I cannot begin to thank Blogger Sara enough for her enthusiasm, creativity, hard work, and willingness to try just about everything during Sea Term 2018. Her daily blogs informed, entertained, and inspired each and every Follow The Voyage - Share The Experience participant from kindergarten through high school.
Sara has been a pleasure to work with. I looked forward to hearing from her every evening. I am sure that I will find myself checking my watch this week and wondering why there aren't seven, eight, or more new emails from the TS Kennedy filling my In-Box at around 8:00 PM. Yes, it took that many emails to create just one blog post. Often only a single photograph could be emailed at one time!
I am hopeful that the "Franks-Merzon Dream Team" will be reunited to bring you Follow The Voyage - Share The Experience 2019.
Thank you, Sara! You rocked Sea Term 2018! You will be missed by your thousands of followers - and me!
Nancy A. Franks, Follow The Voyage - Share The Experience Coordinator
It looks like Big Buc & Little Buc have something to say to Sara!
Thanks for being our closest friend aboard the TS Kennedy. Each time we passed you, you were trying something new, but there was one thing that was always the same - you were smiling. Your smile lit up every deck of the TS Kennedy.
Although we worried about you when you were welding, needle-gunning, and being carried on a stretcher, we were also very proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone.
We have heard rumors that you will be back next year for Sea Term 2019. We sure hope that they are true!
Both of us would also like to thank our many followers. Students and teachers, please spread the word about Follow The Voyage - Share The Experience. We look forward to being back here with you...and Sara...next year.
We love you, Sara!
Your favorite guys on the TS Kennedy,
Little Buc and Big Buc
And now...here's Sara's final blog!
As the TS Kennedy docks at Taylor’s Point and cadets disembark, my job here is done.
Since cadets boarded the ship on January 8th, my daily blogs have allowed you, our Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience participants, to experience Sea Term without leaving your classroom. By following my blogs, you’ve been with me every step of the way from learning how to weld to snorkeling in Barbados. Some of my favorite memories have been joining in on maintenance, meeting new people, and visiting four exciting ports of call.
Sea Term has given me a new appreciation for how much work it takes to major in Marine Engineering or Marine Transportation. These cadets on a licensed track, have so much to be proud of. These cadets have gone through sleepless nights, long days, and tough exams. The 1/C cadets on this Sea Term have impressed me with their knowledge of how everything on the ship works. I know that they will be very successful in their careers. The 3/C Cadets used every chance they had as a teaching opportunity to get the freshmen involved. Lastly, the 4/C Cadets never backed away from a chance to try something new.
The professors stepped up and allowed me to be a part of their classes and ask questions about anything - even if they had already explained it. The crew aboard the Kennedy invited me to participate in maintenance, even though I had no clue about what I was doing.
COMCAD ensured that each cadet safely boarded the ship and stayed safe in every port. Trust me, with 600 cadets there is no way that can be easy.
Each alumni that I talked to said that one of their favorite parts of their time at MMA was Sea Term. So even though the majority of current cadets are happy to disembark the Kennedy right now, they will miss it at some point in their life.
Cadets have gained new friends, visited new places, and experienced cultures that are different than our own. There may have been some hiccups along the way, but each of these challenges makes for a great story.
From January 8th to February 25th, you have read my blogs as you checked in to see what was going on with cadets. There is a saying, “All good things must come to an end.” Unfortunately, for Sea Term, that day is today.
Thank you for participating in Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience. I have enjoyed writing and taking photographs for all of you. I’m hopeful that I’ll be back next year to once again be your blogger. I look forward to working with you again.
Your cadet blogger,
2/C Sara Merzon
I do hope you read final comments as I want to thank both Sarah and Nancy for allowing us to follow the voyage. I can't tell you how much I looked forward to the daily blogs and pictures. As a mom of a 4/C, getting this insight into what happens during sea term is just as educational for me as I'm sure it was for him. I know that great effort and coordination went into the makings and ongoing updates of FTV and I am truly grateful! I do believe my 4/C will be back for sea term next year and look forward to doing this all over again!!