B Split Schedule?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by cherylnew, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. cherylnew

    cherylnew Parent

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    Our DS is on B Split. First question, I see that B Split will "commence the day after graduation." Do they ever have time between graduation and their report date? Meaning, is there a possibility that he will get to come home before heading out? Second, when do they receive their assignments? We're trying to decide if we should fly the family out for graduation to make sure we see him before he heads out for four months.
     
  2. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    This is just one of those times where you will need to wait and see. I'd hold off on plans to fly out for now. He may not leave right away and will be able to come home for a week or two before shipping out.

    Our DS knew who he wanted to go to sea with during the first tri. They spent time researching which runs they wanted to put in for before their meeting with the ATR. They also signed up for one of the first slots to meet with him. They knew when they walked out of their meeting that they had the route they wanted and that they would ship out close to graduation. They did not get the actual orders until the week before. Their last final was on a Thursday and they left KP on Sunday night for an early Monday morning flight and met their ship on Thursday. They needed permission to miss Graduation. We did go up to take them to the airport and grab a carload of stuff to store at home. We also chose to stay at a hotel close to the airport since the hotels near campus were booked for graduation. They were back to KP by early Oct., worked on the Kings Pointer and then came home for a week before returning for the 2nd tri. There were some mids that missed the first few days of the 2nd tri since they were still out to sea but they most likely had time to go home or take classes during summer school. DS's goal was to knock out the sea project and accrue 100+ sea days.

    He and his sea partner had their meeting with their ATR this morning for their March departure. Things haven't been finalized but the ball is rolling.
     
  3. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    KP13mom, this is cool stuff to read. Please keep posting when new things happen. Where was their first sea year trip(s) to? So exciting! Deck or engine?
     
  4. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Semper Gumby

    I know everyone wants to make plans, but keep in mind that things change at the last minute regarding sea year quite frequently. Even if your DS/DD has a firm ship assignment, the ship schedule may change at the last minute. Our A split DS had his assignment date and location change three times. He managed to come home for a week before reporting, but it was a very expensive last minute flight.
     
  5. theycallmeFerrari

    theycallmeFerrari New Member

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    While the phrase Semper Gumby does apply quite well to the sea year, one thing that I can tell you is that if your DS decides to go out with MSC he will be able to give an availability date for when he would be first ready to ship out. This could be a couple of days after graduation, it could be two weeks after graduation. The relationship between the ATRs and MSC is not very good, and MSC is slow on most matters, which doesn't factor very well with the tight schedule of the Academy. Every 2013 B splitter I know who went MSC and gave an availability date a week or so after graduation didn't ship out until late July/early August. The trend continued with 2013 A splitters, so if you want about six weeks with your DS, this would be a good route. However, the lack of sea days will make second sailing period difficult, trust me.

    I'm not the person to talk to if you want to hear good things about MSC, but if your DS is interested in the Navy or MSC and wants to sail with the fleet, know that you might have him home for part of the summer.
     
  6. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    This is definitely a "Semper Gumby" issue. Last summer our B-split DS found out about a week before he was due to report that he would be sailing on a ship in the Indian Ocean - then two days later everything changed and he was off to a ship in the Pacific instead, with a different sea partner. Since the ship in the Pacific is a tanker, and since apparently deck majors aren't assigned tankers on their first leg of sea year, they ended up switching DS (engine) to the tanker. (He had a great time, BTW. Great sea partner. And even though he's engine, he had lots of deck opportunities as well.)

    Right now he too has met with the ATR for sailing in March. He and his sea partner (this time his originally assigned sea partner) have put in for a South America run but, as experience has shown, only time will tell. Right now he just can't wait to go back out to sea.
     
  7. NU81

    NU81 Parent

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    Our son is finished with all of his Sea Year and it was quite an experience for him and for us. (in absntia) The one thing that we learned early on was to let him and the ATR handle the travel arrangements and for us to not get overly worried or involved in the process. It becomes obvious that the school has been doing this for while and they seem to get the mids were they need to be most of the time. However, at times it is a little like politics and making sausage, you really don’t want to watch the process just look at the end result. At times our son was held up by sports, lost paperwork, by sea partners and by shipping lines. In the end he always seemed to get on a ship someplace and about half the time it was a different ship than he told us he would be on.

    While our son was at sea we tracked his progress on http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shiplocations.phtml I then took a map of the world, backed it with foam board and got a bunch of different colored stick pins for each ship. Each day I would put a pin in at the ships location. This is a good way to keep track of where they are and after a year at sea and an internship on a tug & barge it is sort of amazing to see how far they have traveled and where they have been. By the way, you can get world maps with the Atlantic or the Pacific centered, so try and pick the appropriate map.
     
  8. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Sailwx

    This tracking site is great, but keep in mind that when a ship enters pirate-infested waters, they will not usually be reporting their position. Just when you are worrying the most, you will lose all track of them! My DS's ship took on a team of ex-Navy SEALS as they came through the Suez Canal, so I felt he was well protected. I was relieved, however, when I saw the sailwx reports show up again. On many ships, it will be one of the duties of the deck cadet to take the readings and submit the reports to the ship tracking sites. Our family also follows on a map on the wall at home, and little sister is receiving extra credit in social studies for reporting on her brother's progress and bringing in postcards from around the world to share with her class. We have all been enjoying sea year!
     
  9. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    I echo everything written here. Our son's sea partner's paperwork kept being delayed which made shipping out times different 3 times. After the 1st change to be on another ship (they never got on the 1st two ships, only the 3rd) our DS came home. We'd gone from saying goodbye over Memorial Day weekend, to having him home for about 11 days. He did get all his sea hours in, which really concerned us with the delays. Don't expect for your ds or dd to come home and if they do it's a blessing! It felt like Christmas:thumb: The tracking sites are awesome and we too have a map of the world. Oh, when our son made it home from sea (he had time to come home) we had the best reunion. It's indescribable.
     
  10. cherylnew

    cherylnew Parent

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    Thanks so much for all your responses. I think I'm seeing that the best plan at this time is to make no plans.
     

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