MMAwave picture space picture Monday 04 February, 2002
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Monday 04 February 2002

At 1200, EST the Training Ship Empire State was located 07 nautical miles southeast of Cayman Brac at 19 degrees and 38 minutes North Latitude and 079 degrees 40 minutes West Longitude, steering course 122 degrees true at a speed of 14.2 knots/Rpm 70 turns. The weather was partly cloudy with occasional showers, winds from the northeast at 10 to 15 knots, air temperature was 81 degrees Fahrenheit, barometric pressure was 1019 millibars, seas were from the southeast at 1 to 3 feet, sea injection temperature was 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Depth of water beneath the keel was 2000 meters.


"Tell me, I may forget; show me, then I may remember; but involve me, and I'll understand." - Chinese proverb





We were scheduled to depart anchor at 0800 this morning but the weather did not cooperate. The winds shifted at midnight and the risk of being pushed aground forced our hand. We began recovery of the Sea Term Sea Taxis shortly thereafter, and had them aboard at 0215. We buttoned the hatches, hauled the anchor, and at 0342 started down the line toward Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Captain Craig Dalton is the guest author.

The scene on the bridge was as usual, hushed and excited with impending landfall, this time at George Town in the Cayman Islands. We planned to anchor for two days while the cadets completed Coast Guard lifeboat qualifications and STCW assessments.

The harbor is well protected and calm, which provides a semi-stable platform for launch and recovery operations. However, this event proved to be no ordinary anchoring evolution. As the ship approached, the voice of a friendly Cayman pilot came over the VHF radio and instructed us to proceed to a point where he would board and prepare to position the Empire State. In typical island fashion, the pilot arrived, greeted everyone, reviewed the ship's plan with the master, and set to work. Then, he expertly moved the ship into the anchorage but not with the aid of our highly sophisticated electronic navigation instruments. He dispatched his launch to a spot and then maneuvered Empire State directly on it with only visual reference points around the harbor. He obviously possesses extensive knowledge about the local waters.

Columbus first sighted the Cayman Islands almost 499 years ago, during his fourth voyage to the New World; he named them Las Tortugas, the Spanish word for turtles. These friendly sea creatures then surrounded the islands. During the next one hundred years, the islands became known as Caymans, after the Carib word for crocodile. They were also quite numerous at that time. No one took interest in settling the island however, until the early 18th century, when settlers from Jamaica moved in. Presently, the islands are officially United Kingdom Overseas Territory and are administered by a governor appointed by the Queen.

Since our arrival, the weather has been gorgeous, with blue skies and steady easterly winds. Water temperature is at 80 degrees. It is easy to understand why the Caymans are great tourist destinations. The port of George Town, and the rest of the Island for that matter, is squeaky clean with plenty of shops and taverns. We saw no crocodiles, but we did visit the large "Turtle Farm" in West Bay, where sea turtles are raised for both preservation and consumption; turtle is an island delicacy.

Stingray Sandbar allows visitors to wade among and feed large stingrays. In an attempt to beg a handout, the rays rub against the wader's legs. Numerous diving companies provide diving and snorkeling opportunities. For adventurous souls, rental cars are available and drivers can experience the "wrong" side of the road. Numerous beaches surround the island, all with public access. Seven-Mile beach, really only about 5.5 miles long, is visible from the TSES bridgewing. Rum Point provides breathtaking views of the Caribbean with light blue water, white sand, and tropical trees shading hammocks. Of course, all of this beauty comes with a price, and a dear one. Cadets and crew find the island tailored for the well healed. Still, with beach bathing being free, all can enjoy the beauty of Grand Cayman... a very nice place to stop.



Pondering IT By Cadet 1/C Allison Strumski

So, you think that you know what this is all about. I have faith that you do not. Why would you, this is a new life, a new experience, a new dream. It takes a little while to figure out what all this really means. Why does the moon glow? How can we take water from our surroundings and turn it into a form of propulsion? I have faith that I know very little about what this all means, all I know is that I love it.

It can be fun and sort of twisted, to try to understand it all; how did we come to be? Did we by circumstance, come about by a shot in the dark, a little juice and some chemicals? Did this happen without God, or with? Or did we come about through Adam and Eve? So many questions and so many different answers, true diversity of thought. But whatever it might mean, and what it really are two different stories. I see some unhappy people around me, and I know what unhappy circumstances are, but I cannot be unhappy for too long. I find such beauty in all things around me; I cannot maintain feelings of misery; I see sunsets of purple; I see the colors of the sun; I see bioluminescence in the water; and feel filled with something I can not explain. I don't know what "IT" is, nor is it very important what "IT" is, but "IT" is. As I said, it's sort of twisted to think about. In the end, life is far beyond good, but only if you let it be. Good Luck!


MATH: Cadet Allen bought soda to take aboard the ship. They were on sale at two for $0.79. How much change did he receive From $10.00 if he bought a dozen bottles?

SCIENCE: Ocean water often grows colder with depth. What is the region called in which the decrease of temperature with depth is greater than that of the water above and below.

GEOGRAPHY: Because of the Spanish-American War, the United States has the use of a part of Cuba. This location today has an American military base and a port for the use of American forces. You will hear of this place in the news right now because of the decision by the United States to bring certain people here as "detainees". During the 1999 Sea Term, the Empire State visited here on 17 January. What is the name of this location? Where are the "detainees" from?

HISTORY: The Spanish -American War of 1898 featured a number of military events that got a great deal of attention in American newspapers. One of these events was a charge by American forces up San Juan Hill outside of the city of Santiago. The charge was lead by a volunteer on horseback that rallied the troops to victory in that July 1 battle. This man later became the President of the United States. His name is__________.


MATH: We start by repeatedly dividing 24700 by 10 until we end up with a number greater than or equal to 1 and less than 10. (To divide a number by 10, move the decimal point one place to the left.) Since 24700 is greater than or equal to 10, move the decimal point to the left until you get a number that is less than 10. That number is 2.4700 and the number of places that you moved the decimal is 4. Therefore 24,700 is 2.47 times 10 to the fourth.

SCIENCE: Light is reflected in two mirrors.

GEOGRAPHY: The United Kingdom owns the Cayman Islands, south of Cuba.

HISTORY: The United States gained Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain by the Treaty of Paris of 1898. The United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917 for 25 million dollars.