Welcome back to the Cruise Blog,
Everyone aboard the TSSOM has been very busy getting the ship ready for a safe, productive, and fun 2023 European Cruise. So much has happened since the last post. I am currently sitting looking aft on the 03 enclosed deck where students muster every morning. Student report at 0710 to ensure everybody is here and ready to start the day. The Maine coast slides past and away from last night’s anchorage, just outside of Castine Harbor.
Let’s start where we left off and look back the highlights. On Monday, Boat Squad with the ships permanent crew, practiced lowering a life boat down to the embarkation deck. After a fire and emergency drill followed by an abandon ship drill, students and staff were dismissed to finish unpacking and settling to the accommodations.
Tuesday was an all-day stores loading marathon! Food was trucked on the pier, then fork-lifted onto cargo nets, and then craned through the hatch square. MIDN then passed the stores to the walk-in refrigerators on the main deck. This work must be done efficiently but also with care to avoid damaging the food.
On Wednesday, it was time to depart! While still at the pier, a pilot was brought onboard to coordinate the departure out of Castine with the help of two tugs. The ship must complete a 180 spin in the small harbor to then motor out past the channel bell. A group of 4C, freshman were on “scullery”, also known as kitchen/ dishes duty and were furiously wiping tables to get on deck for a wave goodbye before we pulled off the dock. Those MIDN made it on to the 04 to wave goodbye. MIDN pulled the lines from the pier on deck to lay them out to dry, while staying clear of the lines under high tension from the tugs. The tugs danced around the ship pushing and pulling till we were clear of the dock and facing the right direction. This morning, some lacrosse players were delivered to the TSSOM by our very own Tug PENTAGOET. Now the real work begins, Alpha company was on maintenance keeping the ship in good working order, 4C MIDN worked hard at scrubbing the 04 forward house. One MIDN fixed the water supply to the 04 fwd. house deck so the 4C could wash it down.
On Thursday, Bravo starts watch beginning at 0000. The bridge is a busy but quiet place so crew and students can focus on their duties. Delta was doing classroom training to build mariner skills to put to use during maintenance, watch, and in the industry! Charlie has utility today, cleaning passageways and stairwells and getting some rest after the work is done!
During all these days, students make friends, swapping stories at the mess or in the evening on the fantail. Whether you have had 50 years out in the industry or just went out on cadet shipping last summer, everyone loves a good sea story. The tight-knit community of the maritime world starts here as students learn and grow in a safe but challenging environment.
If you have any questions about the cruise experience that you would like possibly answered in a blog post, please send me a brief email with your question to email@example.com. You will probably not receive a response directly but keep returning to the blog for an answer!
Stay tuned as we make our way to New York!
4C Odegaard Fields
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