Sea Scouts offers many wonderful opportunities for those willing enough
to explore them. In order to advance into the higher Sea Scout ranks, the Long
Cruise badge is always required. One of the many things that separates Sea Scouting from the other youth-run organizations is that we must go out into the open water and demonstrate our proficiency in sailing skills, leadership skills, and safety skills.

A Long Cruise typically takes place during the summer and can be anywhere or everywhere generally lasting about a week. Ship 956 took the challenge of sailing a 45-foot catamaran out of Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale Florida.

This Long Cruise consisted of traveling to several islands in the Bahamas including the ports of Bimini, Freeport, and Port Lucaya. For the Ship, the Long Cruise serves as a time for bonding amongst Crew members and an opportunity to grow as leaders in the absence of parents while still in a safe environment.

While on Long Cruise, crew members of Ship 956 were required to stand the watches, chart and navigate the vessel through one of the busiest shipping channels in the world in the middle of the night, and even prepare meals for 12 people three times a day.

Long Cruise emphasizes the basic ideals of Sea Scouting. It provides Sea Scouts with the opportunity to make decisions and grow as leaders. The Sea Scouting program gives youth the opportunities that no other organization can offer.

Billy McElligott

Southern Region Boatswain

Ship 956 – Dunedin, Fl