January 31, 2001
At 1000 Atlantic Standard Time, the Training Ship Empire State was underway with Willemstad, Curacao on the horizon. She was steering course 180 degrees true at a speed of 12.8 knots. The weather was pleasant; air temperature 80 degrees and water temperature 78 degrees Fahrenheit; skies were partly cloudy; winds were from the East at 14 knots; barometric pressure was 1015 millibars. Relative humidity was 78%. Seas were calm and the depth of water beneath the keel was 250 meters. The morning was perfect for departure.
HOORAY!!...HOORAY!! WE ARE FINALLY UNDERWAY!
Optimism wins out again. At 0845, we hauled the last line aboard and maneuvered carefully away from the dock. We snaked our way through the narrow channel and past people having morning coffe..close enough to share a cup. Shortly thereafter, the pilot debarked, and at 0954, we took departure from Willemstad, Curacao and began Sea Term 2001, chapter two.
Now I have writer's cramp. What more can we do or say that will top the excitement, the hard work, and the accomplishments of the past week. The Cadets were remarkable, the staff was superb, and the help we received at every juncture was absolutely first class. The extraordinary performance, particularly that of the Chief Engineer Bill Butler of Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, calls to mind something that I read just the other day.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. -Oprah Winfrey-
Believe me, these people will ride the bus, the truck, or the mule for that matter. They get the job done.
Can you tell? I am happy to be here! Tomorrow morning, I will watch the sun rise through the pink dawn while I will enjoy a fresh pastry and hot coffee, out on the bridge wing.
The Schedule...We continue to project on time arrival in New Orleans, Saturday, 10 February. The original Sea Term schedule calls for Empire State to anchor at St. John. Revise that...We are moving a short boat ride across the bay to St. Thomas. Some very nice MMA alumni have arranged for us to dock at Crown Bay, St. Thomas. We will arrive on Saturday Morning, 03 February and remain until Tuesday, 06 February. Then, we are going to take the high road north of Cuba, and follow it into the mighty Mississippi. If anything changes, you will be the first to know.
Once again, I apologize for my brevity. But we are going to cram the day with excitement and I don't want to lose out. My sincere thanks to each of you...Your support makes it easy. See you tomorrow from somewhere out there.
Liberty in Curacao: Cadet 2/C Katie Coan (MSEP)
Curacao has been fun. The first day of liberty, I rented a car and drove across the island to the Boca Tabla, which literally means mouth and table. The park was formed by lava that consumed the waters edge many, many years ago. I went into lava caves formed by the ocean eating away at the lava for centuries. The lava also formed a natural bridge, the only other one is in Aruba, I was told.
The next couple of days, I walked around Punda and Otrabanda and visited all the little shops. For my last day of liberty, which was January 29th, I went to the Seaquarium to check it out for myself. I was in awe. The aquarium does not have tanks for the animals; instead, the animals live in a seawater canal that is sectioned off according to species that can live together. The ocean feeds the canal so there is a natural touch to the habitats. The first animal I saw was a sea lion, which loved the attention I gave him. Next up, were nurse sharks and fish that resembled piranha. Last, but not least, were the sea turtles.
After admiring the creatures from above the water, I went into a boat with windows in the bottom and watched the fish, sea turtles, and sharks from a different perspective. I sat there for well over an hour watching the different species of fish interacting with each other. I also witnessed the feeding of the sea turtles, sharks, and little fish that would sneak a bite. Visitors could pay an extra $15 to dive into the water (with zoo officials) and feed the hungry animals. Of course, Plexiglas separated the people from the hungry predators.
When I finally pried myself away, I went to the open tanks where visitors are free to touch the animals and explore them on their own. I played with starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and conchs. As if that wasn't enough, there were flamingos and pelicans, and the walls were lined with huge fish tanks filled with even more aquatic life.
At the end of my visit, I watched my buddy the sea lion, do some tricks for onlookers. He chased a ball, jumped through a hoop, and even slapped his trainer a high-five. I was impressed. I have been to many aquariums, but I would rate this one as the best, with the best animal treatment and variety.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Curacao but I am definitely anxious to move on to New Orleans and finally, back to Buzzards Bay to see my family. I miss you guys!
One More Day In Paradise: Cadet 3/C Angela Abbott
So, we've been on this Caribbean Island for ten days and although I realize that I will get no sympathy from anyone at home...I'm sick of Curacao.
Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful island, and the people are very nice. But I'm on cruise, and the big part of that is being at sea. I love being at sea. There is something wonderful about it, a certain freedom from the "real world". I've had a great time here. I went to the beach, snorkeling, exploring, dancing, and spent time relaxing with my friends and I will remember all of that. But, I miss the simplicity of being on the open ocean where one can find pleasure simply sitting on deck and looking out at the never ending horizon, or just staring up at the stars. Of course, you can do that on land, but who has the time? Out at sea, there are fewer distractions and I find myself drifting into thought that I don't experience at home. I wonder if it could be the gentle rocking motion taking me back to my infancy and not a care in the world.
One change could make this an ideal situation; that would be no engine! That's right...no engine! Sorry engineers, but think about it. We wouldn't be stuck in Curacao and we would be completely in Mother Nature's hands. So, this ordeal is evidence, which supports my belief that we should sail for cruise! I'm sure a lot of you are laughing, but why not?
So, since we're stuck here, how are we passing the time you wonder? Just because we're not at sea doesn't mean the work stops. This ship is a miniature city and we have to keep it running. The engineers are working to return things to normal. The deckies are keeping track of everyone on the ship as well as making sure the ship is in good condition. The MSEP cadets are making sure that we are complying with regulations for our type of ship, etc.
Because we've been in port for so long, we are running low on potable water. (there is no hook-up at the Admiral Bryon Wharf) In order to conserve water, restrictions have been placed on the laundry and cadets have been asked to take shorter showers. Everyone is helping and being very patient. The Captain and crew understand and they are trying hard to boost morale. We have frequent "cook-outs" and jousting/basketball tournaments. It's always cool when they let us wear gym gear to dinner! The funny part; they are trying to make us forget that we've been here for so long by letting us wear gym gear to dinner and for some of us, it actually works!
I'm bummed about being here for most of cruise because I like to be on the water; but some of my friends don't like being at sea and are happy not to bob around. So, I'm glad for them.
Because of the extra liberty we've been given, I've gotten to know people better than I probably would have. It's fun to laugh and joke about things that we did last year as a freshmen. So overall, cruise is fun and a learning experience. I just want to be on the water.
Lifeboat Training-Curacao: Cadet 1/C Shane Murphy
On Saturday morning, Third Class cadets began lifeboat training. Originally, the evolution was scheduled for the weekend in St. John. However, with the new cruise itinerary brought about by the complications in the engine room, time became available to conduct the training at the shipyard. All the cadets and officers worked hard to get through the training during the extreme afternoon heat. The time was divided into two evolutions, lifeboat rowing, and lifeboat lowering. Competition amongst the engine and deck cadets arose as to who could make the best landing in the lifeboats. The engineers proved quite capable at lowering and docking the lifeboats, much to surprise of their deck classmates. The Marine Transportation Department would like to thank the First Class training rates for all their help as both instructors and boat engineers. By Monday afternoon, the training was complete and all are looking forward to some well-earned liberty in St. Thomas.
QUESTIONS FOR THURSDAY 01 FEBRUARY
MSEP students raise Zebra fish in the aquarium. The newborn fry are about 3mm in length. Will forty of these fry lined up nose to tail, measure more than or less than one decimeter? What is the approximate U.S. equivalent length of the line of 40 fry?
Temperature is an important element of a particular location's climate. Name three natural factors that affect temperature.
"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have another fight. But be it dark with clouds and rain, winter is gone and will not come again." - Old English Rhyme - This day is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It has special significance in one particular place in the United States. Name the city and state. What do we call this day?
In what year did German immigrants bring the tradition sited in today's Geography question to the United States?
ANSWERS FOR WEDNESDAY 31 JANUARY
32 degrees C = X degrees F
(9/5 x 32) + 32 = 90
32 degrees C = 90 degrees F
Temperature aboard TSES = 90 degrees F
Temperature at MMA = 32 degrees F
90 - 32 = 58. Difference in temperature is 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
32 degrees F = X degrees C.
5/9 (0) = 0
32 degrees F = 0 degrees C
The Seismograph is used to measure and record ground vibrations.
Parallels of Latitude, Meridians of Longitude. The Prime Meridian is located in east central England at the Greenwich Observatory astronomical observatory, located at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. The original site of the observatory in Greenwich was arbitrarily established in 1884 as longitude 0°. A plaque in the original structure marks the zero point from which longitude is calculated. The International Date Line is an irregular line drawn on the map of the Pacific Ocean, near, and in many places coincident with, the 180th.meridian. It marks the place where navigators change their date by one day on a transpacific voyage. East of the Line is one day earlier than to the west of it.
The latest large earthquake occurred on 13 January 2001 at about the same time that Sea term was beginning. It measured 7.6 in magnitude. The epicenter was located in El Salvador.