Sunday, February 21, 2016

CAPTAIN’S LOG – 21 February 2016

We entered the Cape Cod Canal this morning at 0700 under the guidance of our marine pilot, Captain Dale Harper (MMA ’02) of Northeast Marine Pilots.  As we entered the canal the well-wishing family and friends were stoically waiting on the Scusett Beach breakwater, then all along the canal.

With decks decorated with hundreds of cadets in their black uniforms, we meandered through, alternating between half and slow ahead, until we met our McAllister tugs near the railroad bridge. All the way through I was allowing the whip’s whistle to be sounded – usually by cadets on bridge watch, but also by employees that normally are nowhere near the bridge in their normal duties. The whistle is fun, and it elicits great excitement by folks along the canal – I am sure they all think the blast is for each of them – but from our perspective, up there 65 feet in the air, we can see a lot more people to welcome.

We slipped into our berth about 15 minutes before the scheduled time – I don’t think the cadets or parents were upset by that. Captain Howard McVay (MMA ’78) did the docking, assisted by two McAllister tugs. The docking was very smooth, and we had the gangway down well before all the lines were run and on the bitts. We allowed the five cadets that had won “first off” privileges down, soon followed by thongs of cadets and crew.

So, I have to admit that this is my last docking from an annual SeaTerm – I know I’ve a few more over the summer, but the excitement of the sea term completion is hard to replicate when we come in from Boston or the OMC. It was fun – and highlighted by having my four grandchildren come aboard to hang out while I finished my last duties.

So, my congratulations to the 588 cadets that finished the sea term – I know they learned a great deal, and had an experience they will never forget. And for the 102 members of the crew – thank you! Everybody knows that the Captain gets a lot of back slaps, but it is the crew that make the voyage a success.

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