It's clear that the cadets aboard the TS Kennedy share a deep love of the ocean.
Many classes have emailed to ask the cadets:
How did you develop your love of the ocean? Did you grow up near the ocean?
Did you family vacation near the ocean? What do you love best about the ocean?
Here's what some of our cadets had to say...
“I have always been near the ocean. As a child I never wanted to go home. It fascinates me the way it is so calm one moment but aggressive the next. I have no experience with boats, but I am eager to learn. " - Izabella Mackintosh (MENG – Plymouth, MA)
“For my whole life I have been going to Martha's Vineyard every summer for a whole week. I was constantly on the beach the whole week. After elementary school I moved to Plymouth and I was even closer to the water. Last summer, before coming to Massachusetts Maritime Academy, I got a job with Captain John Boats. Every day this summer I was on a boat, tying lines and jumping from the boat to the dock”. – 4/C Connor Kirrane (MENG – Plymouth, MA)
“Two summers ago, I worked for the Newburyport, Massachusetts Harbormaster and tried to understand boats better. I also helped people dock their boats and put their boats in the water. I also had some hands-on classes that I took with my dad on how to fix and understand boat motors. I learned how to take them back and put them back together.” – 4/C Misha Munick (MTRA – West Newbury, MA)
“It really started before I remember anything. I had a pirate themed birthday party when I was like, 3. Anything ocean-related hung up on the Christmas tree got broke because I would take them off and start playing with them. This includes my parents' ornaments from their honeymoon shaped like a dolphin. And even after all these years Finding Nemo is still my favorite movie. Whenever my family would go to any body of water I would go in and stay in until it was time to leave. In elementary school my family, would take quick trips to Mystic, Connecticut to visit the aquarium. It was there that I found my favorite animal, the stingray. At Mystic Aquarium, there is a stingray touch tank and that would always be our last stop because I would stand at the edge of the tank and spends hours just feeling the stingrays as they went by. So now anywhere we go with an aquarium, I must stop.” – 4/C Austin Chavero (MENG – Framingham, MA)
“It started with learning to sail when I was in elementary school. From there, I did some longer form sailing races that were a little further offshore. The biggest moment was an overnight sailing race where I was on a boat all throughout the night and got to see the stars and phosphorescent algae pop out on the backdrop of a black sky and black ocean.” – 4/C Timothy Shea (MTRA – Boston, MA)
“I was a swimmer from a young age and was always very comfortable in the water. My love for the water became greater playing water polo throughout high school.” - 4/C Jack Schrier (MTRA – Rockville, MD)
“Since I was a young kid, I have taken trips to the ocean with my family yearly. We’ve traveled to Ocean City, Maryland, Cape May, New Jersey, and a few others. It has provided me with a love of the ocean and being around it and on it. However, I never had too much boating experience until my high school years, where I spent a lot of time on Lake Wallenpaupack with friends on their boats. – 4/C Joshua Bajadek (MENG – Newfoundland, PA)
“I remember going body surfing with my father and brothers from a young age, fishing lakes and rivers and going on deep sea fishing trips. I once caught a stingray and recently caught a large Red Snapper in Florida.” – 4/C Charlie Naylor (MTRA – Bedford, MA)
“I guess my first visit to the USS Massachusetts kicked off a mild interest for the open ocean. It sounded cool being on a battleship sailing the seven seas. Over the years, through reading books about boats, watching shows about boats, being on boats, and playing video games about boats, my ideas have shifted from joining the Navy or Marines to being an engineer aboard a regular ship.” – 4/C Lucas Marcolini (MTRA– Marion, MA)
I grew up living no more than thirty minutes from the beach. We spent summers going to the water every day. I always loved swimming far out into the water and floating. I was never much of a boater as a child, but I felt an affinity for the ocean.” – 4/C Abigail Stiltner (MTRA – Middleton, MA)
“Every summer I go to Falmouth. I couldn’t imagine life without the ocean.” - 4/C Michael Caulfield (MENG – Walpole, MA)
“I was born and raised on Nantucket, and have always spent time on the water. More recently I took my boat far offshore and to Martha’s Vineyard, which showed me the importance of navigating with a compass and charts.” – 4/C Justin Zadroga (MENG – Nantucket, MA)
“I have a wavy relationship with the ocean. I fell asleep on a whale watch boat as a kid. To this day, my mom insists that it means I have seasickness. However, I went on multiple trips on boats afterwards with no issue. I remember going on a few cruises and boating trips. The sea is very calming on its own. I’ve always been drawn to that.”
– 4/Guery Ortega (MENG – Boston, MA)
“I grew up on the water and was always sailing on my parent’s boat since before I could remember. My brother Is in the Navy and works on a submarine so I always looked up to him and wanted to follow his lead but still be in my own lane. I always loved being on the water and sailed and raced dinghies for year.”
– 4/C Andrew Dyment (MTRA – Greenwich, CT)