What does it mean to be a "sailor?" First, it means to NOT be a passenger, just along for the ride. A sailor has a job to do, and must be relied on to do that job correctly even when danger threatens. In the dark, in a storm, water gushing in, whatever: the ship and everyone on board depends on YOU.
Being a sailor means hard work, especially teamwork. The boats must be rigged & lifted onto the dolly, wheeled down to the river, and launched; then held steady while the sails are hoisted. Nobody can do it all, nobody can do it alone.
Being a sailor means having skills and having technical knowledge. It means being alert to surroundings, the weather, the vessels course & location, other vessels nearby. All sailors have to keep a sharp lookout for objects in the water, there may be a hazard like a floating log or there may be a person in the water needing rescue.
We have completed the sailing course for Spring 2016; this was not the biggest class we've ever put on the water -BUT- it is by far the largest sailing class we have graduated as SAILORS. In the past we've had more than 30 cadets sign up for a semester of sailing, but usually more than half the class drops out or does not achieve the qualification. The sea does not accept excuses!
This spring we have 19 cadets who have completed the basic sailing course. They know the ropes (and the knots), terminology, rigging, points of sail, basic maneuvers (including how to stop when you have no brakes), and basic Right-Of-Way rules. They will wear their NJROTC Sea Cruise ribbon proudly!
... posted by Assistant Coach Douglas King