February 22, 2001
At 0800 Eastern Standard Time, the Training Ship Empire State was located at 39 degrees and 45 minutes N Latitude, and 071 degrees and 28 minutes W Longitude. Hampton on Long Island was 60 nautical miles, due north. She was steering course 330 degrees true at a speed of 15 knots bound for Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The air temperature was 25 degrees and water temperature 45 degrees Fahrenheit; skies were mostly clear; winds were from the northwest at 05 knots; barometric pressure was 1029 millibars. Seas were 4 to 6 feet. Depth of water beneath the keel was 638 fathoms.
The Ship will anchor in Cape Cod Bay at 0900 on Friday, 23 Feb. She will remain at anchor, while the cadets take their final exams, until she enters the East end of the Cape Cod Canal at approximately 0940 on Sunday, 25 Feb. She should be at the dock at MMA at 1054 on Sunday 25 Feb.
Knowledge is in every country the surest basis for public happiness. George Washington First Annual Message to Congress, 1780 Messages and Papers.
Wow, I awoke this morning at 0400 and was it cold! I know, zero sympathy from the families and friends in New England, but nonetheless it was a shocker waking to 26-degree air after going to bed in comparatively balmy 45-degree temperatures. Wow! The addition of two blankets and a watch cap returned my body chemistry to normal until the Cadet Officer of the Watch called me at 0600. No, it was not a dream, I was wide-awake, and still I found it nightmarishly cold!
No more Gulf Stream warmth here and as I feared, the weather has begun to get a little dicey. But there are always ample reasons to rejoice; we could be farther to the north where Poseidon must really be stirring the broth. Zeus has spared us his atmospheric wrath throughout Sea Term, and I have no reason to believe that our good fortune will change within the coming hours. We are on track and on time to slip quietly into Cape Cod Bay, mid morning Friday. We will be safe there.
Despite the significant distraction posed by the nearby lights of home, we must remain focused. Final exams begin at 0900 Saturday, and the remaining hours are essential to completing our ambitious agenda. We did not plan to enter the harbor a day early without reason. Sea sickness is not a good thing on final's day and the guaranteed stability makes preparing for them easier too.
The Captain's Log is rife with the exploits of ancient mariners who sailed the southern seas, identified tropical islands such as Las Tortugas, Las Once Mil Vírgenes, and Guadeloupe, and made fortunes in the warm waters far from our New England homes. One could conclude that the center of the maritime universe is near the Tropic of Cancer and that is not so. The cold waters directly beneath us, sustained our ancestors and fueled the growth of the American Maritime industry that we know today.
I am speaking of course, of whaling and our own Nantucket, Provincetown, and New Bedford. Brave souls in the early whaling days put to sea from there aboard ships that weighed only slightly more than our propeller and they lived on these ships for months and years. During the peak of American whaling, the average voyage lasted two and one half to three years with the longest recorded voyage, an astounding eleven-year odyssey completed by the Nile of New London. She departed in May 1858 and she returned home in April 1869. And we complain about a little cold weather and six, relaxing, fun filled weeks away.
We sail with tons of materiel, five to six hundred people, and a competent supporting cast to tend our every need. Compare that with from 10 to 60 hardy souls crammed aboard the tiny whaling ships. Technical experts? Well, step below and find them. Whaler crews had "deckies" called boatheaders, harpooners, and oarsmen, who handled the business topside, and the engineers were known as blacksmiths and coopers. Cooks and stewards of both eras prepared the meals, but do you suppose whalers enjoyed fresh baked bread and warm cheese danish every morning before rowing off to work?
Many ships of the whaling fleet were destroyed during the Civil War and the introduction of kerosene reduced demand for whale oils or the herds may have been completely exterminated. However, commercial whaling continued until the late 1920's. One can easily relive those days today. New Bedford is home of the finest Whaling museum in all America, Nantucket has more homes from the period than any other place, and Provincetown is tattooed with sites dating to the whaling era. So now you know, we New Englanders have our share of brave, seafaring souls who will be forever remembered in the annuls of maritime history and sailing lore. Imagine, they actually survived without the luxury of sugary white sands, warm tropical sunshine, and air conditioners.
The coming hours promise to be busy ones and I want to take this opportunity to thank our expert supporting staff. They make the Sea Term a successful reality.
First, I want to acknowledge the wonderful people at the Maritime College State University of New York who graciously modify their training schedules and watch rotations so we may travel the world on their ship. My special thanks to the President, Rear Admiral Dave Brown, their Chief Mate, Chris Zola, who is sailing with us, and their Chief Engineer, Ron Jackson, who remained in the Bronx. The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) helps us in many ways also. MARAD's Bill Cahill, Jeff McMahon, Erhard Koehler, and the "port engineer" Gerry McNamara handled every request that we made, even though several came in the middle of the night.
Empire State experienced a surprising number of equipment failures this year and many very talented folks worked to repair them and keep the machinery running. Mr. Vince Treglia spent a 10-day vacation in Curacao helping with the turbine, and John Medina from San Juan, diagnosed the failed air conditioning unit over a weekend. Tom Bardwell may now own communication stocks because of the phone time he used to resurrect our dead radar, and Ken Cirrillo set up the great Electronic Chart Display system on the Bridge and in the Navigation Lab.
Our port agents and pilots were superb. Colleen in St. Thomas was always smiling, and John Grieshaber in NOLA took all the hi-jinks in stride. Our alumni Pilots in St. Thomas; Eric Robinson and Rob Ripley, and Alan Jean on the mighty Mississippi, and Mark Delesdineier Jr. and Gary Mott at the Southwest Passage; they kept us safely clear of the dreaded air, water, dirt interface; always good to do that.
Back in Buzzards Bay; our support staff headed up by Captain Rick Gurnon; Commander Curt Murphy, Mike Joyce, Jeff Robinson, Ann O'Connor, and Marissa Barros in the business office; Captain Al Wilson in the Placement Department, and George Benway, Bill Klimm and Dave Romer, support us in the Marine Department; Jim Barret and his hoard of fine folks plow the snow, handle the lines, and much, much more. Again, my sincere thanks to each of you who labor selflessly behind the scenes.
Well folks, the fire has gone out and I must go to find a warm place. Surely, something in the Engineroom needs my attention... See you tomorrow from a league or two south of there.
QUESTIONS FOR FRIDAY 23 FEBRUARY
Cadet Bookmiller drilled a hole with a one - inch radius through a five inch square cube. What is the volume of the resulting figure?
Why do we see only one side of the moon. Does the moon rotate?
Name the two bodies of water that are connected by the Cape Cod Canal.
When Was the Cape Cod Canal constructed?
ANSWERS FOR THURSDAY 22 FEBRUARY
All interior Angles of Triangle = 180 degrees Let x = the smallest angle.
x + 3x + 5x = 180 degrees
9x = 180 degrees
x = 20 degrees
The ships draft will increase. Fresh water is less dense than salt water.
Each State in the Confederacy was slaveholding.
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who thought he was helping the South.