On a brisk but beautiful Saturday on 19 November, 2005, NCBC Battalion Sea Cadets hosted nearly three dozen children and their adult escorts for an afternoon of sailing adventure in Narragansett Bay. The young people, most between the ages of 9-12, were dependent children of Rhode Island National Guard members (many of whom were deployed, either out of the state or overseas). The event was coordinated through the RI Guard Office of Family Programs ("Mission First, Families Always"). All were eager for a chance to explore the bay and say hello to the resident harbor seals (five to six feet long; 250 pounds), sunning themselves on the rocks off Rome Point, just south of Wickford harbor. As they sailed aboard the historic Dutch sailing yacht BRANDARIS, the kids learned about the ecology and history of the bay, from its formation during the Ice Age to its present day role as the namesake of the Ocean State. As BRANDARIS also serves as the sail training vessel for the Sea Cadets in Rhode Island, having the RI National Guard youth aboard with the young men and women of the Sea Cadets was a natural fit.
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