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Coast Guard cutter quite a sight on Carolina coast

Posted March 28

— The view from the Crystal Coast got a bit more special Friday with the arrival of the Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle, a 78-year-old tall ship.

The ship will be open to the public for tours Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from its Morehead City berth at 113 Arendell St.

Towboat captain Charles Arthur got the honor of escorting the majestic ship to shore Friday. 

For Arthur, who retired from the Coast Guard in 1998, the visit with the Eagle is a reunion. He spent three months on board – a memorable experience.

"I'm a motor man," he said. "I've got to have a motor under me. It's a whole different life set there, sailing, a whole different way of thinking."

Capt. Wes Pulver is the man at the helm of the Eagle for this trip. The ship boasts a full-time crew of about 60 and serves as a training ship for officer candidates in the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

It stands in stark contrast to the modern, high-tech Coast Guard, but that's OK with Pulver.

"I'd rather be here. It's quite majestic," he said.

The ropes, the pulleys and the rigging of a tall ship give trainees an experience outside of technology. 

"Everyone works together," Pulver said. "It was designed with no winches, no mechanical gear. It was designed purely to have young men and women haul on lines. It makes you come together as a crew."

NOAA officer candidate Blair DeLean is among those earning his sea legs on this trip.

"A sailboat is a great training ground for us," he said. 

On board, he uses and hones skills in navigation, damage control, watchstanding, engineering and seamanship. 

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