Captain's Log: January 30, 2023

Ships Wheel

Good morning, Followers –

Everyone aboard the TS Kennedy enjoyed their weekend in Aruba.  Cadets returned to the ship full of stories of their island adventures.

We are bound for Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, one of the United States Virgin Islands.  I have been reminded that we have two schools from St. Thomas participating in the Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program.  First graders from the Antilles School and second graders from St. Peter & Paul School are learning along with our cadets.  We are grateful for their support.

We had intended to test our Fast Rescue Boat while in Aruba, but the port side of the ship was facing the dock so it could not be lowered into the ocean.  Now, we plan to get it into the water while docked in St. Thomas.

Now, I want to tackle three different questions that were sent to me some time ago.

Why are the privacy curtains in the male holds blue, and the privacy curtains in the female holds pink?
Most of the privacy curtains have been in use since the ship was converted to a training vessel two decades ago.  I do not believe that the Academy had any input on the fabric colors.  On a couple of Sea Terms, male cadets were in a hold that had pink privacy curtains, due to enrollment numbers.  No one seemed to mind.   If their privacy curtains are clean, have all of the needed hardware, and block out the light, cadets are happy.  I do not know what color the privacy curtains will be on the new ship.

What happens if a basketball falls into the ocean when cadets are playing on the Helo deck?
Cadets have learned the hard way that when a basketball falls into the ocean, it’s gone.  We don’t stop the ship and attempt to retrieve a basketball.  The cadets are very careful when they play.  Not only do they not have to stop their basketball games, cadets do not want to contribute to pollution in the ocean. I believe that there are two basketballs brought on each Sea Term.  That is not something that I am responsible for overseeing me.

A crew member who saw this question told me about an article he had seen in Sports Illustrated magazine. Several years ago, a basketball was discovered floating in the ocean off the coast of the United Kingdom.  It was covered in goose barnacles.  Scientist believe that the basketball made an 18-month journey from North America.  It was speculated that the basketball may have started out in the Florida area.  I am not sure if Mrs. Franks will be able to find any information on this.

What is the weight of one of the orange lifebuoys?
The International Convention for the Safety Of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an important international treaty focused on the safety of merchant ships. It includes specific regulations regarding lifebuoys. It requires that the weight of a lifebuoy to be not less than 5½ pounds. The weight of the lifebuoy may not exceed 8 3/4 pounds.

Thanks for being a part of Sea Term 2023!

Captain Michael J. Campbell
Master, TS Kennedy

Here is a photo of the basketball that Captain Campbell mentioned.  I hope that it wasn't from the TS Kennedy!

man holding basketball.

 Click on this link to read an article about this unusual find.

Here is a photo of one of the many lifebuoys that hang on the deck of the TS Kennedy .  Were you surprised that the maximum and minimum weight of the lifebuoy  is mandated by SOLAS?  Why do you think that SOLAS created these requirements?


I thought that you would find this poster interesting.

poster of lifebuoy.