Here's our PHOTO OF THE DAY: Three 4/C cadets get their first glimpse of Columbia after twelve days at sea.
Arriving in Cartagena, Colombia
This morning at 0800 we started the docking process in Cartagena. I was on the stern to watch the entire process unfold. 3rd Mate, Arthur Levine was the Officer In Charge and 1/C Matthew Vachereau (North Adams, MA) was the senior giving commands. I was standing by the winch which is the large machine used to tighten the lines. 1/C Carter Mclendon (North Falmouth) was running the winch and explaining what was going on.
I was pretty confused as to what was going on so I was mostly standing in the back by Carter. It was interesting to see how well everyone worked together and how smoothly it went. I learned about bits, chocks, messenger lines, and heaving lines.
Bits are the big steel poles that stick up from the deck and have lines wrapped around them.
Chocks are what the line goes through, kind of like a window because you can see through them to the other side.
Messenger lines are the smaller ropes connected via knots to the bigger lines that actually tie up the ship.
Lastly, heaving lines are lines thrown to people on the dock so they can start to slowly guide the ship to the proper spot.
Check out this brief article, "Cleats, Chocks, Bits, And Bollards: Securing Your Vessel"
1/C Griffin Hunt (Plymouth, MA) taught a 4/C how to tie a stopper. A stopper, also called a stopper knot, creates a fixed thicker point on an otherwise uniform thickness rope for the purpose of stopping the line from slipping out a narrow passage.
Can you tie a stopper like Cadet Hunt?
Grab a piece of rope, string, or even yarn and give it a try!
This video is slow and very easy to follow.
After everything was completed, I talked to 2/C Ross Killion (North Attleboro) because he said this was his favorite part of sea term. Killion explained that this was his favorite because it’s the most rewarding part. “Once you tie up and finish the mooring process, you’re done, you’ve made it to port and now you can relax.”
Everyone is excited to finally be in Colombia and can’t wait to enjoy the warm weather.
Pre-Port Brief & State Department Brief
Last night we had a pre-port briefing where Captain Rozak, Dr. Cukor, LCDR Pinero and Cruise Commander 1/C Dan Haun (Forestdale, MA) also spoke. Captain Rozak was giving more of a security brief and warnings about coming back to the ship late. Dr. Cukor talked about medical issues that could come up such as heat stroke and dehydration.
LCDR Pinero gave us a quick history of Colombia and a short Spanish lesson. We learned that the Spanish alphabet was 28 letters, not 26 like ours!
Can you sing the alphabet songs using the Spanish pronunciation? Don't forget the two additional letters?
Lastly, Dan Haun talked about how well cruise has gone so far. Everyone on the ship has been impressed with performances from all classes.
This morning, we were given a quick brief from members of the US Embassy in Colombia. They told us about our city limits due to the crime that has happened. We were briefed on certain safety aspects like keeping our passport on the ship and not with us. Overall, I feel that everyone that spoke had a good point to make and I know I feel a lot safer now then I did before.
Captain Brady has arranged for MMA cadets to play a quick soccer came against the Colombian Naval Academy tomorrow. Cadets have been signing up and excited for the chance to play against new opponents. Everyone is hoping for a win, so keep your fingers crossed!