Saturday, January 12, 2019
I am up early. The excitement of Departure Day strikes everyone – even the Captain!
Yesterday’s Fire & Boat /Security Drill be the United States Coast Guard went well. The officers were very impressed with both our cadets and the safety of the ship and declared the TS Kennedy ready to depart.
Yesterday, I was handed an email from a sixteen year-old sophomore from Bourne, Massachusetts. She is currently taking online classes with the goal to get ahead of her grade before returning to Bourne High School for her senior year. She plans to apply to Massachusetts Maritime Academy, early decision.
She had two questions for me:
1. What is your favorite part of being a Captain? It is difficult for me to narrow it down to just one thing. I love being out on the ocean. I not only appreciate its beauty and the peace that it offers, but also the challenges that it brings each day. Something else that I enjoy is that my job of a Captain is ever-changing. No two days are alike.
Here on the TS Kennedy, I have the opportunity to play a role in the training of cadets. It is a privilege to see the cadets grow and change during their time at the Academy. They may have climbed aboard the ship for their first Sea Term as nervous, 4/C cadets with a lot to learn, but our 1/C cadets will return from Sea Term 2019 as confident, skilled, mariners who are more than ready to enter the industry.
2. What is the most difficult part of being a Captain? Saying good-bye to my wife, young son and two young daughters is probably the most difficult part of my job. My two youngest children will celebrate their birthdays while I am at sea. I know that my family wishes that they could come along with me and escape the cold Rhode Island winter. I’ve read that on English sailing ships, it was common to have a Captain bring his wife and children along for the voyage, and allow his officers to do the same. I am sure that my family wishes those rules applied here on the TS Kennedy.
I want to wish this young lady good luck! It will be an honor to welcome her aboard the TS Kennedy in two or three years!
Before I close, I have a bit of advice to our 4/C cadets embarking on their first Sea Term. Please remember that you’re new. Listen carefully to everything that is being said. Please be open minded. For example, if you are a Marine Engineering major, please learn as much as you can about the Marine Transportation side.
Of course, I have advice to share with our 1/C cadets taking part in their final Sea Term. Remember that you’re almost there! Please make teaching the underclassmen a top priority. When you take the time to share your knowledge, you cement everything you know to memory. That’s right – as you help younger cadets, you are helping yourself as well. If there’s anything that you’re unsure of, don’t hesitate to ask. This is your last chance. After Sea Term 2019 comes to a close, the next time that you’re on a ship, you’ll be working. People will expect you to know what you’re doing.
Well, it's time to do a few pre-departure tasks!
Thank you very much for participating in Follow The Voyage - Share The Experience and supporting our cadets.
Captain Michael J. Campbell
Thanks to Mrs. Parker's 3rd and 4th grade students at South Shore Charter School in Norwell, Massachusetts. What is extra special is that they were delivered to the ship by her son, 4/C Max Parker, who will be joining us for Sea Term 2019. I appreciate their drawings and questions. I have added the questions to my pile and hope to get to them soon.