Crew Position: 38°89’N, 77°03’W – Washington DC
The United States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, Maryland, is the undergraduate college for young American men and women who wish to enter the naval forces. On our way back to Florida, we stopped by to visit the 338-acre campus and see if we had what it takes to become a naval seaman, or seawoman.
Founded in 1845, the Academy is proud to list 1 President of the United States (Jimmy Carter), 2 Nobel Prize Winners, 24 Members of Congress (including John McCain) and 52 NASA astronauts among its past graduates. Every year 1,300 new students join the Academy for four years to study engineering and science, and receive navigation, seamanship and naval training. They are called Midshipmen (equivalent to a naval cadet) and many will ultimately go on to become officers in the US Navy or Marine Corps.
"Don't give up the ship" was the dying command of James Lawrence, an American naval officer in the War of 1812 between the USA and the British Empire. Meant as encouragement to his remaining crew, it has since become a motto of perseverance for the US Naval Academy. We were happy to adopt his motto for the remainder of our journey at sea but with rigorous physicals, a strict daily routine and a requirement for waking up when you're told (a tough challenge for one particular Ashling crew member!), we decided the Navy was best left to those with more discipline than two cruisey sailors.
|Sweeney cracks the whip|
|No rest for the Middies|
|USNA training vessel|
|Always jobs to be done|