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Captain's Log

Text below Good morning, Followers – At 1700 this evening, the TS Kennedy is scheduled to enter the Panama Canal.  Back on campus at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and aboard the ship, cadets are expected to arrive in advance for classes, scheduled watches, and all appointments.  Today, the TS Kennedy must be punctual to guarantee our transit.  The TS Kennedy will establish radio contact with the Panama Canal Authority and report our position as we pass the East Breakwater.  The Port Entry Coordinator will confirm our position through either a visual sighting or radar.   Because of the high volume of ships waiting to transit the canal, it is important that we arrive at the…
Good morning, Followers, Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience participants are always watching out for me.  I have received a few emails from students who are worried that I may not be getting enough sleep.  When their teachers explained that the TS Kennedy does not drop anchor at night, these students became concerned that I am steering the ship both day and night.  Don’t worry! I am getting plenty of sleep.  At all times, there are cadets on Bridge watch, supervised by a crew member.  Because this is a training ship, cadets are given an opportunity to participate in all aspects of the navigation of the TS Kennedy.  My room is just one deck below the Bridge on the Cabin Deck. …
Good morning, Followers - The TS Kennedy is heading towards the Panama Canal. A recent email from a Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience participant asked if I carried a special license in my wallet to prove that I am a Captain.  When I am working on a ship, I am required to have my Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) with me.  This form of identification is much larger than a driver’s license and cannot be slipped into my wallet.  It is the size of a traditional passport and features the seal of the United States on the cover.  The MMC has a reddish-maroon cover to avoid any confusion with passports.  It is issued by the United States Coast Guard in accordance with the International…
Monday, January 20, 2020 Good morning, Followers – Yesterday was what we fondly call, Sunday At Sea.  Cadets enjoyed competitive game of Corn Hole, relaxed in the sunshine, and enjoyed a delicious Chartwells barbeque. As you know, Chartwells is the company that provides our dining services both back on campus, and here aboard the TS Kennedy.  It was amazing to see the time, effort, and enthusiasm that the Chartwells team puts into making this day extra special.  From set-up to clean-up, it was a monumental effort.  The cadets, crew, and I all appreciated the delicious food and friendly service. There were no classes –and no inspections.  Of course, cadets had to fulfil their watch…
Good morning, Followers - Today is the first day of what we call “Anchor Drills”.  1/C cadets will work in teams to raise and lower the anchor.  It is a very involved process. I will be on the Bridge to watch the drills and provide advice if needed.  I observe closely to assure that the cadets are safe at all times and that no damage is done to the ship.  As you know, safety is our number one priority here on the TS Kennedy.  If safety is not an issue, I will give the cadets an opportunity to work together to solve their own problems.  There is no point in me dictating every step.  The cadets are well-prepared for their anchor drills and are ready to apply their skills.  Have you been…
Thursday, January 16, 2020 Hello, Followers - I have had many emails asking if the cadets and crew of the TS Kennedy have ever had to shout, “Man overboard!”  Thankfully, they haven’t.  Also, throughout my long career at sea, I have never been working aboard a ship when a “Man overboard!” cry was necessary.  That said, our cadets and crew are well prepared should such an emergency occur on the TS Kennedy.  Every cadet knows how to react and respond.  The poster that accompanies this log is displayed on the Bridge.  It should answer many of the questions that you have asked about the steps that we would follow.  Back at the Academy, cadets majoring in Marine Transportation take a…
  Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Good morning, Followers - Calmer seas and warmer temperatures have our cadets and crew members smiling. A big thank you to the first grade class at Maple Avenue Elementary School in Goffstown, New Hampshire who emailed two outstanding drawings of the TS Kennedy to me.  Crew members who saw the drawings on my computer monitor commented on how accurately the students captured specific characteristics of our ship such as her striped smokestacks and bright orange lifeboats.  Two professors asked if they could take photos of the drawings so that they may share them with the cadets that they teach. After studying photographs of the TS Kennedy very closely…
  Good morning, Followers - While our many followers in the north have snow and ice in their weekend forecast, we will enjoy sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s during our anchoring drills off the coast of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.  A few classes have emailed to ask how my family enjoyed their sleepover on Friday night aboard the TS Kennedy.  I will ask that some be photos posted with this log.  You will see our visit to the Bridge, Kyrie and Christian’s asleep on the couch in my office, and Christian enjoying an early morning breakfast in the Mess Deck that is reserved for officers and crew.  I will also include photos of our good-bye on the pier.  My wife Joyce was the…
  Monday, January 13, 2020 Good morning, Followers! As I type this, the TS Kennedy is east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Thanks you to all of the parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, students, and teachers who turned out on Saturday morning to watch us depart Taylors Point.  The signs, banners, and balloons created a festive feeling on the unseasonably warm morning.  There were even costumed historical interpreters on the dock from Plimoth Plantation.  The cadets are getting use to not having cell service.  They texted and made last minute calls as the ship left the dock and headed into Buzzards Bay on Saturday.  Before long, we were too far from shore to receive…
  Saturday, January 11, 2020 Hello, Followers! I am up very early.  The excitement of Departure Day strikes everyone – even the Captain! Yesterday’s Fire & Boat /Security Drill with the United States Coast Guard went well.  The officers were very impressed with both our cadets and the safety of the ship.  They declared the TS Kennedy ready to depart. Today is a very special day - not only is it the day that the TS Kennedy departs for Sea Term 2020, it is also my daughter Kyrie’s twelfth birthday.  Our family celebrated last night in a very special way – with a family sleepover aboard the TS Kennedy.  After a birthday dinner at one of Kyrie’s favorite restaurants, we…