Many cadets are returning home with small surprises for their loved ones.
Tucked away in overstuffed sea bags, are t-shirts, jewelry, artwork, and crafts from Balboa, Panama, Golfito, Costa Rica, Willemstad, Curacao,and Tampa, Florida. Making room for the souvenirs is a big challenge. Some cadets have decided to throw away a few pieces of clothing to make room for their purchases. Others have donated a few books to the ship's library in hopes of securing a little bit of space.
If our cadets had been returning from sea between 1830 and 1880, they would be trying to squeeze a Sailor's Valentine into their bags.
Are you thinking that a Sailor's Valentine was only given by sailors returning home around February fourteenth? Think again!
These beautiful boxes featuring intricate shell patterns were a special token of love presented on any day of the year. Although a dishonest sailor or two may have tried to say that made their gifts aboard ship, most admitted that the Sailor's Valentines had purchased the masterpieces on a tropical islands during their voyage.
Second grade students at Deep River Elementary School in Deep River, Connecticut applied a wide variety of mathematics skills as they created their own Sailor's Valentines.
While their classmates were making their Sailor's Valentines, two students chose to draw the cruise ships that were in port with the TS Kennedy. This is another souvenir that a sailor might have brought home in the 1880s. Although our cadets have the luxury of taking photos and selfies with their phones, old-time sailors would draw what they saw..
Thanks, second graders! Captain Campbell and the cadets have enjoyed seeing photos of your work.