Out to Sea or Not

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Cartgate, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Cartgate

    Cartgate Member

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    Sea Term. What happens if a Mid can not find a ship to sail on for one of his terms? DS tells me that almost 30% of 2014 A split do not have ships yet for this November. :confused:
     
  2. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Don't panic yet. Our DS is a 2013 B-splitter who is just finishing his second sea term. Last year, for his first sea term, he was assigned a ship - and then reassigned right before he was scheduled to report. This past July (second sea term), he was home for a few days after sailing his first ship from March-July - and received a call Monday night to report to his next ship in Houston (we're in upstate NY) on Tuesday afternoon. There we were, scrambling to get a flight for him the next day. (Yes, he made it.) What we have learned is that when it comes to Sea Year, KP lives up to its unofficial motto of "Semper Gumby.":wink:
     
  3. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Don't fret, Ship schedules and assignments from the ATRs (Academy Training Representatives) to the midshipman are always in flux until a couple of weeks after a "Split Cutover" in general the ATRs work with the Mids and as long as the mids keep track of things and do what they are asked they will have enough days to sit for and recieve their liscences in the normal four year period... That is after all the main job of the ATRs...
     
  4. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    Just make sure your mid keeps communicating with ATR. Our ds will be late coming to school after his 8 months out. unfortunately he had 19 days at home between his 2 times out during the 8 month period. But this does happen and they learn how to work with it. Just keep communicating.
     
  5. kp2014gf

    kp2014gf Member

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    My bf is just finishing his first sea term and back in July he was home for 3 weeks before getting a finalized ship and that was after they scheduled him 2 other ships that fell through. It was great having him home for 3 weeks but he is definitely wanting to leave right away for his next term in order to get all the sea days. No worries though, he will get a ship! :)
     
  6. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    This summer our DS, for his 2nd B split, was supposed to be home for a week or 2 between assignments. He was home a month and assigned temporarily to a stationary ship (wrong term) that didn't leave dock for 2 weeks in Baltimore. Finally, in September he got a ship- not an exciting run- but an assignment!

    He had calculated exactly when he had to get back out to sea to get all his sea days. He missed it by a couple of weeks but says there are lots of ways to get extra days at KP.

    Also, remember all the B splits are getting off ships in the next 2 weeks so spots should be available for A splits.
     
  7. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    b split coming home

    Spots will be open very soon. DS plus two other KP mids are scheduled back to Baltimore on Oct 29. Imagine there are lots in similar situation. :smile:
     
  8. Ddcga

    Ddcga Member

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    DS is a 2015 B splitter. After reading this, I'm wondering if he might be able to come home for a short period of time between school ending and heading to his assignment. How common is this and when would it most likely happen?
     
  9. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I don't know how things work these days, but back in the olden days my ATR was based in San Francisco since my folks lived in Sacramento. Now, I sailed quite a bit during my cadet years, but I do recall being home for a week or so before I shipped out. I was home between ships for a bit, too; but often for only a day or two. Shipping was a bit different back then as there were more shipping companies (although several went under during my years at KP, including one while I was onboard one of their ships) and more options for saling.
     
  10. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Ddcga--You are doing the logical thing in trying to predict when you might be able to see your DS. Unfortunately, it is usually impossible to know for sure. It is not uncommon for mids to be able to get time off before or after going to sea, but you generally do not know until the last minute. That situation is all well and good if you live within driving distance at KP. If you live all the way across the country like we do, it is much more difficult and the academy ATR's do not seem to understand the hardship. Last minute plane tickets have cost us hundreds of extra dollars for last minute trips home. Often, however, things are out of the ATR's control. Sometimes the ship your mid is scheduled for has unavoidable delays at sea due to weather or problems loading or off-loading cargo at foreign or domestic ports, sometimes the ship has to stay in port longer than anticipated in order to make unscheduled repairs. The only reason our DS got to come home for a week last year was because the KP soccer team made the playoffs. No, he's not on the soccer team, but his sea partner is and our DS had to wait for him to go out to sea. I found myself being a huge fan of the soccer team because each time they won, our DS got to stay home for a few more days! Yet every time there was another delay, it
    cost us more money to change the plane tickets again. Our DS is supposed to
    come home after finals next week, but I have not told his little sisters yet because I know plans often change at the last minute. As everyone says, stay
    flexible and treasure the time you do have with your DS or DD!
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    If he chooses to go to sea after graduation, his life will be much the same.
     
  12. Cartgate

    Cartgate Member

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    Thanks everyone for your imput. We have him coming home after finals but know things can change and will likely have to put out extra $ to get him to back to KP or NY before going out to sea. One other question: Is it a good idea to have your mid ship most of his belonging home or take them on the plane. Extra luggage on plane gets pretty expensive.
    Thanks again.
     
  13. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Oh how we have gotten accustomed to the information age. When I was a cadet we didn't have cell phones or e-mail and we managed just fine. I got a call from my ATR literally an hour before I was supposed to leave to catch a ship changing my ship.

    Its a very fluid industry and things can change pretty dramatically on very short notice. Just a few weeks ago we had our discharge port changed on us three times in a 24 hour period. Nothing happens until it happens, the only constant is change and pack as light as you can.
     
  14. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    The first time out, our B-Spilit 2013 ds had to wait for papers to come thru for his sea partner. They finally got on a ship in mid July, when they were supposed to be on a ship the day after school ended. Also, the other Maritime schools are having kids go on ships now, meaning more competition for fewer ships. I think it's just gonna get harder.
     
  15. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Regarding belongings during sea year, the best course of action is to have your mid ask a classmate who lives near Kings Point to allow him/her to store stuff at the classmate's house during sea year. We have found that there are a lot of gracious people out there in the Kings Point family who are happy to help out.
     
  16. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    DD was A split. Last year she had 3 full weeks home before leaving to meet her ship. She was going MSC (Military Sealift Command) which meant some extra paperwork. She was able to go right from one ship to the next. At the end, she had almost 2 months at home because she had done extra time the first time out. MSC cut her travel orders to her ship and let her fly out from a local airport. But her second and third ships were commercial, so KP cut the orders and flew her back to JFK. She didn't need to report in to KP, so we just had to get her home to VA from JFK.

    Someone else mentioned the extra luggage. That was one reason we chose to have her take the train home - train from JFK to Penn Station and from Penn Station to DC to Fredericksburg. If you live on the East Coast and are close to Amtrak service, it's worth looking into. Otherwise, have them try to find someone who lives nearby who can store their stuff. I drove six and half hours to KP to carry all of DD's stuff home. It's amazing how much she had accumulated and how much did not go back with her but continues to take up space in our garage.

    Whatever you do, be flexible and expect to find out what's going on at the last minute. It all works out in the end. Remember, your DS or DD has learned to be quite capable and self-reliant. They can and will make it work!
     

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