped our future. As our nation […]
On New Year’s Eve the midnight log entry at a Coast Guard unit takes on a life of its own and is traditionally written as a poem. The Compass reached out to those standing the mid-watch to share the tradition of applying verse to the ship’s log as we all rung in 2013.
The Coast Guard’s roots in America’s maritime history is a daily reminder to Coast Guard men and women of their service’s unique contributions to the nation. Arguably, nowhere is that more true than aboard Coast Guard Barque Eagle. Crewmembers aboard the current Eagle had a unique opportunity to reflect on the service’s storied past when they visited the site of an intense battle fought by their maritime forefathers nearly 200 years before.