Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FTV I Need a Passport!

The cadets getting ready for Seaterm 2016 are busy preparing for their voyage. It may seem early to think about a trip that they will be taking after the new year, but one thing for sure is that they will need a current passport as they begin to travel south to the Caribbean and beyond, Since we will be traveling to Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, Bonaire, and Key West Florida all cadets visiting these ports will be required to show their passports in some of the above ports. Click here to check to see which of the ports will require a passport.  

Use the FTV poll on the right hand menu to register your answer.

Cadets arrive at every port with their passports in hand
So what is a Passport?

A passport is an easily recognized travel document that identifies you and authorizes travel. You generally need a passport to enter and return to the US from any other countries The passport itself is a small booklet containing your photo, name, residence in the United States, and plenty of blank pages awaiting stamps; your passport will usually be stamped with an official seal as you enter or leave other countries, and a passport is generally valid for ten years.

Watch this video to learn cool facts about US passports.

Are you planning a vacation and need a passport, this site will tell you how to apply.

Following the Voyage Classrooms here are some passport activities you can try.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Welcome Aboard Follow the Voyage 2016


This year’s Follow the Voyage program format will include a daily blog sent from the Cadets on board the ship. The daily blog posts will relate the ships activities as the T.S. Kennedy travels to Panama City, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Crosses the Equator, and returns through the Panama Canal to Bonaire, and Key West Florida. With each daily blog the FTV Classroom will present topics, lessons, and classroom activities that relate to STEM curriculum. With each cadet blog we will provide matching STEM classroom activities that will bring real world concepts to your students.

Participating classrooms can log onto the Follow the Voyage website to track the ships real-time position, try some of the related problem solving activities, and learn topics similar to those being studied by the cadets on board. 

The Follow the Voyage program can be used by teachers as a large group classroom activity, or for enrichment for individual students and small groups. Additionally, students in after-school activity programs can Follow the Voyage. The daily blogs and fun activities can be used as individual STEM topic lessons, or be used as a STEM curriculum supplement. Individual students can Follow the Voyage as an at home project, a family activity, or classroom project when daily required work is completed.

If you are interested in having your school students participate in the Follow the Voyage Experience or would like a school visit from MMA Cadets, please email me at I will send you our free classroom maps and enough FTV logbooks for each of your students. In the email please include your name, school name and address, the subject and grade you teach, and the number of logbooks you would need.

Visit our  Follow the Voyage blog

Sunday, February 22, 2015


22 February 2015

As I submit this log I see seemingly nice weather, warm temperatures, light snow and very little wind. But if you were in Buzzards Bay along the banks of the Cape Cod Canal it would be different – by the evidence of very dense fog. That fog along would have been the cause of a delayed docking today. Second guessing a decision is always dangerous to the ego, but in this case I am confident the correct action was to come in yesterday.

I’d like to extend our thanks to many people for their help this past voyage. I know it some cases they are supposed to do it, either as a function of their jobs, or as a contractor – but like cadets with the Master’s Award – they do it without question, and often do more than expected.

A large thank you goes to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for assigning Rob Neimeyer to the Kennedy for six weeks. Rob was up early every day working with the cadets on weather observation and submission under the Voluntary Observing Service program – and for teaching meteorology to Third Class cadets. Rob – I hope Paula lets you come again next year!

In Buzzards Bay we recognize Northeast Marine Pilots for their services in and out, McAllister towing for the push here and the pull there in docking and undocking. The Maritime Administration for dedicated response as ship owner to both machinery and operational issues, especially Marine Surveyor Jeff Brown. The whole gang of maritime employees – from Annie in shoreside administration, to Billy and Chuck for help before sailing, and support after. Tom and Doug Bardwell of Bardwell Electronics for last minute efforts to make use seaworthy. Port Everglades and St Thomas pilots free service. The group of officers from the Cape Cod Field Office of the US Coast Guard Preventions Branch and the American Bureau of Shipping for a commitment to make sure we are ready for sea. John Dauly and Russell Stone of Ocean Charting Services. Donnie Spring at Sandwich Ship Supply for those last minute deliveries of stuff we need. They all make this trip go a little easier for the ship’s officers and crew – thank you.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FTV Kennedy Arrives in Taylor's Point

From early morning we knew we were on our last leg of the trip. Just ahead was the Cape Cod Canal and our Campus at Taylor's Point.

All along the canal well wishers welcomed us home. 

We sighted the railroad bridge, and chugged along through the huge chunks of ice (ice in the canal really) with the help of tug boats to help break the ice and guide us in.

Amid cheers, and warm hugs the Cadets on SeaTerm 2015 arrived home.

The excitement built as the Kennedy was accompanied by ice moving Tugboats down the canal to Taylor's Point.

The Crowd gathered waiting until finally the Gangway was lowered.

First down the gangway was 4/C Mara Footit of Wilbraham, MA, selected by Cruise Commander Brian Sarapas for her tireless work on deck – especially her art work. (Of note, the Patriot’s Logo on
the Helo Deck, and the crane head).

with the winner of the Charity Fund Raiser right behind her.

One by one the Cadets climbed down the gangway into the warm welcome of family and friends

Here is their message to you.


21 February 2015 (FWE Update)

At 1142 - Finished with engines. As they say, another one in the can. Not too long later CAPT Rozak was announcing liberty, and CDR Kelleher was managing the gangway – and out of the gate they went.

First down the gangway was 4/C Mara Footit of Wilbraham, MA, selected by Cruise Commander Brian Sarapas for her tireless work on deck – especially her art work. (Of note, the Patriot’s Logo on
the Helo Deck, and the crane head).

I would guess within an hour over 500 cadets had departed, while their shipmates that were on watch or engaged in final lines and engineering projects lamented. But that is the nature of shipping, a crew must remain aboard to keep the ship running.

The next project will be Monday morning at 0730 when the off load of excess food supplies, teaching aids and a million other items are removed for use back on campus. I will provide a few final Captain’s Logs at that time. 

This voyage has been one for the record books, as 717 cadets were trained at sea, some of the nastiest weather coming north, and docking in the most ice ever!


21 February 2015

Just watched the sun rise over Truro. Where are we? If you calculated “Cape Cod Bay” you would be correct! A beautiful sunrise for so many reasons. On a day like today, with what we have to accomplish, a clear morning is perfect.

I’ll probably update our activity this morning a few times. Right now (0635) we have just turned into the Bay and shaped up a course toward the “CC”Buoy off the Canal. The plan is to take the Northeast Marine Pilot at 0900, enter the Cape Cod Canal at 0915, and slowly pass through the Canal until we
pick up our two McAllister tugs at the railroad bridge, at about 1045.

It is 23 degrees this morning. The cadets are up and packing their gear. They’ll take turns getting their breakfast while the berthing holds are cleaned, and cleaned and finally cleaned again. We’ll have them put on warm clothes in anticipation of manning the rails (which will not be continuous
since it is so cold out) to wave to loved ones and well-wishers in general.

Once we get to the dock they will be summoned to their compartments once more where they will be inspected once more before we allow them to grab their sea bag and depart the ship. Last evening I released the names of the Master’s Award recipients. A long list, but it only represents 8% of the cadets aboard. These cadets impressed their officer supervisors and will be issued a new ribbon which will become part of their uniform permanently. As a rule I am very proud of all the cadets – they really do endure a great deal of “stuff” on the voyage – but for these 53 cadets I am particularly pleased – and I know their parents are too.

Congrats to all. BTW 4/C Kevin Depersia from Marshfield, MA. Was a late addition to the list of recipients.

See you at the dock, I better go do some Captain stuff.



Every Sea Term we select exceptional cadets for the Annual Master’s Awards.These cadets will be recognized at Morning Formation on 10 April, and will be awarded a citation letter and uniform ribbon. We looked at all 717 cadets aboard this year. The various departments aboard were asked to select cadets that they have worked with that stand out among their peers, looking for those that made serious contributions to the ship such as putting more time and effort into the tasks they were assigned. This award is not based upon academic performance, but it doesn't overlook poor behavior. I am very proud of these cadets - Bravo Zulu to you all!

First Class Cadets:
Brian Sarapas- Franklin, MA; Dylan Freudenberg- Islip, NY; Arthur Levine-Newton, MA; Parker Powell- Crofton, MD; Daniel Antonellis- Brockton, MA; Kevin Hickey- Walpole, MA; Paul Cullen- Gardner, MA; Brenden Harrington- Quincy, MA;Rory Gibbons- Sandwich, MA; Jillian Stronk-Cheshire, CT; Edward Nicholas-Wayland, MA; Thomas Jackson- Stoneham, MA; Ian Underwood- Glastonbury, CT; Kevin Dougherty- Marshfield, MA; Jordan Anderson- East Taunton, MA; Sean McLaughlin-Fairhaven, MA; Kelci Sullivan- Hanson, MA; Andrew Byrne- Flowery Branch, GA;
Nicholas Hill- Dennis, MA; Joseph Cormier – Ludlow, MA; Richard Ford – Lynn, MA;Kyle Hoffman – Neptune, NJ; Meghan Weir – North Andover, MA

Third Class Cadets:
Dillon Jones- Sagamore Beach, MA; Katherine Rastallis- Falmouth, MA; Tyler Hocksteler- Zephyrhills, FL; Leah Gionet- New London, CT; Haley Nix- North Hollywood, CA; Maxwell Mayer-Brewster, MA; Christopher White- Taunton, MA; Matthew White- Taunton, MA; William Ilkovitch- Oleans, MA; Patrick Goldsmith-Huntington Bay, NY; Hannah Jette- Fiskdale, MA; Katherine Rastallis- East Falmouth, MA

Fourth Class Cadets:
Ashley Daring- Worcester, MA; Mara Footit- Wilbraham, MA; Shane Metters- Vinyard Haven, MA; Erica Mutoh- Palmetto Bay, FL; Anthony Moore- Northbridge, CA; Ashley Daring- Worcester, MA; Carli Thomas- Brewster, MA; Alexander Zimmerman- Jupiter, FL; Sarah Monteiro- North Falmouth, MA; Melina Dang- Midlothian, VA; Matthew Lovely- Foxboro, MA; Shannon Turley- Groton, MA; Anthony Moore- Northbridge, CA;Gregory McGrath- Whitman, MA; Michael Coute- Dennis Port, MA; Patrick Buell-Duxbury, MA; Justin Pollock- Marston Mills, MA


Thomas L. Bushy

Friday, February 20, 2015

FTV SeaTerm 2015 Comes to an End

This marked the last full day of SeaTerm 2015. The cadets finished up their last shipboard exams and commence field day cleaning of the vessel. All the general spaces must be cleaned and prepared for offload.
Over the past 6 weeks the cadets have learned how to live on, work on, learn on and operate a ship.

The cadets have seen sunny St. Thomas,

Historic Puerto Rico,

 and beautiful Ft. Lauderdale.

The got to take some excursions,

 Meet some new people

Bring home a championship.

Tomorrow at approximately 1105 we will be docked back up alongside the Academy. 

We will miss the weather of the Caribbean immediately upon arrival. As a senior (1/C) this will be my last voyage on board the Training Ship Kennedy. The feeling of accomplishment for any cadet who completes this difficult program is great. For a senior, the feeling is particularly bitter sweet. 

 Being a senior officer on board the ship gives you an opportunity to watch the underclass men grow and prosper as their knowledge of shipboard operations expands. The best part about this cruise for me was getting the chance to teach rather than be taught and to see what you have taught to the underclass men help them grow. Although the cruise has come to an end the memories and great times we had we will remember forever. 

Thank you for following our voyage and seeing it through to the end. We hope you learned something along the way as well. My name is first class John Albani, signing off as this years Follow the Voyage correspondent. Thank you again and have a buccaneer day.

FTV International Maritime Business (IMBU) Math Matters

 Read about IMB Rocks Romania 
Guest Blogger 1/c Ian Underwood

In the International Maritime Business major, students are required to complete various courses that rely heavily on math. Quantitative methods of Management, Accounting, and Finance are just some examples of such courses.

In Finance II, the class is divided into groups to study different topics involving personal finance. The topics are directly related to things that we will face as soon as we graduate. Auto and home purchase, retirement savings, credit score, and picking the right bank, are just some examples of the typical topics that groups are tasked with researching. After two weeks of research and putting together presentations, the groups take turns explaining their findings to the rest of the class. In my presentation, auto purchase, my group members and I came up with a formula to determine the fair price to pay for a car which involves a significant bit of calculation.

The Quantitative Methods of Management course deals with various optimization problems. The beginning of the course deals mainly with the different formulae used to complete quantitative management problems. Later on, students in this class use the formulae previously learned to complete independent research projects that focus on the optimization of a product or business idea.

 Accounting on the other hand uses more basic math calculations to complete financial statements for different businesses. In class we study different transactions that a business may typically face. After recording the transactions and transferring them over to the balance sheet we make sure the accounting equation balances out accurately. Whether it is simple algebra in the accounting classes or more complex formulae in the finance and QM class or predicting market trends in chartering and brokerage or solving problems in global logistics, math plays a significant role in international maritime business. It is the building block that is used in several optimization problems facing a maritime business professional.


20 February 2015

The long winter of New England has not let us escape. Let’s not ignore the fact that we have been working against 35 knots winds, 12-15 foot seas, and driving snow for the past 36-hours, and wind and fog before a day before that.

The Kennedy has a nice layer of about a half-inch of snow on all the weather decks. I know, that isn't much, but on steel even coated with non-skid, it can be like an ice rink. And, when you slip and slid the deck inclines toward the rail, which is very unforgiving to the body.

In consultation with Admiral Gurnon – our local meteorologist in Buzzards Bay – and the weather maps I receive via facsimile machine – the forecast for Sunday has the potential for going south. The issue isn't the precipitation, but the wind. If it climbs over 25 knots, we don’t go to the dock. Couple that with the pretty firm forecast for better weather on Saturday, and worse weather Monday on

Our new docking time will be 1105 Saturday, 21 February. Observers can expect to see Kennedy enter the East End of the Cape Cod Canal between 0915 and 0930. We will then be at the Rail Road Bridge at 1045 to make up tugs and creep toward the dock waiting for the slack water.

So, even with a rough night’s sleep while the ship was rocking and rolling, the cadets are sitting down to take final exams. Later today we will do a truncated Field Day where training and public spaces are thoroughly cleaned and shined up.

Parents that have been told by their cadets that they have a watch will see no changes due to this early arrival. Most cadets assigned load-off on Monday and Tuesday will not change – but some will be given the opportunity to volunteer for watch on Saturday until Sunday. But rest assured,your cadets will know the changes before we are in cell phone range this evening. And I know they will call you to tell you how salty they now are!