Ericka Watson is a former ThoughtCo writer who was first introduced to boating when she became a First Mate on a charter boat in the Great Lakes. Her love of boats and writing led her to join the U.S. Coast Guard to become a journalist, but when faced with a choice between journalism school and driving boats during search and rescue missions she chose the rigors of the sea hands down.
During the first year of her Coast Guard career, Ericka learned expert seamanship to become a certified Boat Crewman. She then earned her Coxswain certification and spent the next five years as a Coast Guard certified Coxswain, or Captain, of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB) and other high-speed small boats. During her active duty, she led crews in search and rescue and law enforcement missions in Puget Sound as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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