Captain's Log: February 7, 2023

Ships Wheel

Good morning, Followers –

Cadets and crew members are happy that Kelly DeMello joined the TS Kennedy in St. Thomas.  She will be assisting COMCAD for the remainder of the cruise.  Back on campus, Kelly is the Assistant Director of Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Career Services Department.  She graduated from the Academy in 1999 with a degree in Marine Safety, Science, and Environmental Protection.  In 2011, she received a Master Of Science degree in Facilities Management. 

Yesterday, I received five questions from students at Holloman Middle School on Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.   I will ask Mrs. Franks to add a few photos to support my responses.

1. Have you ever gone to the Bermuda triangle?
Yes, I have cruised through the area known as the Bermuda Triangle many times, while working on commercial ships and aboard Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training vessels.  As Captain of the TS Kennedy, I always choose the safest course for the ship. To make my decisions, I rely on our ship’s state-of-the-art navigational equipment and the latest marine weather forecasts. 

This is a map of the area known as the Bermuda Triangle.

Bermuda Triangle map

2. What do the cadets eat? Do they eat sea grapes? 
Chartwells, the dining service that operates the Mess Deck back on the campus of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also feeds cadets and crew members at sea.  Dining Director Bob Cobb and his Chartwells team work tirelessly to serve three great meals, as well as offer a wide variety of options throughout the day.  Because the TS Kennedy is in continuous operation, there is always food available for cadets and crew members who may be going on or coming off a watch.

I had to get a little help with the second part of this question.  Although Chartwells provides us with a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, sea grapes are not served aboard the TS Kennedy.  Some cadets and crew members that I talked with saw sea grape trees growing by the shore while exploring St. Thomas, but didn’t taste them.

Cadets may find sea grapes growing along Florida beaches this weekend, but it is important that they not touch them.  I was told that in Florida, sea grapes are protected plants and cannot be removed or consumed.

These are photos of sea grapes in St. Thomas or Florida.

sea grapes in st thomas
sea grapes in Florida

3. Has anyone gotten hurt on the ship?
Although safety is a top priority aboard the TS Kennedy, occasionally accidents happen.  Cuts, scrapes, and sprains are not uncommon.  Fortunately, we have an experienced medical team.  Sick Bay is well-stocked with everything needed to treat injuries at sea.

Here are a few photos of taken in Sick Bay.

counter in sick bay
sick bay
hospital at sick bay

4. What would happen if someone got stuck in the boat while it was capsizing?
Cadets and crew members participate in multiple safety drills when the ship is at the dock.  The drills continue while we are at sea.  Cadets learn multiple routes to reach their assigned lifeboats and practice following them quickly and safely. Safety practices are reinforced in each class and lab. 

arrows to main deck

The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational equipment.  My crew brings years of training and experience to the ship.  When I make decisions, safety is always on my mind. 

Everything is done so that the situation you described never occurs.

5. How is your day?
So far, my day is going well.  It is off to a busy start.  My day will include some work at the computer and meetings with crew members and cadet leadership.  I will make several trips to the Bridge and check on a few projects happening on deck. Later, I will contact the ship’s agent in Florida to finalize plans for our arrival on Friday.  Don’t worry, I will take time out to stop in the Mess Deck for lunch and dinner. 

Finally, Mrs. Franks shared the predictions that the Holloman Middle School students made about the number of pets that my family and I own.  Everyone back home will have a good laugh when I share the list with them.  I am a bit concerned that this may provide my family with a few ideas for some new pets.  Hopefully, I will not discover five cows grazing in our yard when I return to Rhode Island on February 19th.  I am not sure that we have room for them.

Here is a copy of the pet predictions that the Holloman Middle School students made.

list of pets from students

Thank you for sharing Sea Term 2023 with us.  Our cadets are proud to know that so many students are participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program. 

Captain Michael J. Campbell
Master, TS Kennedy