Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship to Depart May 5 for Eastern U.S. and European Ports

Posted on: April 22, 2015

CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy students, officers, and crew will depart Castine on Tuesday, May 5 at approximately 1:30 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; Cadiz, Spain; Portland, Maine; Cobh, Ireland; Norfolk, Virginia; and Searsport, Maine.

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 1, 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 Friends, family, and fans are invited to follow the ship’s journey through the cruise blog at and the cruise Facebook page (

The ship will host the yearly family day sail on the return leg from Searsport to Castine on Monday, July 27. For this section of the trip, Second Class students 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, July 29.

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 and Caribbean countries.

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 eighth consecutive year with the Belfast-based organization, Educational Passages, which utilizes 4.5-foot-long 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 the Houlton Southside School in Houlton, Maine.

To learn more, visit or contact Richard Baldwin at or 207-322-1901 for more information.

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 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented programs of study. Maine Maritime Academy was ranked the #1 Best Public College on Money magazine’s Best Colleges list released in August of 2014. The college’s persistence, retention and graduation rates are well above national averages, and the job placement rate is in excess of 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. For more information, visit