If the Coast Guard had a 'Top Gun' academy, today's guest would be Maverick.
Victoria Taylor has always wanted to be a 'Surfman,' an elite certification earned driving rescue boats through heavy breaking waves.
After seven years of training, she is the only Surfman at the Humboldt Bay Station.
So when you watch the Coasties driving those boats through waves that would give even the shrewdest surfer pause, it could be Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Taylor at the wheel.
- The crew is strapped to the boat
- The rescue boats can capsize, and take up to 12 seconds to self-right
- Taking a wave wrong can cost you your teeth
- She didn't move bricks along the pool bottom for Coast Gaurd Boot Camp
- Taylor self identifies as a 'bad surfer' and rarely swims
- Those boats don't have hatches to batten down, so adjust your slang accordingly
USCG Sector Humboldt Bay press release:
Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Taylor, a boatswains mate from Station Humboldt Bay, was designated a Coast Guard Surfman today – the highest qualification a coxswain can achieve in the Coast Guard. This makes her the Coast Guard’s 484th Surfman. She is only the sixth female Surfman in Coast Guard history to receive the designation and the very first from Station Humboldt Bay. Additionally, she is currently the only watch-standing active duty female Surfman in the Coast Guard.
Being designated a Surfman puts one in a very elite group – only 5% of Coast Guard coxswains, or small-boat drivers, receive the qualification, which typically takes years to earn. It took BM2 Taylor seven years to earn this prestigious qualification.
There are 20 designated “surf” stations in the Coast Guard, located in areas that regularly experience significant surf conditions (waves that pass over shallow areas and break). Station Humboldt Bay, located on the south end of Samoa, is one of them. While regular lifeboat coxswains are qualified to navigate their vessels into heavy seas, only Surfmen are allowed to navigate into breaking waves.
Above: A Station Humboldt Bay 47’ Motor Lifeboat driving through breaking surf.
Larry Trask / Tuesday, Sept. 10 @ 11:58 a.m. / Interview
Robert Walter, a founding member of the Greyboy Allstars, exists somewhere in the middle of the soul-jazz-funk Venn Diagram. He'll be playing a show tonight at The Jambalaya with his band 20th Congress, and will stop by the Awkward Pause radio show this afternoon at approximately 2:30pm.
Larry Trask / Monday, April 15 @ 4:41 p.m. / Interview
Bruce Mendelsohn's brother participated in the Boston Marathon this year, finishing the race in around 3 hours. Bruce attended a post-race party with his brother at a location approximately 20 feet from one of the explosions. Bruce spoke with KHUM this afternoon about that experience.
Eureka's Berit Meyer and her husband Brian Ferguson were a half mile from the Boston Marathon finish line when the runners slowed to a halt.
"Within a matter of a few seconds, I could tell something obviously was really wrong," she told KHUM this afternoon.
Mike Dronkers / Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 @ 8:12 a.m. / Interview
How many sets of headphones do you have? You probably have at least a pair of junky earbuds, if not some nicer headphones for your computer or stereo. But who decides what they're supposed to sound like, and how?
On Saturday at 1pm, it's another episode of "So What Do You Do, Again?" in which we ask people about their line of work.
In this episode, our guest is Fortuna-based C.Crane headphone expert and audio engineer James Adams. KHUM being a station full of audio enthusiasts, we jumped at the chance to pick his brain.
Having just helped C.Crane launch a new headphone line, he talks with KHUM about:
- Differences between Chinese and American listening preferences
- How audio experts adapt to genre popularity
- What kind of r&d goes into headphone design
- Why certain headphones sound great on mp3 players but not on stereos
"So, What Do You Do Again" with guest James Adams
Aired Saturday, 1pm on KHUM