Photos Of The Day
When you can't make up your mind...you pick TWO. That's right, TWO Photos Of The Day! Photo # 1 shows 1/C Colin Barron (Johnstown, PA), 1/C Ian Chester (Rockland, MA), 1/C Alan Provost (Monson, MA), and 1/C James Scanlon (Braintree, MA) soaking up the sun on Sunday At Sea.
Photo # 2 shows cadet cheering on the Patriots to victory in the Mess Deck. Priceless!
Humanitarian Aid in Haiti
At 0800 this morning, the work to bring humanitarian aid to Haiti had started. In the eight hours we worked, we unloaded roughly forty-four pallets. These pallets contained everything from protein powder, solar panels, school desks, and diapers.
2/C Mikayla Bradford (Marlborough, MA) was the Emergency Management cadet that came aboard the Kennedy from Ile a Vache, Haiti to oversee the transfer of these pallets.
Cadet Bradford consults with First Mate Melissa Turner during the offloading of supplies.
We had six smaller boats that transported the items from the Kennedy to the island.
The team I was working with was made up of mostly sophomores. This was surprising to me because this was a huge project that was run by only 3/C cadets. 3/C CJ Burt (Plymouth, MA), Thomas Belisle (Canton, MA), Lucan Shanahan (Marshfield, MA), Ian Britt (Hernando, FL), Riordan Ciccu (Boynton Beach, FL), Manuel Jaen Cortes (Panama), James Reilly (Vero Beach, FL), and Beatriz Martins (Milford, CT) facilitated the transfer from the pallets out of 2-hold to the deck. About six hours into the job, we were joined by 1/C Dan Doherty (Bourne, MA) and 3/C Chloe Plank (Nantuckett, MA). These two gave a much needed break to two of the cadets that were with us. Bosun Tom Tucker, was also with us making sure that everyone was being safe.
The process to move even just one pallet is extremely painstaking. Every item we had stored was already on pallets, but they were impossible to get to. We used a pallet jack to move pallets out of our way and to the spot where we would hoist them up via crane. Once in the correct spot, we would place another pallet on top and then the straps. Two straps would be attached under the pallet to lift it from the bottom while two more straps were on top to keep everything together.
There are two ways to connect all four straps, either using a basket method or a choking method. The basket method means that you feed the top straps through the eyes of the bottom two. Choking method is just the opposite. You feed the bottom straps through the eyes of the top straps.
This orange warning tag explains the difference between the choking method and the basking method.
When these are all set, you attach the tag lines. Tag lines are just ropes that are tied on by bowline knots. These ropes are held by cadets that help ensure the pallet does not crash into the side of the wall or tip over. The next step is to physically bring the pallet up to the main deck to be transferred to the waiting boat below. When the straps are connected, the Bosun would call to the 1/C waiting above the hold. The 1/C would then repeat the directions and add hand signals. There was another 1/C waiting by the crane operator, this cadet would repeat the hand signals for the operator to see. The actual process of hoisting the pallet can be tricky because the directions can be easily confused.
Operating the Crane
If you look at the bow of the Kennedy, you notice two booms. These two booms are part of the large crane we use. This morning when we were beginning to offload all of our supply, we hoisted the two booms and connected the large yellow hook. The hook is what connects to the straps on the pallets to lift the objects up. While I was observing the crane operation this morning, 1/C Kenny Keyes (Orleans, MA) was the operator. Rather than looking at what he as lifting, he had to pay attention to 1/C Daniel Haun (Forestdale, MA) who was giving the hand signals. One of the booms is called port and the other starboard. This correlates to hand signals because one of your hands is representing the port side and other is starboard. 1/C Keyes had to pay attention because if he confused port and starboard, there would be some issues down in 2-hold.
The cadet had prepared the pallet for hoisting. They were proud to know that their work would directly help the people of Haiti.
Another important job of operating the crane is the job of manual levelwinder. Most modern day ships have mechanical levelwinders that automatically roll the steel rope back into place, but the Kennedy does not. What we do have are crowbars. Two cadets are tasked with holding the crowbar onto the levelwinder to ensure that the rope does not roll up on itself. While seeming like a simple job, it is very important. If the steel rope had curled up on itself, we would have had to stop the entire process and fix it. Fixing this could take hours that we did not have.
Sunday at Sea Aftermath and Chartwells Information
I sat down with two of Chartwells finest, Tom Leclair and Johnny Norcross. Tom is the Service Manager and Johnny is the Sous Chef. They filled me in on how much food was cooked for Sunday at Sea and I could not believe it. There were 800 hand-cut steaks, 1,200 burgers, 400 hotdogs, 320 sausages, and 63 gallons of ice cream. I’m still in shock that 600 cadets were able to finish all of that food. I learned a little more about exactly how much food is onboard. During onload week, cadets loaded 550 cases of milk. Each case had 5 gallons of milk for a grand total of 2,750 gallons. We have 90 cases of shelled eggs for a total of 1,350 eggs. Everyday, Chartwells goes through 4 cases of scrambled eggs. For this reason alone, they brought about 750 gallons of liquid eggs. Cadets at MMA know of the famed Chicken Patty Tuesday and lucky for us, this tradition is continued on Sea Term. Throughout Sea Term, 8,400 chicken patties will be consumed. One of my personal favorite foods is apples, of which we have 11,520 onboard. As far as drinks are concerned, one of the most popular is the Brisk Iced Tea. They bring 25 boxes that each contain 3 gallons of syrup. This comes out to 11,250 cups of Iced Tea. While in Ports, the crew will visit local markets to obtain fresh local produce.
While there are full-time Chartwells workers aboard, there are also a lot of cadets working for Chartwells as well. Tom Leclair and Johnny Norcross were filled with pride when they talked about this year’s cadets. They mentioned that this was the best group of cadets they could have brought onboard and they were happy with everyone’s work ethic. Tom had said that the entire crew was off to a rocky start when two employees were not available for Sea Term. This meant that instead of a full crew of thirty-one people, they were down to twenty-nine of which ten or eleven were new to serving aboard a ship. That caused hours to be switched around and more training to take place, but he said everyone was very flexible. The Chartwells staff are critical to success of Sea Term. I’m sure any cadet or crew member would agree!
Here are two key members of the Chartwell's Dream Team -Tom (wearing pink) and Johnny (wearing yellow). Their delicious meals served with a smile serves to motivate and comfort cadets throughout Sea Term.
Johnny worked his Chartwells magic for the Sunday at Sea evening meal. Steak! Quite a treat!
Cadets from TAMMA enjoyed their Sunday At Sea.
1/C Derek Nedell (Taunton, MA), 3/C Max Fratasio (Pembroke, MA), and 3/C Jared Salmon (Salisbury, MA) took time to relax and enjoy the sunset.
Fishing Aboard The T.S.Kennedy
For the past few years, Sous chef, Johnny Norcross has had a tradition cadets often look forward to. When a cadet catches a fish, they have to clean it and then Johnny is able to work his magic and cook it. Most cadets take advantage of this and as a result, there are always trolling lines off the Kennedy’s stern. Trolling is a type of fishing where you leave a line trailing behind you with a lure and then check it every once in a while. Just yesterday, there were eight lines being tended to. Johnny was telling me that a few years ago during Sunday at Sea, a cadet had caught a Mahi-Mahi and was eating it no more than six minutes later. When cadets or crew rent charter boats while in port, Chartwells offers to freeze some of the catch if they want to bring it home. One thing that they have seen when cadets come back from charters, is that they often choose to do a sampling of the fish rather than keep it for themselves. Once the fish is cooked, they tell Chartwells to cut it up into smaller pieces so that other cadets can try it. Johnny said this is how he tasted different types of fish like barracuda and Mahi-Mahi.
Cadets Aboard The TS Kennedy Offer A Few Shout Outs To Our Followers...
3/C CJ Burt (Plymouth, MA) sends a hello to students following from West Elementary School, the Plymouth Public Library, Nathaniel Morton Elementary School and Indian Brook Elementary School in his hometown. Lucan Shanahan (Marshfield, MA) is sending Caribbean sunshine to Daniel Webster School and Furnace Brook School back home in Marshfield, Both Ian Britt (Hernando, FL), Riordan Ciccu (Boynton Beach, FL),and James Reilly (Vero Beach, FL) send a trio of Florida high-fives (a high-fifteen) to Sebastian Elementary School, Sebastian High School, and the Ocean Studies Charter School – all following from the Sunshine State. Beatriz Martins (Milford, CT) is hoping that the followers from Connecticut are working as hard as she is on the TS Kennedy. Crane operator 1/C Kenny Keyes (Orleans, MA) hoists a big hello to Orleans Elementary School and Nauset Regional Middle School. 1/C Daniel Haun (Forestdale, MA) is proud of the hardworking 5th graders following from Oakridge Elementary School in Sandwich. Ahoy to the four schools following from Pennsylvania from 1/C Colin Barron (Johnstown, PA). 1/C Ian Chester (Rockland, MA) wants to thank the students following from Rogers Middle School and Holy Family School in his hometown. 1/C James Scanlon (Braintree, MA) hopes that some of the students following at Braintree Middle School in Braintree will follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in Marine Transportation. He highly recommends it! 1/C Derek Nedell (Taunton, MA) sends thanks to the students at Friedman Middle School who are following from his hometown, 3/C Max Fratasio (Pembroke, MA) is grateful to Pembroke followers from Hobomock Elementary School and North Pembroke Elementary School...the cadets from TAMMA send a big hello back Texas and to all of the schools that are following their Sea Term on the TS Kennedy.