Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship to Depart May 10 for Eastern U.S. and European Ports
CASTINE, Maine—Maine Maritime Academy students, officers, and crew will depart Castine on Wednesday, May 10 at approximately 5:00 PM on the Training Ship State of Maine (TSSOM) for the annual training evolution to foreign and domestic ports of call. This year’s itinerary includes stops in Charleston, South Carolina; Tenerife, Spain; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cobh, Ireland; and New York, New York. Schedule and ports are subject to change.
Under the direction of Captain Leslie B. Eadie III, master of the Training Ship State of Maine, the educational cruise will commence in port on Friday, May 5, for pre-sailing preparation. Captain Eadie, of Brewer, Maine, a 1976 graduate of the Academy, assumed command of the vessel in 2011.
Well-wishers are welcomed and encouraged to view the vessel departure and return from the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront or via webstream at mainemaritime.edu/streaming. Friends, family, and fans are invited to follow the ship’s journey through the cruise blog at cruise.mainemaritime.edu.
The ship will host the traditional family day sail on the return leg from Searsport to Castine on Monday, July 31. For this section of the trip, Second-Class students (Juniors) may invite their parents aboard. The day sail allows parents the unique opportunity to see the high level of technical proficiency and leadership achieved by the students. Training cruise activities will continue in port through Wednesday, August 2.
In response to an increase in sea time and instruction required by STCW (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), the cruise has been lengthened to 90 days. Students pursuing an officer’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard as a third mate or third assistant engineer are now required to train at sea for at least 300 days during their first three years at the Academy. Freshmen and juniors sail aboard the MMA vessel while sophomores are assigned to merchant ships worldwide. In past years, MMA training cruises have taken students to Aruba, Bermuda, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Puerto Rico, and Russia, as well as other European, Caribbean, and U.S. destinations.
The Training Ship has limited internet connectivity while on cruise. Bangor Daily News will continue to donate daily news service, sending state-wide, national and world news, sports, and business articles via email.
Complementing the educational focus of MMA’s training cruise, students and staff sailing aboard the State of Maine will work for the tenth consecutive year with the Belfast-based organization, Educational Passages, which utilizes 5-foot unmanned sailboats to enable the study of ocean wind and current patterns by school and community groups. Boats are crafted to sail indefinitely downwind and will transmit their location and boat speed via a GPS interface for up to one year. The boats rely solely on wind and current power. Initial sea trials were launched from MMA’s schooner Bowdoin in 2008 off the northeast coast of North America.
Coordinated by program founder, Richard Baldwin, this year’s boat launch from the TSSOM will provide an exciting learning opportunity for students at Swan’s Island Middle School. The students and their teacher, Michelle Whitman, brought the miniboat “Black Rock” to the TSSOM crew to launch during this year’s training cruise. UMaine Marine Science Club members will also follow their miniboat, “Dirigo” which was sponsored by the Maine Coastal Program. A third miniboat, “Patriot Pride,” sponsored by an elementary school in Las Vegas, will also be launched from the TSSOM. To learn more, visit Educational Passages online or contact Richard Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-322-1901.
The 500-foot, 16,000-ton Training Ship State of Maine, originally commissioned as the USNS Tanner, served as a Navy oceanographic research vessel before being converted in 1997 to accommodate the training needs of the college. The fourth vessel to bear the name State of Maine, the ship is a modern, technologically advanced training vessel.
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates exceeds 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine, which ranked MMA the number-one Best Public College in America in 2014 and 2015. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.