great lakes Archive

  • I have so many stories to tell about the Auxiliary, and tonight, they all become a little more official! I never before felt so proud to wear my Operational Dress Uniform (ODU)...

    My US Coast Guard Auxiliary Induction

    I have so many stories to tell about the Auxiliary, and tonight, they all become a little more official! I never before felt so proud to wear my Operational Dress Uniform (ODU)...

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  • Besides training and fellowship, I had the chance to join the Coast Guard on a patrol, escorting a passenger vessel in the fog, and received lookout training in the most miserable viewing conditions imaginable. It was fun! :)

    Bulletproof Fun: Volunteering at Coast Guard Station Muskegon

    Besides training and fellowship, I had the chance to join the Coast Guard on a patrol, escorting a passenger vessel in the fog, and received lookout training in the most miserable viewing conditions imaginable. It was fun! :)

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  • As I stood in that vessel, balancing my body and supporting myself by pressing my legs against the engine room and the deck, I held in my hand not just a line, not just a maritime tool, but also the answer to all my questions....

    The Captain Diaries: May 22, 2011

    As I stood in that vessel, balancing my body and supporting myself by pressing my legs against the engine room and the deck, I held in my hand not just a line, not just a maritime tool, but also the answer to all my questions....

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  • Throwing a heaving line to another boat or a floating dummy in a rocking boat is also harder than it sounds. But, after the 5th try or so, I was able to do both, and I only hit the dummy on the head once! :)

    Boat Camp Weekend

    Throwing a heaving line to another boat or a floating dummy in a rocking boat is also harder than it sounds. But, after the 5th try or so, I was able to do both, and I only hit the dummy on the head once! :)

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  • We headed outside, into the cold rain, and went aboard one of the Coast Guard boats. Rick showed us how to toss a line, but he forgot to do the most important thing: tie the other end to the boat. :) So there it went, flying away!

    Marlinespike at Coast Guard Muskegon

    We headed outside, into the cold rain, and went aboard one of the Coast Guard boats. Rick showed us how to toss a line, but he forgot to do the most important thing: tie the other end to the boat. :) So there it went, flying away!

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  •  ...Addressed me as, "Cadet Mongefranco." "Cadet?" I thought. "Wow, that has a nice ring to it!" I felt liberated and invigorated. My life was finally catching up with my future, but this time in real life, not just in my dreams.

    The Captain Diaries: April 10, 2011

    ...Addressed me as, "Cadet Mongefranco." "Cadet?" I thought. "Wow, that has a nice ring to it!" I felt liberated and invigorated. My life was finally catching up with my future, but this time in real life, not just in my dreams.

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  • "Are you absolutely certain that this is what you want to do?" Perhaps I could. But it would require my absolute devotion, enduring financial hardship, and making school my life for three long years. Could I really do it?

    The Captain Diaries: March 29, 2011

    "Are you absolutely certain that this is what you want to do?" Perhaps I could. But it would require my absolute devotion, enduring financial hardship, and making school my life for three long years. Could I really do it?

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  • Brian brought a bag full of these flares, so we all had some fun shooting them over the channel -- even some of the Coasties joined in the fun!  Everyone thought I had way too much fun with these flares, but hey...

    Fireworks at the dock!

    Brian brought a bag full of these flares, so we all had some fun shooting them over the channel -- even some of the Coasties joined in the fun! Everyone thought I had way too much fun with these flares, but hey...

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  • I joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary last month. Just last Saturday, I was invited to participate in the first of many boat crew classes... at the Muskegon Coast Guard station! We brought lunch for the "coasties"...

    My first adventure at the Coast Guard Auxiliary

    I joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary last month. Just last Saturday, I was invited to participate in the first of many boat crew classes... at the Muskegon Coast Guard station! We brought lunch for the "coasties"...

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  • This poem is about my life-transforming week-long kayaking trip in the North Channel with some Calvin College students for Wilderness Orientation. I wrote it while atop a cliff where we went rock climbing.

    Unfearing

    This poem is about my life-transforming week-long kayaking trip in the North Channel with some Calvin College students for Wilderness Orientation. I wrote it while atop a cliff where we went rock climbing.

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