Saturday, February 12, 2011

Captain's Blog 2/12/11

Today we are hosting nearly 150 high school students from San Juan aboard the ship. This is not an unusual effort on the part of the Academy's admissions department, as we often do this in our Florida port if we go there. But the effort here in San Juan will present a higher ratio of potential cadets of ethnic diversity and minorities.

As a prelude to the tours today we had the pleasure of the Honorable Jorge Santini, the Mayor of San Juan, joining us for lunch. Also included was the Deputy Maritime Administrator from Washington DC, Mr. Orlando Gutay; and from the US Coast Guard Sector San Juan - Captain Marc Stegman, Deputy Sector Commander and CDR David Berliner (MMA 1991), the Chief of Prevention Operations; and our dear friend here in San Juan, Mr. Paul Simpson, graduate of MMA in 1960- a local marine salvage expert. These gentlemen joined about six officers and six cadets for lively discussions on a broad range of topics from education to homeland security. We had a wonderful time, and it was certainly worthwhile for us to meet one another and exchange our ideas - not to mention to showcase Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

I would be remiss in mentioning that two of our cadets, 3/C Gabriel Bermudez and 4/C Jonathan Aponte, have been willing participants in the luncheon and serving as tour guides. They have represented their island very well. Thanks to them both!

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