Captain's Log: Monday, February 10, 2020

Submitted by Campbell on Mon, 02/10/2020 - 05:00
fuel tank on hill
fuel nozzle on deck of ship


Good morning, Followers -

The TS Kennedy is bound for Tampa, Florida, our final port of call.  This will be the third visit to Tampa for our ship.   Tampa was the final port of call during Sea Term 2009 and Sea Term 2018. 

Although Massachusetts is the TS Kennedy’s homeport, arriving in Florida often feels like “coming home” to all of us.  This is because of the strong ties that Massachusetts Maritime Academy has to the Sunshine State.  Many MMA alumni live there and continue to be generous supporters of the Academy, in spite of the distance between us. 

We are also proud to say that many of the cadets aboard the TS Kennedy call Florida home.  Cruising with us are cadets from Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach, Riverview, Green Cove Springs, Davie, Ponte Vedra Beach, Panama City, Tavernier, Vero Beach, Indialantic, Key Largo, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Sarasota, and Tampa.  I certainly hope that I didn’t miss any hometowns. We are thrilled that several high school students from Florida have already committed to Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Class of 2024.

While in Curacao, some bunkering took place.  That means that the TS Kennedy took on fuel.  The term bunkering dates back to a time when ships were powered by coal.  The coal was stored in bunkers. 

It was a long process – much longer than when your mom, dad, or grandparent make a quick stop at a gas station to fill up their car with gasoline.  From start to finish, the bunkering lasted about five hours.  In that time, approximately 60,000 gallons of fuel were added to our tanks.  For a comparison, ask an adult to tell you the gasoline tank capacity of their car, truck, van, or bus. 

The fuel was stored in a large tank perched at the top of a nearby hill.  Gravity allowed the fuel to flow down the hill through underground pipes to the machine on the dock.  The fuel was then pumped onto the TS Kennedy.  You can see the hose that leads to the ship.  Both cadets and crew were on watch throughout the process to make sure that every possible safety measure was followed.  I will ask that a few photos of the bunkering process be included with this log. 

I am anticipating that the TS Kennedy may be rocking a bit more than usual today and tomorrow as we will have a following sea.  This means that the ocean waves will be flowing in the same direction that the TS Kennedy is heading.  The opposite of a following sea is a head sea, meaning that the waves are flowing towards the ship.  In this case the waves hit the bow first.  I overheard the ship’s Chief Engineer, Scott DePersis, mentioning the positive side of a following sea to a group of 4/C cadets.  He explained that the the ship will use less fuel when it is getting pushed ahead by the waves.  As you know, this is a training cruise.  It is important that our cadets gain experience working aboard a ship in every type of weather.  This will be a great learning experience.

Thank you for following our cadets.  Everyone aboard the TS Kennedy appreciates your support.

Captain Michael J. Campbell


fuel machine on dock
fuel machine on dock