PHOTO OF THE DAY
Farewell, TS Kennedy...Hello, Future! The next two days will be bittersweet for these 1/C Marine Transportation majors. They are just one semester away from graduation and a career at sea. As excited as they are to take the first step towards their future, it's tough to say goodbye to the TS Kennedy. After three Sea Terms and many hours of classes on board, they know the ship like the back of their hand. Savor the forty-eight hours, cadets!
Answers To 1st Grader's Questions
I was in the library today wehn 4/C Chase Artzerounnian (Columbia, CT) brought me some questions from a very special 1st grade class back home. These curious followers wanted to know what there was to do for fun on the ship. Some of the things cadets like to do are play games in the Mess Deck, read books out on the Helo deck, watch movies with friends, or simply take a nap! During the day, if cadets have free time, you’ll find them reading or sunbathing. At night, it is mostly games and movies.
Playing Battle Ship on a Training Ship! What could be better?
The next questions the class asked had to deal with storms and what happens if we have to sail through a storm or deal with strong winds? Depending on how strong the winds are, the Captain would most likely decide to alter our course or ride it out.
They asked if we work with any animals. While I wish we did, we don’t. The closest we get to working with animals is when we see them while we’re on the ship. For instance, a couple of cadets saw dolphins off the bow the other day and a few have seen whales. But because we’re on the ship, we can’t work with them.
The next questions were about how we choose our ports we visit. In order to visit a port, the school sends all cadets an email that contains a survey, so cadets actually get a small say in where we go! Once the votes are in, MMA submits the proposal to MARAD which is the United States Maritime Administration. MARAD will either approve or deny our request based on security, international relations, and other factors. Then MARAD’s decision is sent to the State Department so they can also approve it. Once everyone is in agreement, the school can send out the results to cadets!
Meet Mate Ed Vacha
It seems to be a pattern that people who graduate from MMA return years later as faculty. Ed Vacha is no exception.
“I came to Mass. Maritime because it was a better opportunity than going to a regular school and because I wanted to see the world. You can’t see the world from an office.”
As a graduate of MMA with a Marine Transportation degree, Vacha shipped out with both Maersk Lines and MSC Global Container Shipping Company.
Click on the link to learn more about Maersk Lines.
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Click on the link to learn about Mediterranean Shipping Company - Global Container Shipping Company
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Research vessels were his favorite type of vessels “I liked the research vessels because there were always scientists, experiments, robots and equipment. It was all very exciting.”
After shipping out for a few years, Mate Vacha slowly found his way back at MMA as a teacher in the Marine Transportation department. “I honestly like being close to home but more than that, I like to pass on what I learned to the next generation. Leave your legacy behind right?”
Out of the twelve Sea Terms he’s been on, four of those as a cadet himself, he has two favorite ports. His favorite port within the United States is Key West but his all-time favorite is Barbados. “I love to go to the beach and the beaches in Barbados are beautiful.”
Teaching is his passion, which is obvious in his classes. That also explains why his favorite part of Sea Term is teaching the classes. Today, his class was learning about firefighting and simulating a fire drill. “The hardest part of teaching on Sea Term is getting students motivated at the end of Sea Term. Especially now, when there are only two days of Sea Term left.”
With a few days left on Sea Term, everyone is antsy to get home. Mate Vacha told me that he was excited to get home and take a 45-minute shower and cook his own dinners. “I think Chartwells has done a great job and the food is definitely better than it was when I was a cadet, but I miss cooking my own dinners. Towards the end of Sea Term, everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel so everyone is upbeat and happy to get off. Saturday will be the hardest day out of all of Sea Term because we’ll be able to see home but we won’t be able to get off the ship.”
You can tell that Mate Vache cares about the Academy, his students, and getting off the ship!
Rumor has it that Mate Vache began planning his career at sea the moment he wore this sailor suit as a child.
A “Revolution-ary" Day
Cars have odometers to track miles, just like the shaft in the engine room has the shaft counter to count revolutions of the propeller. Usually, when cars reach 100,000 miles, it’s a milestone. Today, the shaft counter hit a milestone of its own.
The shaft counter reached 10,000,000 rotations.
You’ve read that correctly – TEN MILLION!
Once the counter reaches ten million, it resets itself back to 0. This happens once every eight to ten years, so it was kind of a big deal. Cadets standing the 0000-0400 watch noticed the change would happen once they took the shaft counter reading during their rounds. Not wanting to miss this milestone, cadets waited an extra twenty minutes after their watch ended. This meant that a total of probably twenty to thirty cadets were standing in the small space that is called Shaft Alley just to watch this.
In honor of this milestone, take a trip down narrow Shaft Alley aboard the TS Kennedy.
You could say it was a bonding moment for the 0000-0400 and 0400-0800 watches. The next time that this “revolution”ary milestone takes place, these cadets will be out in the industry making MMA proud.
TODAY ON THE TS KENNEDY...
"Please don't ask me to load the dishwasher when I get home!"
You can tell that it is time to come home. Cadets are beginning to play pranks. "Please behave, cadets! Just two more days!"