MMAwave picture space picture February 09, 2001
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At 0800 Central Standard Time, the Training Ship Empire State was located at 25 degrees and 23 minutes N Latitude, 084 degrees and 38 minutes W Longitude. She was steering course 306 degrees true at a speed of 17 knots, enroute to New Orleans, Louisiana. Dry Tortugas National Park was 80 nautical miles to the southeast. The air temperature was 70 degrees and water 76 degrees Fahrenheit; skies were partly cloudy; winds were from the Northeast at 04 knots; barometric pressure was 1021 millibars. Seas were gently rolling at 2 to 4 feet. Depth of water beneath the keel was 835 feet.


A man's bread and butter is only insured when he works for it. Marcus Garvey

Guest Writer, LT Tim Brady, Plymouth, Ma.

I resolved to do a bit of writing for both the General Alarm and the Captain's Log and have yet to actually attempt this task, so here goes.

As we made our way to sea, along the coasts of Curacao and Bonaire, I was filled with the exhilaration that leaving land behind often brings. I wonder, how can this excitement be explained to anyone, even to another sailor who loves the sea?

First, departure is the marking of time, one day closer to returning home. It is a tangible sign that the ship beneath us is capable of fulfilling her considerable challenges and delivering us safely to our families. In my case, Laura, Timothy, Rebecca, Sean, and Rose.

Next is the promise of new adventure and opportunity, as no two voyages are the same. Every day, on the 1200 to 1600 watch, I ask each cadet to tell me about one thing he or she has learned on watch. The idea of wasting a four-hour block of life is frightening, so we fill each minute with worthwhile education, training, work, or useful memories. I particularly enjoy the teaching aspect of going to sea aboard the Empire State.

This afternoon's watch was one that many would call "boring" and "uneventful". We did not sight a single vessel or alter course even once. But "ship's control" is only a small part of the Cadet Watch duties; as the reader will see.

The shift began with a passing rain shower so we examined the approach of the rainsquall and studied how it was defined on the radar screen. That led to questions about the intricacies of radar rain and the proper use of the radar's sea filtering controls. Next, we moved to the Loran Navigation System. Loran is rapidly losing importance in the navigator's tool bag but it provides data, so we considered how Loran position information is useful, even beyond the range of system accuracy.

Topics shifted from technology to biology as we identified black-capped petrels, and discussed how navigators throughout history used birds, sea life, and scents carried on the wind to help them find their way. We observed flying fish sailing out ahead and I related how I once pan-fried them for breakfast. Flying fish often sail up and fall on the decks of heavily laden tankers- to the epicurean delight of some.

We discussed bits and pieces of military and merchant marine history, and nautical traditions. We settled on the "lubber's line". (the line inscribed on the compass that represents ship's heading) We discovered that while old "salts" in the days of sail, steered her by a star or the prevailing wind, the inexperienced (landlubbers) were able to steer only by the compass...The heading mark was called the lubber's line, probably as a term of mild derision, and so it is called today.

As the watch concluded, we planned for the next fire and boat drill and prepared local area weather observations and sent them off. The KKFW position displayed on the MMA web page, is furnished courtesy of the Ocean Weather folks on the receiving end. We filled the afternoon with education, practice, and an entertaining sea story or two as the "boring" and "uneventful" time passed quickly by. But not a moment was wasted.

Finally, the last and best explanation I can give for the sense of exhilaration that I get each time I go to sea is the simple feeling of humility. The vastness of the open ocean is humbling. It is a sensation not shared with all of my fellow sailors. Some do not feel the wonder that being on the bridge of a ship on the open ocean brings to me. Over the years, the ocean has delivered a share of pain, a measure of fear, and ample discouragement, but I will always consider myself privileged to be a sailor at sea!

My feelings were captured by Samuel Eliot Morison, my favorite nautical historian, who wrote the following passage in his definitive biography of Columbus. "He (Columbus) wrote so freely out of the abundance of his complaint, as to give the impression that his life was more full of woe than weal. That impression is false. As with other mariners, a month at sea healed the wounds of a year ashore, and a fair wind blew away the memory of foul weather. Waste no pity on the Admiral of the Ocean Sea! He enjoyed long stretches of pure delight such as only a seaman may know!" ...And so it is with me.

Well folks, thank you for sharing an enjoyable moment. See you tomorrow from bayou country and the murky, brown waters of the mighty MISS-a-SIP.


Bow Watch, Cadet 3/C Erin Dorito, Brockton, Ma

A bright moonlit sky seems to light a path for our ship upon the water. It is a clear, calm night as the ship rolls gently back and forth. I look up into the clear black sky and imagine that I can pluck a twinkling star from the night. I look to the horizon and see a light no larger than a pinpoint. I wonder; is it a star, a vessel, or a beacon on distant land. I scan the horizon all around and return. The light is larger. Using the sound powered phone, I call the bridge. "White light, two points off the port bow", I report. My "star" turns out to be an approaching ship. Again, I look away from the light and peer to the horizon, searching for more lights. Seeing none, I turn back to the stars.

Bow watch is a peaceful time. I am glad to be out here, because this feeling is fascinating. This is what makes cruise worth it. I've seen vibrant, orange sunrises and sunsets of flamingo pink brushed with gold. Rainbows kiss the crystal blue waves pushed ahead of the bow as we make our way across the ocean. It is easy to become wrapped up in the problems the TSES presents. Lack of air conditioning and potable water has tested the cadets, crew, and faculty. But it is definitely the little things, like enjoying these sights, which make the problems seem small. Of course, I keep my eyes on the horizon, searching for the lights that mark other vessels or land. That is my primary purpose for being here on the bow. However, it is certainly nice to enjoy the scenery while keeping watch.

Freshmen Qualifications, Cadet 2/C Megan Kearns, Wareham,MA and Cadet 3/C Angela Abbott, Sandwich, MA

The freshman in division one, are being tested on their deck skills this afternoon. There has been much preparation in order to get them ready for these important qualifications tests. Last night, and for the past couple of nights, seniors and sophomores provided extra help for anyone who needed to practice newly learned skills. Knot tying, line splicing, rigging, piloting, plotting, and general knowledge of the bridge are just some of the skills to be tested. The freshmen received printed cards, which listed everything that will be included on the exam. They took this "qual" card to different stations to demonstrate skills, to be graded, and (hopefully)to be signed off. When the cards are complete most will have gained enough knowledge to successfully pass quals. Those who do not pass, will be re-tested after more practice and study in the weak areas. This period is very stressful because the freshmen are expected to know a lot and the time to study and practice is precious. The sophomores take this as an opportunity to teach and to refresh their memories, so everyone benefits.



Quart = 32 ounces + 8 ounces cream added = 40 ounces total mixture.

32 ounces - 28 ounces = 4 ounces cream

4 ounces + 8 ounces = 12 ounces cream total

12/40 = 3/10

3/10 = .30

30% of the mixture is cream.


Homoiothermic organisms maintain a relatively constant and warm body temperature. They are warm blooded. A & C.


The capital of the US Virgin Islands is Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.


The dinosaurs died in the Cretaceous Period, between 65 and 146 million years ago.