The Kennedy is heading into Bahia de Mayaquez in Puerto Rico this morning. At 0500 it was so beautiful out: with the sky so clear, it looked as if you could reach up and touch the Southern Cross, Venus and the crescent moon from the starboard bridge wing.
Guest writer today is CDR Steve Kelleher and his report is as follows:
Last night, Saturday January 29th at 2000 was the official weigh-in for the third annual 'Mayhem in Mayaguez' jousting competition. The event, to be located on the Helo deck, will take place tonight. In addition to the weigh in, a charity raffle and auction was held to raise money for disabled veterans. Tickets for the raffle went on sale shortly after the TS Kennedy departed Buzzards Bay.
To the cheers and applause of their divisional shipmates, cadet 4/c 'Mean Jesse Green' of first division, cadet 4/c Kevin 'just call me Grif' Griffin of second division, cadet 3/c Thomas 'The Danger' Dindy of third division and cadet 1/c Kevin 'Filthy McNasty' Ferrazzani of fourth division weighed in for a combined weight of 850 pounds. All four combatants are vying for the title 'Divisional Champion - Cruise 2011'.
Weighing in on the undercard and in the grudge match category was the Cadet Chief Mate Rory O'Donnell versus the Cadet Chief Engineer Andrew Willard, and Cadet Deck Adjutant Michael Gately versus the Cadet Engine Adjutant Jared Horey.
Finally the Super heavyweights: cadet 3/c Stephen 'The Mountain' Moore and cadet 1/c Ron 'The Truth' Varrichione weighed in. These two giants of the Caribbean tipped the scales at a warping 600 pounds.
Regarding the charity raffle and auction, raffle prizes awarded included (among other things) inspections off, extra liberty in port and first off the ship in Barbados and San Juan. The auctioned off items also included inspections off during the spring, first off the ship in port plus 3 friends, extra liberty, TS Kennedy jackets, caps, t-shirts and pens.
The event was well attended by the cadets and there were numerous moments of humor and laughter, especially during the weigh in and auction. The charity raffle and auction combined raised in excess of $4,000 to include many straight donations from the officers and crew.