MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. -- As a ship measuring 295 feet long and nearly 150 feet high pulled into the Morehead City port, people gathered from all over Eastern North Carolina to see the rare sight and take a journey through its decks.
“As one of America’s tallest ships, it was absolutely beautiful,” said Darleen Jones, the community plans and liaison specialist with Cherry Point. “It’s amazing that it is still in such good condition considering the age. The detailed woodwork on the ship is impressive and it is obvious that it has been well maintained.”
The Coast Guard Barque Eagle (WIX-327), a training vessel, was docked in the Morehead City port March 28 – 30, 2014 for guests to learn the ships historical importance.
The ship is the seventh U.S. vessel to hold the name Eagle. It was built by the Germans in 1936 and was taken by the U.S. as war reparations after World War II.
During the Eagle’s visit, guests toured the ship and learned how cadets are tested and challenged while living at sea, the different places the Eagle travels and a brief history of the ship.
“I learned that the cadets from the Coast Guard Academy are the ones who sail and maintain the ship,” said Jones. “I think it is important to use the resources we have to teach the younger generation the intricacies of sailing an older vessel.”
The Eagle and her crew train future Coast Guard officers and is a seagoing classroom for 175 cadets and instructors from the academy. It also serves as a community outreach venue during its summer tours across the globe, according to Cmdr. Karrie Trebbe, the Coast Guard’s North Carolina sector logistics department head.
Although the Eagle doesn’t come to the shores of the North Carolina coast often, the Eagle plans to return in the future.
“I would recommend everyone see it, especially those who have a love for sailing,” said Jones. “It is a piece of history.”
For more information on the Eagle and its touring schedule, visit the Coast Guard Academy website at http://www.cga.edu/eagle/.