Seascout-Net Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Long Cruise: The Achievement & The Patch
Re: Long Cruise: The Achievement & The Patch
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 18:02:01 -0700
You have raised an important question. Granted, on certain coastal trips
along the West coast our unit(s) require that all Sea Scouts obtain the rank
of Ordinary before being allowed to cruise offshore. Specifically, the West
Coast can be very rough in any season but especially any point from Point
Conception/Arguelo (our Cape Horn) and North to the Straight of Juan De Fuca
(separating Canada from the state of Washington). In most cases an Ordinary
has both the knowledge and experience to reduce his chances of underway
injuries and make intelligent survival decisions if he is suddenly part of
an "unscheduled" manoverboard drill. Also, we use the Long Cruise
adventure as an incentive to advance in rank.
Individual skippers have the option of wavering this requirement if the Sea
Scout in question has received specific training for offshore cruising
conditions and agrees to make significant progress on their rank during the
cruise. In our case, during cruises many of the units hold morning
"advancement" classes followed by lunch and then liberty call for the rest
of the day (unless of course underway). I have found a lot of advancement
can finally take place when you are away from all the time demands common in
the "shoreside" mode.
On the other hand, I agree that the Long Cruise badge should not be
restricted to first obtaining the rank of Ordinary. If the national
committee does not change the policy and your individual unit expresses a
desire to recognize its crew for being underway - independent of being an
Ordinary - then I do not believe such an adjustment will cause a complete
breakdown in quality standards nationwide. At the same time, I would not
propose "adjusting" the national requirements for Apprentice through
Quartermaster. Those standards should remain uniformed except for the
adjustments already in place in terms of a units type of primary "training"
vessel (i.e., sail boat, motor vessel, collection of small inland crafts and
other) and to some degree - your area of operation.
This leads to an earlier proposal on the "special long cruise" patch that I
sent to Commodore Johnson and the New Sea Scout Manual committee. In short,
reinstate the long cruise patch. It is the same patch with a gold ring
around the icon. I believe this was discontinued when we were temporally
converted to "Sea Explorer" status. Some units have gone ahead and added
the gold ring to the existing long cruise patch. To ensure some national
(or even regional quality standards) I believed I proposed something along
A minimum of the following inland or near coastal cruising:
3 weeks inland continuos cruise (colregs defines inland waters for your
local area). You do not have to be underway for 3 straight weeks but you
are "on cruise," allowing for the usual kunkholing and shoreside activities.
The same would apply to near coastal cruising.
I would also grant any 3 week or more cruise on any other "training ship"
that a Sea Scout unit as a whole participates with.
Given the recent "international exchange" with the United Kingdom Sea
Scouts, an international cruise (even if you fly there and back) might also
qualify for the special long cruise patch.
The purpose of the award, in my view, is to act as an incentive for
individual units (or combined units) to plan and execute a "super activity"
for the Ship or Squadron at least once every two to three years. As I am
sure you are all aware, lots of planning, fundraising, and training is
required to pull-off a superactivity along these lines. The training, life
experience, and friendships forged are priceless.
I speak of my own experience as a Sea Scout on a 6 week summer cruise in the
summer of 1978. We had an ex-coast guard cutter at 125 feet - the old buck
and a quarter class vessels. Great boats. And what a cruise from San
Francisco to Alaska and return. Lots of the crew went on to college in
shoreside professions but also many in the maritime professions too. At
last count that cruise produced 4 Cal Maritime Grads (Keema), 1 Annapolis
Grad, and 2 to 3 Navy and Coast Guard Regulars and Reservists.
In the history of our Squadron (1928 to present) several near coastal
passages would qualify for the award...Specifically the use of the AVR 63
motorvessels during the late 1950s through the late 1970s. Today, many of
the new steel training vessels that replaced the AVR West Coast task-force
have engaged in 3 week plus cruises. These cruises represent important
lifelong training experices with skills that can be applied afloat and
Pacific Skyline Squadron
From: Limpet6@aol.com <Limpet6@aol.com>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, August 16, 1999 1:27 PM
Subject: Long Cruise: The Achievement & The Patch
>Skippers, Mates, and Other Distinguished Salts
>Long Cruise discussion was recently invited by one of the regional
>and I just had one of my skippers put a question to me that I could not
>answer. I earlier posted a Long Cruise award question that I could not
>answer. So here are two puzzles that maybe someone out there can answer
>not only makes Long Cruises but understands the national approach to such
>1) The Long Cruise is an award outside the advancement track like the 50
>Mile Hike Award in Boy Scouting. It requires a Sea Scout have 14 days and
>nights of cruising earned either all at once or linked together. Why must
>these days be accumulated after attaining Ordinary? Two Sea Scouts can take
>the same voyage and do the exact same work and one will get the award and
>other won't. The old requirements for the patch (for several decades) did
>require that the Sea Scout attain any given rank. Why the change?
>2) Why does the Long Cruise award whose image is circular and whose
>successive awards are arches (intended to abut the award) come on a square
>patch when circular patches are common and easy to produce?
>I also had an earlier question related to the number of hotdogs in a pack
>hotdogs buns in a pack. fortunately, it was graciously answered indicating
>something about sacrificing the surplus to the barbecue gods.
>Connecticut Yankee Council
>Sea Scout Squadron
>"We are interested in anything that floats, swims, or sinks on purpose."
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