Starting at 0800 this morning cadets were granted on campus liberty to spend time with family and friends before the ship departed. The Mess Deck and Fantail were filled with loved ones as everyone tried to navigate through the crowds. Since this was the last time we would be on land before stepping foot in Barbados, there were Dunkin Donuts cups all over the place as well as bags of snacks for cadets to bring back on the ship. My own family brought me some snacks and a few items I forgot yet again at home. Around 1150 there was a mass migration to the ship and around 1200 liberty had ended.
At 1230 there was a sailing muster to make sure everyone was accounted for and then manning the rails began. Since it was so cold out and everyone was bundled up, most parents had signs to help their cadet see them easier. My mom wore her famous blue scarf that she wore last year and it was easy to point her out from where I was standing. Some people were already outside waiting for the ship to leave but they didn’t realize there was at least an hour to go!
Sara was watching her mom's blue scarf from the deck of the TS Kennedy, her mom was watching Sara's blue hat from the dock. Sara's mom said, "I am following the blue dot. There's Sara!" And she was right...in a sea of red and green hardhats, there was Sar's blue hat shining like a beacon.
I wish that I had taken a photo of Sara's mom in her blue scarf. She is so proud to have her daughter blogging for FTV-STX for the second year. Thanks for sharing Sara with over 12,000 followers. We love her!
Removing the Gangway
Once the gangway was removed via crane, the reality hit everyone that this is our new home for the next few weeks. There was the occasional “is it too late to get off” joke and some actual tears from other cadets. Regardless, we were all happy to finally get underway. The Pilot was on board and the mooring lines were off. At 1338 we started moving away from the pier and waving goodbye.
First Meal at Sea
Throughout alongside week cadets were permitted to wear boiler suits during meals. Since we are underway, dinner is our first meal at sea meaning it is the first meal cadets are required to wear their Classroom Black Uniforms.
COMCAD members started off setting a strong precedent by politely asking kids to leave the mess deck and change. It was an adjustment. Wearing a boiler suit to meals meant you could be comfortable and warm but now having to wear the Classroom blacks is a little different. Chartwells had a nice warm meal to make cadets feel at home so that was a benefit.
Since we are no longer at the pier the ship has started to slowly rock just a little. You can really feel it down in the holds and a few kids are already facing seasickness. Tomorrow we are supposed to hit some rough weather so we will really see how it affects everyone. I think I’m just going to follow suit and head to bed early like some of the other girls!