Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship to Depart May 9 for Eastern U.S. and European Ports

Posted on: May 3, 2016

CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy students, officers, and crew will depart Castine on Monday, May 9 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, SC; the Canary Islands; Portsmouth, NH; Cobh, Ireland; Antwerp, Belgium; and Searsport, Maine (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 6, 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

Twenty students from the Texas A&M Maritime Academy will train alongside Maine Maritime Academy cadets during this summer’s cruise. For more information about the Texas A&M Maritime Academy program, visit:

The ship will host the yearly family day sail on the return leg from Searsport to Castine on Monday, August 1. 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, August 3.

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, Russia, and Spain as well as other European, Caribbean, and U.S. destinations.

The Training Ship has limited internet connectivity. 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 aboard will work for the ninth 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 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 St. Andrews School of Math and Science in Charleston, South Carolina. The students and their teacher, Amy McMahon, gave the miniboat “Carolina Dreamer” to the TSSOM crew to launch off the coast of South Carolina last year. The boat turned up in Wales and will be picked up by Ms. McMahon this summer to be launched from Ireland during this year’s training cruise.

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. Year over year, the job placement rate for MMA graduates is in excess of 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. In 2014 and 2015, MONEY magazine ranked Maine Maritime Academy the #1 Public College in America on their Best Colleges list. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Maine Maritime Academy in 1941.