Tuesday, January 6, 2015

FTV Follow the Voyage with John


Hi, my name is John Albani and I am from Dedham, MA. Currently I am a senior cadet in the Marine Transportation Major. The Marine Transportation Major prepares me to pursue a career in shipping as a deck officer. Eventually, I'll make my way up the ranks and become a Captain, just like Captain Phillips in the movie! Did you know he was an MMA graduate? 

In addition to my studies, I am the Regimental Training and Retention Officer at Mass Maritime. As the Regimental Training officer, I am responsible for the making sure that all cadets are making a smooth transition to academic and academy life.

Since this year is my last voyage on the TS Kennedy, I will be taking classes, teaching freshman cadets, and even have a chance to sail the ship. My role as a senior cadet is to prepare the underclassmen to be confidant in their skills aboard the training ship. For the freshman (4Cs), this is their first time at sea! They have much to learn but they are all up to the challenge.

Over the course of our voyage I will be taking all of you along for the ride. You will hear all about our adventures and all the things we learn. I look forward to sharing our amazing journey with all of you. So batten down the hatches; it’s going to be a wild ride.  By the end of it all you will feel as though you were right there with us! Happy following and talk to you soon shipmates!

As a Marine Transportation Major John has received extensive theoretical education and practical training in navigation. Navigation is the art of getting from one place to another, safely and efficiently. Early navigators were able to use the sun and stars to find their location in the open ocean. However, it wasn't until the 1700’s, following a maritime disaster, that British Parliament offers £20,000 for the first reliable method of determining longitude on a ship at sea. It was self-taught clock-maker John Harrison who through careful observation and experimentation was able to use a clock, named a chronometer to accurately determine a ships longitude. The story of this remarkable navigator is told in the book “Longitude” by Dava Sobel, a must read for cadets as well as anyone who interested in life on the sea.

Here is a game to understand why it is that having a precise timepiece (also known as a chronometer) helps you determine your longitude? 

The search for longitude was a problem so complex that it challenged the best minds of its time. What is our great challenge today? We've asked leading scientists and engineers to share their views. Click here to find the answers. 

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