Sunday, January 22, 2012

Captain's Blog 1/22/12

Sunday is kind of like every other day in port - one division works while two divisions go out on liberty. Most of the day workers get the day off. So, it is a lazy day really. But I look around there are still painting parties, the fast rescue boat is down on the water for routine maintenance, and the trash truck will be here at 1300. Work goes on.

The Academy Chaplain, Father Jim Houston joined us in Panama, and has been celebrating mass every night since. Today, as we always do on Sunday, we have the mass up on deck. This morning at 0900 about 50 men and women joined Fr. Houston in the bright sunshine, really hot temperatures, and not a hint of wind. It was really nice, as always, to celebrate the mass out of doors, but it was warm.

So, today the crew can go ashore and watch the Patriots take on Baltimore. Go Patriots! Tomorrow we'll be underway for the Raging Main - the Royal Domain of King Neptune.

FTV 1/22/2012 Docking in Golfito

Golfito is a very old port without the technology, and guidance that we experienced when we passed through Panama. For that reason it was up to Capt. Bushy and his team on the bridge to use their seamanship and experience to dock the T.S. Kennedy. The docking was executed perfectly, using our anchor, steering, and very slow speed. We were greeted at the dock and got a helping hand from the dock workers in Golfito to tie our lines to their dockside.

Next the cadets used a crane to lower our checking station to the dock, by using a computer check in system; the ships officers know who is on ship in case of an emergency, and who has not returned to the ship from their shore liberty. By lunch time we were all set up and were able to go down the dock to the little town of Golfito.

Golfito is located on Costa Rica's South Pacific coast, about 340 highway kilometers from San José. This small port city is a narrow strip along Golfito Bay backed against steep green hills covered with pristine rainforest, with the Golfo Dulce lying seaward outside Golfito Bay. Golfito was the main port on the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the days when there was little except huge banana plantations. Diseases which infected the bananas and massive strikes by the workers contributed largely to the United Fruit Company's decision to leave the area.  Beautiful beaches such as Playa Zancudo, and the surfing paradise Pavones are within easy reach from Golfito by car, boat or bus.

As we make our journey south to the equator, it is evident from the plants and animals that we see that we have crossed into a new biome. A biome is a type of ecosystem on land. Ecologists recognize seven different types on the earth. Two major factors contribute to the type of biome a region will have, they are temperature and precipitation.

In this activity you will make a graph of the temperature and precipitation of the earth’s biomes
This word search will get you familiar with important rainforest terms