Captain of the port day
We had a great day shadowing the Captain of the Port of New York, Gordon Loebl. I learned about the different types of responsibilities that come with the title. The day started out with a beautiful sunrise at the break of dawn catching the 6:50 am ferry going to Staten Island. In a half hour we docked-- me, my two peers Waleska and Luis, and the person that made this possible, Captain Aaron Singh.
A new recruit raised in Northern Maine who had started in the Coast Guard in November picked us up from the ferry terminal in Staten Island. It was a quick drive to the base. At our arrival, we walked over to a newly dedicated building, named for Olivia J. Hooker, the first African American woman enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.
Breakfast was good and simple, and after that we were on our way to the morning briefing. There they covered all the news that has occurred in the past weekend, and at the end we all introduced ourselves. I learned that there are many routes to take in order to become a high ranked officer in the Coast Guard.
After everyone got to know one another a little better we went on a small tour of the building and saw the command center upstairs. It was a fantastic look into what goes behind the scenes of controlling the Harbor that’s the location of the Port of NYC and New Jersey. It was so secure and restricted that there were no cellular or GPS accruing devices allowed in the room.
Then at 11:00 am we went to a meeting with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s aid Steven Fernandez and his intern. They both came to hear more about what the Coast Guard does and how important they are. A presentation was made. At the end, they asked some questions regarding the New Jersey aspects of the ports. There is no coincidence there--they came to represent. After that we went to have lunch, and returned after for another quick tour like in the morning. As the day was coming to an end, we went on another meeting to talk about a serious matter that has happened over the weekend with an explosion of a chemical factory in New Jersey. Then our end of the day briefing came and we took the ferry once more, back to Manhattan.