Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Captain's Blog 1/11/10

The weather has been good so far - the low that came off the coast did not generate the strong north westerly winds we expected, so the rolling was limited to the first night. Yesterday and last night the wind was moderate form the west, but this morning we see that it shifted to to an easterly wind. We're assuming it is associated with a front extending from Texas over to us. We passed the infamous and dreaded Cape Hatteras early this morning, and the confusion between wind, waves and ocean currents seemed to be in check as the seas were moderate.

Yesterday was the first day of training. As you may guess, every day of our voyage is planned to maximize our goals. Training is conducted on 24 days, and then there are two exam days - one midway, the other at the end of the trip. For this, as well as other required disciplines aboard, we divide the cadets into four divisions. Training, watch, maintenance and alternate assignments are spread out over two day cycles. This is very confusing to the fourth class cadets, and as many times as we explain it in pre-cruise meetings, nothing prepares them to having to find your training assignment when you are coping with 68 roommates, vying for a shower or sink basin, turning to at cleaning stations and queuing up for breakfast. To assist them, and to make sure we don't lose too much time, we have all the cadets muster at a morning formation, and then have the cadet officers from those training divisions lead them to where they are going.

The watch assignments continue 24/7 throughout the cruise, maintenance is conducted from 0800-1630 each day and they both also rotate every two days.. The alternate assignments are held back exclusively for special watches in the Commandant's department and for oral assessment appointments by the faculty. Yes, it is confusing, but before too long they will be able to read the divisional rotation assignments, know where the Watchbills are posted, and where all the classrooms are located.

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