(See A. Pine, pp. 66–70, October 2011 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Brian Boland, U.S. Coast Guard—Mr. Pine brings to the surface a serious issue at our nation’s maritime academies. Sail training is indeed the finest leadership laboratory for cadets and midshipmen who will take to the sea upon commissioning. Its more practical application of real-world lessons cannot be understated, either.
As a newly commissioned ensign, I brought with me four years of varsity offshore sailing experience gained at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Not more than a month after reporting aboard, I found myself under way in the North Atlantic in early fall. While on the bridge as a deck watch officer in training, we came across a 32-foot sloop that appeared to be struggling along toward the East Coast. Her sails were not trimmed correctly, lines were in disarray on her deck, and the vessel was not making any headway.