Friday, February 25, 2011

Captain's Blog 2/25/11

The T.S. Kennedy completed her eighth annual Sea Term from 2 January 2011 until 23 February 2011.

In summary the annual sea term was conducted without significant personnel or mechanical problems. The Kennedy sailed on 9 January 2011 and returned to Buzzards Bay on 20 February 2011. Of significant achievement to the cadets and crew, it should be noted that 596 cadets sailed, and all 596 returned, representing a very effective 99.3% lift. In one instance a cadet was discharged as a precaution to a health issue, but once cleared by his family physician, returned at a subsequent port and finished all academic requirements so as to earn credits. The Kennedy carried crew or 99, and including the change out of some observers, finished with 98.

The planned itinerary was fulfilled without incident, calling at the following ports:

  • Charleston, SC (bunkers) 12 January
  • Tampa, Florida (anchor drills) 15-17 January
  • Veracruz, Mexico (four hour wind delay) 21-25 January
  • Mayaquez, PR (anchor drills) 30-31 January
  • Bridgetown, Barbados 4-8 February
  • San Juan, PR 10-14 February
Total steaming distance was 7,947 nautical miles, burning 10,065 barrels of IFO 180 fuel. Slip averaged 6.7%, and the overall barrels per mile were 0.98. 3,589 tons of water was made utilizing all water makers. After purchasing 9,039 barrels of fuel, the ship returned to Buzzards Bay with 6039 barrels.
Significant achievements in vessel performance were noted:

  • Raytheon steering stand, tested on sea trial in September 2010, performed flawlessly;
  • Reverse osmosis water makers were extensively used, resulting in voiding our needs to purchase local water;
  • Black water holding tanks were utilized effectively, and after testing in Veracruz and Barbados, determined the ship could operate successfully for three full days in port with only minor operational constraints in water use; and
  • Bow Thruster problems noted in Barbados were successfully repaired by ship's engineering staff after departing San Juan, allowing full, uninterrupted use upon docking in Buzzards Bay.
The next voyage of the T.S. Kennedy will be the Orientation Mini-Cruise, due to sail on 31 August 2011. The next sea term will be in 2012, when cadets report on 3 January.

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