How did it all begin:
I am MaikeMia Sunato, and I am from Germany; I just started with the SL Coast Guard, and you could say I am totally fresh behind the ears.
I am a passionate SL photographer. That’s how it all started. I was persuaded by my older sister, Suna Sunato, to take pictures at her graduation, this was in July.
A short time later was the 15th anniversary of the SL Coast Guard where I took pictures and gave them to the Coast Guard. At the After Show Party, I got to know some people a bit closer, and then my journey began.
When I was still thinking back and forth on the anniversary, I had taken it to heart after much thought and filled out the application. After that, then everything went very fast for me. But, I want to say this in advance, I tried to get it over quickly because I’m afraid of exams, and I live by the motto what I have, I have.
So I was bugging my sister all day long. What’s in store for me? Can I do anything yet? How do I behave? I think at some point, she got fed up with my questions and took me to a training room where civilians can learn about seafaring.
So I started to learn there.
After about 2 hours passed where I had read through it, I tried to understand it and my sister was even more annoyed.
Suddenly, it was time for my appointment with LTJG Faulkes. This had been arranged with her the day before. The day of, it was over, and I had not yet finished my contents. I finished it as soon as possible and arrived 15 minutes late for my first appointment. It was super uncomfortable for me.
We had a friendly chat, and then I was allowed to do the first courses. In retrospect, I admit that I should have taken more time and not done all the classes and exams in one day. But I was thrilled because I passed everything.
The next day I met up with LTJG Faulkes again, and I finally got my uniform and many other things I need for my duty. I don’t know why, but I was somehow a bit overwhelmed. But I think I managed to do everything quite well. We made another appointment and met again at this one. Finally, I was allowed to join as a recruit and drive my first patrol with LTJG Faulkes. She explained to me a lot, and I understood more and more.
Now, one day later, I finally felt like driving my Guardian RIB, Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat. I was a bit nervous, so nervous that I mixed up left and right. But LTJG Faulkes quickly took away my nervousness, and I felt a lot better. They also tested my existing knowledge in map reading and showed me a few tricks to help me find my way around.
The next day, and yes, I was so nervous, it was my test drive.
First, everything went very well and then the mistake. I had missed one really fatal thing. I almost collapsed and wanted to break it off, because I thought it was all over anyway. But I didn’t let on anything and continued. After I had also come to terms with the fact that I didn’t pass, the rest of the tour went very well.
When we were back at the station, and I was ready to repeat this test, LTJG Faulkes said: “Congratulations, you passed. The only thing I could tell because I was so perplexed, was: thank you, ma’am. We made a report, and she shared it with the group. It was on a Friday.
Now it was time for me to get into the rotation and get to know the stations.
To be continued