Good morning, Followers -
The TS Kennedy is fueled up and bound for Taylor’s Point!
Does your teacher have a test scheduled for today? Back when I was in school, my teachers always seemed to planned tests and quizzes on Fridays. If you have a big test today, then you have something in common with just about every cadet aboard the TS Kennedy. That’s because today is Exam Day. Sometime between 0800 and 1600, almost every cadet will complete some type of written assessment. This week, our cadets have been busy reviewing their notes, checking in with professors, and meeting with fellow classmates so that they are as well-prepared as possible.
Tomorrow, we will be anchored in Cape Cod Bay at the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal. On board, we will be having Field Day. If the mention of Field Day has you picturing cadets enjoying sack races, relays, and tug-of-war, you’re wrong. Field Day aboard the TS Kennedy involves just one event - and it’s not something that you’ve ever had at your school Field Day. It’s cleaning! Yes, our cadets will be washing and scrubbing the ship from top to bottom. Most cadets manage to make the best of it. They recognize the importance of taking care of the ship and leaving it in the condition that it was in when they arrived. The TS Kennedy may be old, but we can still make her shine. The time often passes quickly as the cadets picture greeting their loved ones on Sunday, eating their favorite home cooked meals, and finally sleeping in their own bed.
We are looking forward to the welcome home signs that parents and friends create for our cadets. Each year, the signs seem to become bigger, brighter, and more creative. Unfortunately, the signs should probably be waterproof. There is a 100% chance of rain predicted for Buzzards Bay. The same was true last year!
The cadets will man the rails of the TS Kennedy as we transit the beautiful Cape Cod Canal. Anticipation will be high as the ship rounds the final bend and Massachusetts Maritime Academy comes into sight.
During our trip through the manmade canal, we will pass under three bridges - the Sagamore Bridge, the Bourne Bridge, and the Railroad Bridge. Both the Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge opened in June 1935. The two bridges have a ship clearance of 135 feet. The canal is just 480 feet wide so cadets will be able to easily recognize the faces of loved ones standing on the bank - and hear their shouts.
The Railroad Bridge, which also opened in 1935, is the final bridge that the TS Kennedy will pass under before finally reaching Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Cadets often see the Railroad Bridge raise and lower as they walk across campus or play football or lacrosse at Clean Harbors Stadium. The Railroad Bridge is the second longest lift bridge in the United States. By the time the TS Kennedy reaches the Railroad Bridge, cadets will be able to see the crowd of spectator, their signs, - and their umbrellas.
Sea Term does not end when the ship reaches the dock. All cadets will participate in the offload of supplies next week.
This is my final entry into my Captain’s Log for Sea Term 2019. Thank you for participating in Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience Program. The cadets could feel your support over the past seven weeks. Because of you, our cadets worked harder and stood taller – even on their most challenging days.
Whether you are six or ninety-six, I invite you to let me know what the Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience Program has meant to you. Whether you followed at school or at home, please let me know what you learned – and what inspired you. You may send the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a student, I hope to meet you when you’re a cadet aboard the TS Kennedy. Until then, I hope you will be right back here next year to be a part of Sea Term 2020.
Michael J. Campbell