Memories and Lessons of a Lifetime

Highlights of 2018 Training Cruise tell of adventure and learning.

Following months of preparation,  TS State of Maine departed Castine on May 10 for its annual cruise with more than 280 students and crew onboard. The ship’s company was sent off by loved ones bearing signs wishing luck and success, accompanied by the sirens from the Castine Fire Rescue Department.

The Cruise 2018 schedule differed somewhat from that of recent years, with 2/C Deck Students and all 4/C Midshipmen sailing for 70 days, while 2/C Engineers were required to sail for 35 days. In addition, 2/C Engineers received shore-based training in Castine prior to, or immediately following, their swap in Lisbon, Portugal, which was the first such exchange in recent MMA cruise history.

This year’s experience afforded 2/C Midshipmen an opportunity to hone their professional skills on the bridge and in the engine room, while challenging their abilities to lead, supervise, and coach their 4/C mentees as they completed watches, maintenance assignments, cleaning stations and training competencies.

Midshipman 1/C Anthony Franchetti expressed his gratitude to “all those who allowed me to become a better Mariner through their guidance.”

Midshipman 1/C Nathan Abbott emphasized that the cruise is a student’s job and the importance of being “a professional when you do it.”
For many on board, overseas port calls in Cadiz, Spain; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Lisbon; Civitavecchia, Italy; and Alicante, Spain proved to be the highlight of the journey.

“I’ve seen more than I could have ever dreamed.”

Students and crew sampled local cuisine and visited museums and art galleries.

“Cruise 2018 was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Midshipman 3/C Regan Hallet. “I have now traveled to four different countries and have seen more than I could have ever dreamed I’d see in my whole life.”

Students and crew also enjoyed morale events while underway, including a Trivial Pursuit Night, special late meals hosted by Sodexo, and a July fourth Corn Hole Tournament.

The ship was welcomed back to the United States on July 12 in Eastport, Maine, piloted by Maine Maritime Academy Trustee Capt. Robert J. Peacock II ’71. On July 14, State of Maine returned to homeport in Castine, complete with cannon fire and the boisterous cheers and warm embraces of waiting families and friends.

The ship traveled 14,747 nautical miles during the 70-day cruise.

— By Lt. Allison M. Small, Company Officer

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