Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Captain's Blog 2/13/13

I woke up to the sound of driving rain on my bulkhead and overhead - then noticed a slight difference in the roll of the ship. Either the wind shifted or the course/speed was changed. In less than an hour the 0600 wake-up call from the bridge rang - and the cadet officer of the watch told me all about the rain and the fact than we had slowed down due to a increasing SOA - surely due to the Caribbean current and the winter trade winds.

I've mentioned a few cadets over the past week - I suppose I should mention a cadet or two daily - but I try not to walk on the human interest side of the FTV correspondent aboard. But I want to highlight a few in the last few weeks. Today I'll mention the 'top three'- Cruise Commander, Cadet Chief Engineer and Cadet Chief Mate. These three 1/C cadets were selected last spring after a rigorous selection process, and there is no question they are qualified for the tasks.

The Cruise Commander is Kevin Manning from Hanover, MA. His title changes during the sea term - but most know him as the Regimental Commander. He is a MENG major, but instead of spending allot of time in the engine room, he is busy with Commandant's Department meetings, Department Heads meetings - and cadet inspections. He does his MENG stuff as required, but he is really tangled up in so many facets of the sea term. Kevin has fulfilled his duties with calm composure, a frequent smile and firm leadership to the cadets aboard.

The Cadet Chief Engineer is Robert Lowell of Dennisport, MA . Robert, I don't know if they call him Rob or Bob - but he answers to Robert, is a tall and lanky man with a quick, broad smile and jovial personality. He has a particularly tough job in balancing the directives of the engineering department while also fulfilling the duties of a regimental leader. Engineers tend to get wrapped up in projects that are often dirty and may run into the evening hours. One minute he is elbow deep in grease and grim, the next he is supposed to be escorting the Commandant through cadet holds for inspections. He has handled it with a light-hearted attitude, and although we still have a few weeks - I think he'll survive with his sanity.

The Cadet Chief Mate is kind of special - no really! He is Sean Baggett of Braintree, has a 4/C brother Liam aboard, and is the son of Sean Baggett of the Class of 1988. Called a legacy cadet - Sean has handled that without seeking special favors from faculty or staff that knew his Dad (unlike some legacy cadets that can drive us crazy!). Like the Cadet Chief, the Cadet Mate is in a thankless role in balancing the needs/wants of his fellow cadets - with the deck department needs of the ship. But Sean - a serious young man, has a reserved smile that comes out often - is all over the place fulfilling his tasks. We (the Deck Department) like his positive attitude, his tireless work ethic, and sometimes his strength. (He also prevailed as the Champion of the Battle of the Chiefs Jousting Match.)

Three great young people - but I must confess that there are hundreds more aboard this ship.

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