Cadet Blog: 4/C Pricilla Murray (MENG - North Andover, MA) 1-3-23


"Hello, my name is Priscilla Murray from North Andover, Massachusetts.  I am a 4/C cadet majoring in Marine Engineering.  This is my first Sea Term.  I am excited to experience life at sea!

The first few days here have been hectic. In case you didn’t know, the first week I will spend here will be on loading food and supplies for our cruise. Today, my group and I were sent to a hold where we waited for what felt like forever, waiting for the crew to need help. When they did end up calling us up, we created a big long chain of people up the gang way and passed big boxes of food all the way up until it was in storage. I continued this for the better part of my day.

Despite the rainy weather, the people around me made it actually enjoyable to be here.  I ended up having a good time."

Pricilla described boxes of food being passed down a long chain of cadets, from one to the next, in a continuous process.  This is often referred to as a bucket brigade.  Long before there were fire hydrants on every corner or fire trucks with large tanks of water, ordinary citizens worked together to fight fires.  Men, women, and sometime children would stand shoulder to shoulder in a line, passing buckets of water.  The human chain stretched from a local water source to the fire. Thankfully, bucket brigades are no longer needed to fight fires, but aboard the TS Kennedy, this process transports food through tight spaces. 

Here are two old photos of bucket brigades.

antique photo of men passing buckets
In February 1947, a beloved hardware store in Borodino, New York caught fire. Residents created a bucket brigade to fight the flames as they waited for the Skaneateles Fire Department to arrive. Working together, they were able to save the local landmark. Imagine that the men in this photo are Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets, and instead of buckets of water, they are passing boxes of food.  

a human chain passes books to a library
This bucket brigade took place in February 1938.  A new library had just been built on the campus of St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, New York.  Before it could open, however, 40,000 books needed to moved from Alumni Hall to the new library.  Instead of packing boxes and using moving trucks, students formed a bucket brigade.  They stood in two lines with a librarian at each end.  Each of the 40,000 books were passed hand to hand from Alumni Hall to their new home at the library. The process took eight hours.  Students worked in two hour shifts.  

The books were definitely lighter than the heavy boxes of food that Pricilla and her fellow cadets had to handle.  

Thank you for your first blog, Pricilla! 

After seeing photos of the crane moving boxes of food from the dock to the ship, Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience participants now know what happened next.  You helped everyone picture the bucket brigade that you were a a part of.  When you eat your meals in the Mess Deck during Sea Term, you will know that you played a role in getting that food into storage.  

We look forward to hearing more accounts of your first Sea Term.