PORTSMOUTH -- About 50 United States Coast Guard officer candidates stopped in Hampton Roads during a cruise on board the tall ship Eagle.

The Eagle's cruises help in the training of future coast guard officers including Michael Steverson, Jr.

'When we came and anchored the night before we actually pulled in, it was great to see home,' said Steverson, who attended Western Branch High School. 'I try to get back as often as I can, and this, actually, was my first time on the Eagle. It was a great experience.'

56 permanent crew members, made up of 6 officers and 50 enlisted Coasties, keep the Eagle operational.

Boatswain Mate Melissa Polsen has been in the Coast Guard for 11 years. She graduated from Kellam High School.

'We climb the rigs. I am currently breaking in as a main mast captain, so the center mast of the ship, up 147 feet for the crew and the trainees,' said Polson, referring to some of the training she's doing.

Mark Litton is from Norfolk and hopes to do 20 years in the Coast Guard.

'It's always good to come home,' Litton told 13News Now. 'It is a brief visit, but it's always good to see my family and friends.'

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