Sunday, February 5, 2012

Admiral's Blog 2/5/12

"A wonderful time was had by all!"

Last evening the Kennedy hosted a reception aboard for local officials, MMA graduates, and senior administrative officers from the Universidad Maritimo Internacional de Panama (UMIP - the maritime academy of Panama). In addition many of the same MMA graduates we saw at the party we enjoyed last Friday evening at the Spanish fort in the old section of Panama City, many Americans from the US Embassy staff visited the ship including the Deputy Chief of Mission, the US Naval Attache and the US Coast Guard liaison. Shipping company officers stationed in Panama for Evergreen and China Ocean Shipping were in attendance, as well as port operations folks from the thriving container business here. And the Operations Chief from Authoridad de Panama Canal was present, rubbing elbows with all the canal pilots that work under his direction.

 All in all there were 165 people at the reception, this included many of the ship's officers and a large contingent of the cadet officers. We even saw some of our own students that have been studying at UMIP on an exchange program. As the evening played out, a proposal came from a Marine Transportation professor asking if we could carry some UMIP cadets on our transit - of course - all the people that needed to approve such a passage for the cadets were present - and it was done. So tomorrow when CAPT Bushy takes the Kennedy off the dock, seven Panamanian cadets will be on the bridge with him.

So the details of the Kennedy transit tomorrow have been established - laying alongside the dock until 1400 hours, then getting underway and heading north. By that time I will be nearing Logan International Airport - going back the cold northern climates once again. I have had a wonderful time visiting the cadets and crew - as well as all the alumni. Witnessing the excitement aboard while on the sea term is truly a gift. The cadets are upbeat as they are learning the practical aspects of their future careers, and the staff are relentless in the pursuit of proper training and safety standards. And the food is awesome too. I'll go back knowing in a few short weeks the tanned faces lining the rails as Kennedy will have had the adventure of a lifetime, and I'm glad I could share in that.

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