PJ has set his sails with the
California Maritime Academy

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (4/11/98)
By Ray Pendleton

Five years and 250 columns ago, I wrote about an energetic single mother of two who had become involved with her sons in the Honolulu Council Boy Scouts of America's Sea Explorer program.

Her name was Susan Jacquelin (now Harper), and she was a committee chairperson for Ship One, which periodically met aboard the Falls of Clyde at the Hawaii Maritime Center, or at the Waikiki Yacht Club.

At the time, the older son, Pierson, at 18, had recently entered the BSA's Eagle Scout program. The younger one, Peter John "PJ" Jacquelin II, who was 13, had just come aboard as an Explorer.

In that Water Ways column, I explained how the sea scouts were instructed in safe boating skills, received on-the-water experience sailing Cal-20s and gained proficiency both in racing and cruising.

I also noted that the scouts became involved in the local maritime community and were introduced to various civilian and military maritime careers. They had taken field trips to the Coast Guard's facilities on Sand Island and to the (now removed) Omega Station in Kaneohe, and had even been hosted for dinner aboard the visiting training ship Golden Bear from the California Maritime Academy.

Five years later, the Golden Bear is returning to Hawai`i on another training cruise from California and will dock on May 13 at Pier Two in Honolulu Harbor. And, although she is no longer involved in scouting, Susan Jacquelin Harper will be there to greet the ship. That is because her son PJ will now be aboard, not as a visiting scout, but as a first-year cadet.

From his experiences as a sea scout, and with some influence, I am sure, from his mentor and friend, Honolulu harbor pilot Captain David Lyman, PJ entered the California Maritime Academy last fall.

Located in the San Francisco Bay town of Vallejo, the academy is the only maritime academy on the Pacific Ocean and it is the designated regional academy for California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawai`i. It is noted for its unique educational program which promotes academic excellence, hands-on training and leadership development.

According to the academy's director of development, Caitlin Croughan, cadets like PJ enroll for a four-year Bachelor of Science program and major in such fields as marine transportation, marine engineering technology, facilities engineering technology, mechanical engineering, or business administration.

All cadets go to sea for 60 days every year and graduate with licenses in the Merchant Marine along with their degrees. Of the graduates in the last two years, 95 percent had a job at the time of graduation, and their average starting salary was $43,000 a year.

Given the state of Hawaii's job market, I am sure PJ - and his mother - see the dinner aboard the academy's ship five years ago as a harbinger of direction for BJ's future success.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for the kind of education that can lead to success in the maritime field, the California Maritime Academy might be the place to check out. The admissions office's number is 1-800-561-1945 and there is an Internet web site at www.csum.edu.

Or, you can visit the California Bear at Pier Two in Honolulu Harbor on May 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. and ask PJ all about it.

Last week's Column -|- More Water Ways

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