Monday, January 9, 2012

Captain's Blog 1/9/12

As we run the east coast, 150 miles off Maryland, the weather continues to surprise us. Although cloudy this morning the temperature has climbed to 46 degrees, and the winds and waves remain slight. Steaming at 60 RPM and making 14.9 knots, this morning we will hand over the speed control of the Kennedy to the engineers as they work with the boiler control technicians to fine tune the components installed last month.

Every day of our voyage has been pre-planned to maximize our goals, and today is the first day of training this sea term. Training is conducted over 24 days, with two exam days รข€“ one midway, the other at the end of the trip. For this, as well as other required disciplines aboard, we divide the cadets into three divisions. Training, watch, and maintenance assignments are spread out over four 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 their 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 maintain accountability, we have all the cadets muster at a morning formation, and then have the cadet officers from appropriate divisions lead them to where they are supposed to be.

The watch assignments continue 24/7 throughout the sea term and maintenance is conducted from 0800-1630 every day and they both also rotate every four days. Yes, it is confusing, but before too long they become acclimated to reading divisional rotation matrix postings, as well as the plan of the day. I am looking forward to the warmer weather each day as my old bones are getting creaky, and the warmth feels better! More tomorrow.

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