2024 Summer Training Cruise

Day 63: The Horn Strikes Again

Posted on: July 7, 2024

To some people of the shore, the sound of a distant ship’s foghorn may be a soothing reminder that life exists beyond the confines of their landlocked labyrinth. To the crew and cadets of the TS State of Maine, it is a reminder that we are almost home. That foghorn is the same one we heard throughout the night and then day on our very first days at sea post-Castine. When I first heard its bellowing call six weeks ago, it filled me with giddy excitement for what lies ahead. Now, I have perfected the art of timing the horn so I may dodge its ear-piercing call. Last night, dense fog rolled in over the north Atlantic, activating TSSOM’s foghorn. That means, today, my skills have been put to the test. I must say… I passed with flying colors.

Today is our final day at sea before we pull into our final foreign port of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The ship is bustling with energy and excitement. I am excited to try moose meat sausage, and authentic Tim Horton’s coffee. It is projected to be in the mid 60s during our stay, but that is welcomed after the searing temperatures of the Mediterranean’s summer.

Alpha, Charlie, and Delta companies are busy studying and preparing (in their free time, of course) for their final engine and deck exams. All 4/C regardless of major, and all 2/C engineering major students, will be participating in an exam informally known as “flashlights”. This exam requires students to walk down to the engine room, be assigned a system within the engine room, and then are given questions to answer by training officers. For instance, if I were assigned the Central Fresh Water, a cooling system (a large loop of water tasked with cooling many important components of the engine room), they may ask me about what the system is for, how it interacts with other systems, and for what each individual component of the system is intended.

Officially, all companies are at work. Alpha company is on Utility, cleaning handrails and then getting some well-earned rest. Bravo company is on Maintenance, repairing the many various things that may go wrong on a several decade old ship. Charlie company is on Watch, ensuring that no oil touches the engine room floor, and no ship on the fog-laden horizon goes unreported. Delta company is on Training, learning how to handle lines, the differences between valves, how to build an extension cord from scratch, among many other useful things.

Post by: MIDN 4/C Kegan Grogean, MTO