Sea-Year

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by ComeAbout, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    My DS is B split, is working Indoc (which seems wrong) as an EMT and hasn't got a ship yet. Coordinating the meetings with his and his shipmates ATR (different people since they are from different parts of the country) seems to be quite a challange. The meetings are apparenlty necessary to complete the "assignment process". As potential sea days go by unused, which I understand is more problematic since the Kings Pointer is no longer available to make them up, he's still in limbo as to his assignment.
    Any advice on how to expedite the ship assignment process would be appreciated.
     
  2. 2KPsons

    2KPsons Member

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    Been there, done that - with 2

    Best advice - relax, take a deep breath and let him work it out. He will get it done.
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    The sea year periods encompass plenty of time to get the required days. You have about a 400 day window to get 300 days at sea.
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    My experience and advice is with the others already posted here. As long as he (your son) is focused on it and does what the ATRs tell he and his sailing partner to do they will get the required sea days if it's humanly possible. As noted there are ~400 days available for them to make that happen and I'm sure your son isn't the only B split still waiting for an assignment. The real negative for he and his partner is given what they wanted to do - participate in Indoc, they likely won't have much time between getting off their ship and returning to campus, so they'll need to be diligent about getting their Sea Projects done while they are on the ships.
     
  5. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    I hope you're right. Looking at the calendar I see less than 100 days left in this first period and only about 240 days in the upcomming 8 month period. While I guess he won't be working Indoc during the 8 month period since I assume he'll be at sea, if the down time between ship assignments is anything to speak of, that 40 day buffer gets eaten up pretty quickly.
     
  6. Sunk @ the Docks

    Sunk @ the Docks Member

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    You have about 342 days to get 300-317 sea days. (Engineers need less sea days). To be completely honest, your son should have gone out to sea and not done Indoc this year. He will get all the required sea days, he will just have a really rough time his second sea year. I have friends who had only one or two days off their second sailing because they only got 80 something sea days their first sea year. I ended up getting around 140 sea days my first time out, which gave me plenty of off time my second sailing.

    Your son can always come back late from sea. i actually highly recommend it. I came back late during both of my sea years, about a week or so. Those ended up being some of my best two trimesters at KP. You dont do anything the first week of classes anyways. And since most people come back late, most of the teachers dont put much into teaching that first week.
     
  7. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Thanks; that's something worth considering and something that's probably not part of the "official line". Apparently he didn't have a choce as to A or B split, and when he got close to completing his EMT training, he was "stongly encouraged" to sign up for Indoc, so I guess without doing the math or realizing the possible impact - he went for it. What is the impact of no time off between the end of the sea period and the beginning of classes? - harder to finish the sea project or just no rest for the weary?

    Seems like maybe they shouldn't use B splits for Indoc at the end of their first year?
     
  8. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I came back from my first sea year after classes had already started. I don't recall how much time I had, but I did get extra time to submit them. There may be a policy on it and I just don't remember.

    How many credits does he get towards graduation? Having been an EMT during Indoc isn't going to save someone from administrative action. PRIORITIES!
     
  9. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Thanks.
    Re: your first comment: you can receive extra time to complete your sea project if you get back "late"? Is this because you don't have all the resources you need at sea to complete it or, there just isn't enough time, or...?
    Re: your second comment: I don't understand what you mean. He has how many credits a deck loggy earns after his first year (plus 3 for becomming an EMT, I think). There's no problem with his GPA. What does "...save someone from admin action" mean? I think he agreed to work Indoc because he felt presssured to do so - and wasn't smart enough to think of the consequences that might result being a B split, no other reason I'm aware of.
     
  10. coolsailing

    coolsailing Member

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    Our son is 1st class now, but the summer after his plebe year, he came home right after graduation. We were happy to have him for a short visit that summer. However, July 4 passed and he was still here. Then we left on vacation on July 24 and had to leave him here. He was really worried about getting his days in too. He finally got his assignment and left on August 5. His sea terms are over and he lacks 2 days which shouldn't be a problem to make up according to his ATR. He could have probably gotten those in as well, but one assignment ended early and he again came home for a few weeks.
     
  11. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Thanks. I guess I thought the "sea period clock" starts running after the end of the third tri, and stops at the start of the second tri, but apparently its not all that critical. I'm surprised to hear someone who didn't work Indoc had to wait until the beginning of August to get a ship!
    I would imagine all concerned would find it desireable not to be up against meeting some minimum requirement going into the second sea period if at all possible - but sometimes that can't be avoided.
    One of the things that seems to make the process difficult is communicating with the ATRs. Having to arrange meetings between 2 ATRs, one for my DS and one for his partner, doesn't help. I don't know why this can't be done by email instead of "meetings". I would have thought this whole process would have been more "cookbook". I can't imagine how this works when/if changing ships is required during the sea period.
    Do you know how short term, e.g. 2 sea days, are made up now that the Kings Pointer isn't available? I heard of the possibility of working some local ferrys for a few days, but then heard that wasn't going to happen.
     
  12. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    Our son, 1/c,, B split, had to wait till the middle of July to get his boat. Then he had to wait 19 days in between his 2nd and 3rd time out. Was late back to school, but managed. The sea project needs to be worked on everyday. Some kids get some work done before they go. I agree that A-split should be asked first about Indoc. I am surprised he didn't have a choice for which split. That is a new one to me. If he has too, he can always spend time over Christmas making up time. I had a friend whose son was in Dubai when the financial crisis hit. The shipping company closed, the Academy flew him home and he had to make up days. He did it in a port in Texas over christmas. There is/was a ship there that needed to be "manned" 24/7 and that's how Tim made up his time. Good luck. and trust the wise ones on this forum. I know it's hard to relax sometimes, but it will work out.
     
  13. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    I think I've heard about that ship in Texas, it (now) goes by the name General Rudder - used to be called the Kings Pointer (ha, ha).
     
  14. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    I would recommend your midshipman go to and call their respective ATR everyday with regards to ship assignments. There is no reason that your midshipman shouldn't be on a ship now. They should not wait as waiting only hurts them and their future prospects. I also suggest that should the delay continue that you get involved.
     
  15. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    It was not the Kings Pointer. The Kings Pointer was here until last year. This event occurred in summer of 08
     
  16. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Communications

    Any suggestions on how to communicate with cadets at sea assuming the phone is not an option? Assuming they can get internet access (at least sometimes), does their KP email address work or should some other email address be used? Is there a snail mail address that can be used?
     
  17. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    If they have internet access they may or may not get a company email account and in any case that email will be public to the company so just remember that. Their USMMA email address may or may not work and skype likely will be rationed due to bandwidth and cost management... that said their is always:
    1) set up a gmail address or 2) message them through social media such as Facebook - that's what I've been doing of late with my son who is a 2012 graduate and currently on a Maersk vessel where they do not have individual email accounts and share access to two internet connected computers in the lounge.

    It's less than ideal but much better than the "old days" when men were made of the same steel as their vessels and the internet wasn't yet invented by Al Gore...:cool:
     
  18. kpskilegac

    kpskilegac Member

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    When in port they may be able to SKYPE at the local seaman's center.
     
  19. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    Don't count on the KP email address. They can't reset their passwords when they're not on the school network. So they get locked out until they can get their ATR to reset it for them. They may get a ship's email account. But, as jasperdog pointed out, that will not be private. Set up another email account, like gmail (good for later when they are job hunting and need consistent and reliable email) and/or plan to use some sort of instant messaging. When they are in port, they can find an internet cafe or use the seaman's center. You will need to accept that you may not hear from them for fairly long periods of time while they are actually underway.
     
  20. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    And communication also depends on the ship's route. For example, when your DD/DS ship goes through pirate infested waters (where you are obviously going to be the most worried), all outside communication is often cut off. Oh yeah, like last year when our DS was stuck in the Suez Canal during the Egyptian uprising. Ah the joys of seayear... Then again, one of the best times was Christmas Day when DS ship's captain let him call home on the satellite phone for five minutes. What a great surprise that was!
     

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