Saturday, February 20, 2016

FTV A Quick Look Back

Hello Everyone!

As sea term comes to an end I would like to make one last blog post to wrap everything up. It has been an incredible 52 days at sea, stopping in Panama City, Costa Rica, Aruba, and Key West. The ship went through the Panama Canal twice and even stopped off the coast of Haiti to drop off supplies and meet the ambassador.

We have done so much in these 52 days, whether it be training in class rooms, maintenance on deck and in the engine room, or standing watch. Everyone is coming back with more knowledge  than they had when they left Buzzards Bay 6 weeks ago. Some might think that SeaTerm is all fun and games, but if you have been following our voyage you can see it is most certainly not. All of the cadets,
faculty, and crew work extremely hard at what they do and I commend them for all of it.
Starting with our two week sail down to the coast of Puerto Rico where we did anchoring drills for several days for all of the senior marine transportation cadets to practice as well as all of the marine engineering cadets who assisted from the engine room practice this skill. While seniors were doing this sophomores and freshmen went about their average days, until our Sunday at sea came along and we got to have a little fun!
Boat Drills are practiced as part of the Cadets daily Routine 
We hauled our anchor that day and started making our way off the coast of Ile Vache, Haiti where we were able to meet a few other Mass Maritime cadets who had organized an outreach program where students donated goods. We loaded their skiffs with 16 pallets of humanitarian aid goods and we were even able to meet the US Ambassador to Haiti.
Night Passage through the Panama Canal
After Ile Vache we cruised farther south to go through the Panama Canal! A once in a life time experience for many. Through this 8 hour transit we ended up in the Pacific ocean to our first port of call Panama City.

The Bridge of the Americas Panama City
We spent three days in Panama City where cadets were able to venture through the old city, the new city, and even take part in an eco-boat tour of the canal. Once our three days was up we we headed through the Pacific to Punatrenas, Costa Rica! During the three days in Costa Rica cadets went white water rafting, zip lining, and hit some black sand beaches. Some even hiked in the rainforest to see waterfalls and sloths.
Zip Lining in Costa Rica
A week later we were in Aruba, by far one of my favorite ports. We were able to travel around the island by ATVs, UTVs, and mopeds. Students saw the tourist side and the national park side of
Aruba, where there were natural pools, the natural bridge, and so many more sites. We finished our port visit up on Sunday seeing the Carnival parade which everyone enjoyed.
Aruba Natural Bridge

From Aruba we headed towards home with a stop in Key West Florida. It was the first time the Kennedy has stopped in Key West, but by the success of the visit it probably won't be the last.  On Key West mopeds again were popular, as well as shopping. There were many sites to see like the farthest point south in the Continental US buoy and the Hemingway house and the butterfly conservatory.
Key West a Cadet Port favorite
During this last week the cadets had their final exams day which went well for all of the cadets and leaving everyone happy it is over with. Now we are back to Massachusetts, docked off the coast and watching the weather to avoid storms which we have been lucky to have avoided so far.

Today is what we call Field Day, although not as fun as it sounds because we spend one day of cleaning the ship. We will remain anchored here off the coast of Cape Cod waiting until the pilot ship joins us around 0630 Sunday morning to complete our return to Taylor's point. You will be able to see us manning the rails at the canal entrance around 0730,and then docking at MMA at 0836.    

Once again thank you everyone for reading the blog on the 2016 SeaTerm. I really enjoyed writing for everyone at home and I hope you enjoyed it! For the last time or should I say . . .

Until Next time,

Our cadets are preparing their futures in STEM Careers, if you have become interested in STEM studies try these:

Choosing a STEM Career

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