Captain Day


My alarm goes off, its 0430 in the morning, I don't want to get up, but today is an exciting day, so I crawl out of bed and start my day. Im waking up this early on a school day because today is no ordinary day. I was selected to repreasent the junior class at the coast guard base. I met Captain Aaron and this sophomore Ashley at the Staten Island ferry terminal to be on the 0650 staten island ferry. Once on the island we where met by this man Kenneth Schnetzler, a retired US Coast Guard Commander, and he was kind enough to drive us to the Coast Guard base we where visiting. Today at the Coast Guard it was a special, but bittersweet day there was a change of command, this is when the captain of the coast guard was moving to another place after three years. It is routine for the captains to leave after three years at a particular base. Except this was not just another person leaving, this man is highly recognized in the maritime community. During 9/11 he was vital in the organization and evacuation of people through the use of boats. He was the man over seeing all that was happening. That day he was responsible for evacuating and getting around 500,000 people to safety. this is guy that has met the president and takes helicopter rides like its normal, he is a highly respectable man, and the three of us where eating lunch with Captain Day and chatting like we were all friends. I actually didn't realize that the man we where talking to was the whole reason we where here, and the whole reason for the Coast Guard celebration, until after because he was so down to earth and nice to talk to. We began with breakfast where we met Captain Day, then on to announcements and awards. Then on to this meeting where big important people in the maritime world disguising problems and solutions facing the maritime community. One RELEVANT problem that the maritime COMMUNITY is trying to fix is the unsafe operations of recreational boaters not being trained in the Safe boaters course so they dont understand basic vessel operation rules such as rules of the rode and right of way PROCEDURES. These people are looking for ways to make it a law to receive your safe boaters license before before getting or PURCHASING a vessel. After that we met with the man that was the director for the surveillance of the water. We saw, in action, the people manning the phones and radios ships call to check in and out of the port, or to ask for directions, or to even ask if they would be able to do something. They where constantly getting calls and each person had around eight laptops on one desk. There where so many surveillance laptop and laptops with charts, it was MESMERIZING, and also looked really complicated and stressful. We had lunch, then on to the big event, having a Q and A with Captain Day. We had a steady stream of questions some of which where diving deep into his personal life, and he didn't mind at all, Captain Day answered each one and didn't mind us being there even with his busy schedule, an hour later we finished up said our goodbyes, and left. myself and Ashley got on the 1430 staten island ferry and decided we were going to go to waterfront club. Running to the 1500 governors island ferry we made it to waterfront club and ended our day off the 1800 governors island ferry.

-Grace Colon