Sea Year Adventures

Good pics. I know I recognized Pearl Harbor and San Francisco and think I recognized Hong Kong. Where else did they go?

At my Congressional Academy Day last weekend, we had midshipmen and cadets from all the Academies. The USMMA mid was very good. One of his comments was that the only thing more interesting than where they go is the merchant seamen that they sail with.
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Yep, I do believe my kid has an adopted family on his ship. He speaks highly of the guys & gals he sails with. His ship sails from Tacoma WA to Oakland CA, Honolulu, Guam, Hong Kong & Tiawan then back again. He's on his third go round. This is just one of many different trips & ships these kids can choose from for the first part of Sea Year including Military Sealift which LFWBDad's son is on. They will be back at the Academy in early Nov. then ship back out for about 8 months beginning in March. I'm kinda of curious to see where they all end up this next assignment.
I'm still waiting to see the pictures that are "too hot to post" :):shake:
Don't those girls wear clothes over there? I'd take them shopping if need be. They seem to like our sign language a great deal. All the photos of said "girls" contain the peace sign or the universal sign for bugger off. Oh, & the skimpy skimpy clothing. Guess he was hangin' in the good part of town. :biggrin:
jamzmom said:
Don't those girls wear clothes over there?

It's a very hot, very humid climate. Clothing, especially on girls it seems, can become very cumbersome.
jamzmom said:
Yep, I do believe my kid has an adopted family on his ship. He speaks highly of the guys & gals he sails with.

One of the most colorful merchant seaman I have ever met was when I was stationed in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territories. We had the Roll-On Roll-Off fleet anchored in the lagoon, laden with contingency wartime supplies and manned by the Merchant Marines.

We had also developed a relatively competitive Laser sailing fleet, a small one-man planing sailboat, and had slowly organized into a regular Sunday afternoon series of races. We had several collegiate sailors, one or two being ex all-Americans. Well, one Sunday afternoon this tall very scrawny lanky merchant seaman shows up dressed in long khaki pants and wearing a flannel shirt. Diego Garcia is right on the equator and very hot and very humid. Young Asian girls had trouble keeping their clothes on. At the skippers meeting, this guy started asking questions that were way way over our heads. The ex-collegiate sailors try to convince him that we're fun sailors and don't worry about his sort of questions. Immediately, us non-collegiate sailors began to feel very very inadequate. Anyway we launch. Our normal mode of launch was to push the boat into waist deep water, rig it, climb aboard and go sailing. This guy, still in long khaki trousers and flannel shirt, places his boat right at water's edge and without getting his feet wet, pushes off, and standing up, rigs his boat. Well, long story short, he kicks our collective ass, race after race, Sunday after Sunday, only showing up ashore on Sunday afternoon. After the races, he would adjourn to the Officers Club, silently, refusing to talk to anyone, drink himself silly, crawl to fleet landing, return to his ship, only to return the following Sunday.

When I returned to the States, I ran into an acquaintance of mine who had been an Olympic small boat sailor. I mentioned the episode. He replied, "Oh, that's __________ _______________, All-American from _______________(very prestigious university, I can't remember which). Very old New England family. He's one of the best foredeckmen in the world. Always made the Olympics. Always got kicked off before the Olympics for breaking some rule. Never raced in the Olympics. They finally gave up on him." A very colorful guy who I had the pleasure of racing against. I can always say that I raced against the best in the world and ...........nah, I never got close to him.

They are a very colorful, very interesting group.
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USNA69, your story is priceless. Glad you shared it here. That ranks right up there with some of the colorful stories I'm hearing from my Mid. He usually has me in stitches by the end of some of these stories. He has a Polish/American guy on his ship that I find funny to the extreme! They really are a tight knit group even with all their little quirks.

Hot & humid my big 'ol be-hind. Those girls are trying to get 'em a husband. He had four marriage proposals so far. All the usual phrases, "Marry me American boy. Take me to your ship. I can cook for you. I looooove your pretty eyes." He said he keeps his wallet secure & said they like to feel around for it. LOL He's getting street smart I think. (I hope) I'd better not end up with a daughter-in-law that I can't communicate with......:rolleyes:
Those photos sure are awesome! Quite a learning experience! I'm sure he will also come back with bunch of "sea stories".
Do they get their choice of assignements? Or is it the luck of the draw?
KP2010 should probably tackle this question... I THINK I understand how it works so I'll parrot what I picked up through my kid.

The kids put in their request for what type of ship they'd like to sail on depending on their major. My son is a "deckie" therefore needed time on a container ship. They can also request where they'd like to go. Most times, they get their wish. They work with advisors and set up the trip.

Simply put, a Deckie spends a great deal of time on the bridge of the ship with the Captain and 1st, 2nd & 3rd mates. They lean more towards the loading/unloading of cargo & the navigation of the ship, ect.

The Engineering kids also have ship requirements. My son's sea partner is an Engineering Major and needed to sail aboard a steam vessel so he's busy down in the engine room with gauges, fueling processes, ect. LFWBDad's son is an Engineering major & is currently sailing Military Sea Lift. There are many choices.

Almost half of KP campus is out to sea at any given time. The first part of Sea Year is during their 3rd class year where they go to sea for some four months. Back to the academy for the remainder of the year's classes. My son will be back at the Academy in early Nov. then back out to sea for 8 months beginning in March. While at sea they have a devil of a project they must complete. Talk about hands on. They really are living what they're learning. First classmen remain on campus with studies while preparing for their license exams.

When the kids go back out for the 8 month deal, they need to get aboard a few different vessels. Some choose to go on a destroyer then hop to a cruise ship. Interesting huh? They also need to do an internship ashore. This can be in the maritime industry or with the military. My son is signing up for a Coast Guard internship.

Hope that explains a little of their life at the moment. Again, KP2001 can add much more detail. I'm still in the learning mode! Everyday is pretty much a surprise in this household. I have a funny feeling we're going to spend the next few years saying, "Wow! I didn't know you could do that!" :thumb:
JM has it down

Basically you have a person at the academy who you are assigned to for sea year (your ATR). You submit your "dream sheet" and talk to your ATR who then looks and sees what is available and then assigns you to a ship. You also get to pick your sea partner as long as they are on the same sea split as you. There is some back and forth that can happen. If you really want to be on a certain type of ship you just go wherever that type of ship is going. If there is a certain part of the world you really want to go you go on whatever ship is going that way.

A popular option is to sail with Military Sealift Command (MSC). These are the supply ships for the US Navy and therefore go to combat zones and the such. They also tend to spend considerable amounts of time in ports that are enjoyable (when not in combat zones.) This option is what continues to seperate KP from the other service academies in that it still to this day sends it's midshipmen into theaters of war. An honor not afforded to other cadets and midshipmen.