As of 0700 Eastern Standard time, 1200 GMT and 0800 ship time, the Empire State was underway from Barcelona, Spain, homeward bound to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. She was located at 37 degrees 18 minutes North Latitude, 064 degrees 53 minutes West Longitude, steering course 317 degrees true at 15 knots. That position puts her approximately 320 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The weather was overcast with winds out of the northwest at 20 knots. Barometric pressure was 1017 millibars and falling. The air temperature was 62 degrees and the sea water temperature was 61 degrees. The depth of water beneath the keel was 2700 fathoms. The ship is riding on moderate and building westerly swells.
Captain Tom Bushy reporting from somewhere deep within the dreaded "Cape Cod Time Triangle" where things have gone from bad to worse. We've lost all of the wonderful therapeutic value of the good weather that I was praising yesterday. Gone are the light breezes, warm temperatures and pleasant strolls on deck. They were harshly replaced by raw, near gale force winds roaring down from the Northwest last evening. The bitter wind, liberally mixed with salt spray, bites into bone and going topside is now painful indeed.
Deck officers and cadets are embroiled in a stand off regarding weather predictions. They are collecting data from every available resource. Piles of their useless weather faxes and notepapers litter the chart tables and each "weatherperson" spouts forth with his or her absolutely useless professional opinion. These are experienced people; they have been here before. Don't they know that we are entrapped in the Time Triangle where all weather forecasts consist of only two words? Summer or Winter! So, making the correct prediction is easy. Coupling all known Geographic data with the Meterological phenomena yields the forecast. Winter will change to Summer sometime before we arrive. How simple can it be?
The winter exacerbates the escalating numbers of victims. Channel Fever is now rampant and deck space available for incessant pacing has been markedly reduced and woe unto the unlucky sailor who might stray into another's territory. The smitten ones are at least civil to one another in the mess hall and the ship's Doctor reports no severe bites...Yet.
On a positive note, we have discovered an original way to plot our negative speed of advance. Even though we appear to be going backwards and despite the fact that ship's chronometers continue to wind counter clockwise, we are clearly making some minimal headway. After lengthy discussion with him, I feel confident that the "Navi-Guesser" will actually predict our estimated time of arrival early this evening. However, as you know, Cape Cod Bay is the virtual epicenter of the warp and all modern navigation instruments and computer systems are time sensitive. Even the dirt gods know that this is the Y2K Sea term, so I cannot hold him accountable for anything. I however, have wisely retained an abacus, an old Boy Scout Compass and a very old hourglass for use in just such an eventuality. Never fear, I will have us home on time. My exacting calculations show that we will arrive at the epicenter late Friday afternoon. That will enable us to orbit about smartly with time to spare and yes.. STOP.. ouch! We will anchor near the eastern entrance to the Cape Cod Canal and entertain Customs and Immigration Saturday morning. Wish us luck...See you tomorrow from amidst the sea that time forgot.
QUESTIONS FOR FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2000
The cadets thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Spain. Barcelona was a beautiful city, and they all wished they could see the rest of this beautiful country. Go to you map and find what part of Spain the region of Catalonia is located in?
Both the crew and cadets relied a great deal on different science
disciplines during their journey. What science, applied by the cadets, deals with the universe beyond the earth?
The Empire State is returning home during President's Day weekend. One of the President's we honor on Monday is the father of our country - George Washington. Washington, as you know, was a Revolutionary War hero. In what year was Washington named Commander In Chief of the Continental Army?
The Bucaneer baseball team practiced onboard the ship during Sea Term. But when they return home they will conduct their practices on a regulation baseball field. The distance between bases is 90 feet. The catcher threw the baseball from home plate to 2nd base. How far did he throw the ball?
ANSWERS FOR THURSDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2000
GEOGRAPHY: We were searching for a country we fought in a war in the 1840s. The conflict ended with our mystery nation ceding to the United States all lands north of the Rio Grande. The answer is Mexico. And according to a recent survey, 71% of Mexicans believe in love at first sight.
SCIENCE: There is no hard evidence to suggest climate change is affecting migration patterns, although it is expected to occur.
HISTORY: July 19, 1914.
MATH: 1000; 100; kilometer.