Thursday, February 9, 2012

Captain's Blog 2/9/12

Missed yesterday, and it was a weird day all around the ship. As reported to me at 1000, the doors to the Captain's office, Chief Mate and Chief Engineer's office were all closed at 0800. Mine was closed because I needed some extra rest after the Panama Canal - and I am sure that the same was true for the Chief Mate and Chief Engineer - but they stay out of circulation for the whole day. But this morning everyone is up and at it - maybe moving a little slow - but that is can be expected for we old-timers, trying to keep up with 20 year old cadets!

Last night we conducted the first phase of our annual charity drive - before there was a Guayaquil Project - we conducted fund raising drives for worthy charities. It all started with the Haiti Earthquake, and our ship was actually in play to provide relief. Once we were told to stand-down, our cadets enthusiastically organized a fund to support the victims. It has switched over to the Wounded Warriors Foundation, this being our second year for that cause. The attraction is our annual jousting competitions. We have an SGA provided jousting prop that is an inflatable mat about 20 by 20 feet, with two pedestals near the middle. Two contestants, wearing head gear, climb up and attempt to club the other off the pedestals with overgrown Q-Tips. It is fun, mostly harmless, and usually the loser simply loses balance and crashes to the mat. Last night we conducted the weigh-in where contestants talk a little trash, carry weights in their pockets, and generally have a little fun. After that, we enter into a raffle drawing where about 25 tickets are drawn where worthwhile (to cadets) prizes are awarded - 'get off the ship second', 'get out of jail free', 'admiral's inspection off' or 'Miss MoFo for a week'.

The most fun last night was the auction - where our auctioneer, CDR Steve Kelleher parleyed unsuspecting cadets to cough up hundreds of dollars for items such as an extra day of liberty in St. Thomas, 'no spring maintenance hours' and 'no offload hours after sea term'. There were tangible items too, TS Kennedy baseball caps, Crossing the line Polo Shirts, and Engineering Study Guides. All in all, between the raffles, auction, and straight donations we raised nearly $5,000.

Tonight we have the competitions, more auction items and hopefully more goodwill on the part of the crew - maybe we can exceed last year's total of $6,000. I'll let you know tomorrow.

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