The T.S. Kennedy set sail today at 0924 under cloudy but warm conditions.
Loaded with 602 cadets and 101 officers and crew, we steamed down Buzzards Bay en-route to New Orleans for our first port visit.
The annual Sea Term at Massachusetts Maritime Academy is often called a cruise, but it is far from that. Our 602 cadets will work 12-hour days when at sea, as well as one full day while in port. Observers of our sea term often relate our experience only to the ports. “Where are you heading this year?” is often their first question. Although the port visits are important for numerous reasons such as dumping trash, loading fresh vegetables, adding fuel, it isn't our primary purpose. The sea days are our single most important function because we bring our cadets through valuable hands on experiences to supplement the theoretical education they received while on campus. Their studies are now a reality in a hands-on environment. Every cadet will gain experience in watch keeping, maintenance, and laboratory training while at sea.
As we head out to sea, the weather looks good. If all goes well we will escape the heavy seas of the North Atlantic east coast, and will slip into the warmer climes without too many sea sick cadets.
My thanks to Captain Howard McVay of Northeast Marine Pilots for an excellent complimentary pilotage job out of Buzzards Bay, and to McAllister Towing for the great tug assist.