Sea Year Fun

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kpmom2013, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    To those new admittees and their supporters, I thought you might like to read an excerpt from my son's latest email. He is a third class mid nearing the end of his first sea year. He is having a blast, not only at the 15 countries and 21 ports he has visited, but also while underway. Hang on plebes. It is all worth it. What an adventure!

    "We are going up the coast of Portugal today. We had a Portuguese military helicopter call the ship on the radio today, and they just wanted to practice lowering people on deck from their helicopter while we were underway. So we had some Portuguese Rescue diver lowered to the ship while we were going and they practiced lowering their little basket and stuff. It was pretty cool. Other than that, I got to take the ship through the straight of Gibraltar. The Captain let me have the con the whole way through and it was pretty crazy, we were in some heavy traffic at one point and I did pretty well. There was a ship that was merging into the lane that had to cross. So think of it like driving on the freeway and having someone trying to cross, all in slow motion and
    having to give them enough room to go and at the same time, not merge into
    anybody else. So we got within .3 miles of another ship next to us, and that is
    pretty close considering our ship is about an eighth of a mile long. So it was
    overall a lot of fun. And I did all of the navigation and controlled the ship at
    one time, and talked on the radio to all the people we need to contact, which
    is usually a two person job, but the Captain made me do it myself, under his
    supervision of course. But I was in control of the ship the whole time, and
    didn't crash. Most people wait until they are experienced mates to just be at
    the con through that area."
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    A good example of what sea year is like for Deckies. Thanks for posting!

    I remember going through the Straits of Gibraltar as a third mate a few times. Definitely busy at times with the ferries going between Europe and Northern Africa. The Med was the only time I actually called the Captain for help as a 3rd mate when I felt like I was being surrounded by fishing vessels.

    That area was also the closest I ever came to a collision as we left Gibraltar after refueling in the fog and came closer to a ferry than I ever want to be again when having the watch.


    I'm somewhat surprised by the Captain agreeing to the helicopter deal though, unless possibly your mid is on a USNS ship. Was probably fun to watch though!
     
  3. wth51

    wth51 Member

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    That is Cool.

    How Cool! Not many people on the face of this earth have experienced what your DS did! What an adventure!:thumb:
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    What a great experience! Thanks for sharing. DS heads back out for his second sea split next week - going to South America this time. He can't wait.
     
  5. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    That's a good thing because...

    :biggrin:
     
  6. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Part of me wonders if this account might not also be rightfully included in the "Academic Quality" or any thread about the quality of life/overall experience at KP .... since when you think about it, is relevant to all that and very descriptive of what really makes USMMA what it is.
     
  7. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I agree, it's a great example of why USMMA is so valuable to the country, producing capable seasoned (yeah I know, not really but at least a little experienced) mariners to ensure the merchant fleet has a ready supply of educated qualified crew members.

    :thumb:
     
  8. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    To those of you who have been on this forum for a while, please forgive me while I repeat myself for the millionth time. In most places they won't let the college intern run the copying machine without adult supervision
     
  9. dblomomkp2013

    dblomomkp2013 Member

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    South America bound

    What a neat post!! Our DS is headed to S. America next week for his 2nd Sea Year!! :thumb:
     
  10. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    That kind of makes up for not being able to have a car. :cool:
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I was thinking much the same.
     

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