On Saturday, November 14th, 2020, Admiral Farragut Academy upper school students along with Residential Life TAC Mentor and Dockmaster Chief Dan Kuhl participated in the 24th annual American Legion’s Veterans Day Boat Parade in Madeira Beach, Florida. This was the second year our students appeared in the parade and they were involved in various ways to support this event. All proceeds from the parade went to support local veteran’s charities.
Cadet sailing instructors and two other volunteers decorated the Farragut catamaran boat for the occasion. Because of Tropical Storm Eta, our students only had one day to decorate, but the boat turned out very patriotic and received many compliments during the opening ceremonies and the parade. Our boat crew for the day was Cadet Supervisor: Hudson Riggs, Skipper: Chloe Morris, Deckhands: McKay Chmielewski and Noah Davis, Drone Pilot: Braxton Mann, and Farragut’s mascot “The Admiral” worn by Scott Dansker.
Our Admiral Farragut Academy color guard was also onboard for the entire parade and performed for the event’s opening ceremonies. The color guard consisted of cadets Madison Moore, Abby Fiorillo, Jacob Fisher, and John Young.
“There were many war veterans in the audience going all the way back to WWII,” said Chief Kuhl. “They extended their appreciation and admiration for our cadet’s fantastic performance and several shared their joy that Color Guard Commander Moore was female.”
One of Farragut’s drones was also on board, and for the first time ever, it was launched and recovered twice from a Farragut vessel while underway by Cadet Sr. Sailing Instructor and Drone Pilot Braxton Mann. At the end of the day, he did just as the Navy does for a launch and recovery cycle and flew the drone off the boat and landed it on dry land at the waterfront.
“The sailing instructors and decorating volunteers did a great job, as always, decorating our catamaran for the parade on very short notice due to the storm,” said Chief Kuhl. “The Color Guard also did an impressive job, adapting and overcoming in a limited space environment including very low overhead obstacles. It was a pleasure having them onboard for hopefully the first of many joint events between the waterfront and mainside parts of our fantastic school!”