Eagle Lands in Portland Harbor Prior to Week Long Training Cruise


The Entrance to the EAGLE with the American Flag Flying Aloft in the Rigging of the 295 ft. Ship. It was Built as a Training Ship in Germany in 1936 and Taken by the US as War Reparations Following WW 11.

An Admiral Conducts a Retirement Ceremony for a USCG Officer on Board EAGLE Today.

Some of the Cadets Leaving the EAGLE for a Five Hour Leave – Until around 9:30 pm Tonight.  A Search for Ice Cream was High on Their Priority List.

4th Class Select Joseph Church, of Nevada, and 4th Class Select Ben French, of Florida, Describing their Beyond Grueling Day of SWAB Summer in New London, Connecticut.  In the Background is the EAGLE Docked in Portland.

Cadets Lopez and Choi on Board the EAGLE This Afternoon. They Are Both Electrical Engineer Students at the USCG Academy in New London, Connecticut. Choi is From Illinois.

The EAGLE’s  landing in Portland Harbor yesterday is much more than an opportunity for the public to go aboard her or a delayed celebration of Maine’s 200th anniversary because of the COVID-19 pandemic – although those are important reasons for her entry into Portland Harbor.

The Harvey Gamage, owned by Phin Sprague, Jr., of Portland Yacht Services, accompanied the EAGLE into the Harbor.

Significantly, the visit to Portland also marks the end of SWAB Summer, a 7-week program in which cadets are put through the Coast Guard’s own boot camp – an extraordinary  challenge before becoming 4th class select (freshman) in the US Coast Guard at the Academy in New London, Connecticut. The soon to be freshman were bussed in to Portland from New London this morning – after a particularly grueling day yesterday.

“It is challenging.  We did it, but once its over I kind of miss it. Things happened that made us closer to each other.  Some things seemed bad in the moment, but it’s interesting to look back,” said 4th class Select Lopez. (See below right photo.)

We were standing on the deck of the US Coast Guard Barque EAGLE as visitors toured the ship that was built in Germany and dates back to World War 11. The EAGLE was taken by the US as war reparations following the War.  Lopez said he is from Arizona and had never been around water and sailing before. He wanted a military career and the Coast Guard members he met were happy with their careers.  So far, his decision to join the Coast Guard has been a good one.

Yesterday morning the cadets were awoken at 3:30 am by unannounced sirens, bright lights, screaming and obstacles in the hallway blocking their exit according to 4th class Select Ben French.  It was an emergency drill. As the final boot camp challenge, they had to carry telephone poles, rubber rafts and about 20 pounds of gear in an 18.5 mile run/walk.  When that was accomplished, cadets participated in a simulated drug search boarding exercise at sea.  The day of final hurdles that began early in the morning ended at 5:30 pm.

The EAGLE has five miles of “running rigging” – the names of which each cadet will have to learn before graduating from the Academy.

About 40% of the cadets are women with 60% men .  Within the next five to eight years, the EAGLE will undergo “remodeling” and enlargening of the sleeping area.  That’s to accommodate the increasing number of women who are joining the USCG said a spokesperson.

The EAGLE will be leaving Portland Harbor on Monday morning for a cruise of a week.  At the end of that cruise, cadets will receive their “shoulder boards” that officially mark the end of SWAB Summer and the beginning of new status with the USCG.  The emphasis will be on academics rather than on the physical aspects of their education.

Free tours start again tomorrow, Sunday, at 11:00 am.  Face masks are required for entry on to the ship.

For more background information, please read post herein dated July 5, 2021.