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Monday 18 February 2002

At 1200, EST the Training Ship Empire State was located 14 nautical miles east of Delray Beach, FL, at 26 degrees and 25 minutes North Latitude and 079 degrees 48 minutes West Longitude, steering course 035 degrees true at a speed of 11 knots/Rpm 48 turns. The weather was partlt cloudy, winds from the norhteast at 08 to 10 knots, air temperature was 69 degrees Fahrenheit, barometric pressure was 1023 millibars, seas were easterly at 5 to 6 feet, sea injection temperature was 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Depth of water beneath the keel was 220 fathoms.


"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

-George Washington

Everybody made it back last night and we shoved off on time at 0800 this morning for HOME! This time the mighty Gulf Stream will hurry us along to our final destination, but there are still miles to go before we lay our burden down. Division 1 and 3 must complete their final watches,assessments and exams. Division 2 must finish the paint and polish lists set out by the Chief Mate so we can return Empire State to SUNY in great condition. No, there can be no dreamy looks from the lee rail as the sun sets for the crew on Sea Term 2002, there is still work to do.

sunset: the weather calmed down, the sun came out and the day turned out to be a good one. lee rail: cadets enjoy the last of the sunsets on this year's sea term.

Now, before you get the impression that ALL we do is work (a concept the Admissions office at MMA does NOT want me to convey), let me describe just some of the recent activities that don't involve paint or books.

Yesterday we had a number of cadets make the pilgrimage to the Daytona 500 race. Six even managed advanced tickets, courtesy of a kind Dad. Although Bob Corradi, our fanatic Athletic Director back in B-Bay was forced to watch the race on TV, some of his athletes were there in person to wince at the fiery crashes and cheer when Ward Burton and his #22 Dodge crossed the finish line. Other cadets got an early wake up and boarded a charter bus for Disney World, spending the day racing around Space Mountain under much more controlled (but still thrilling) conditions. Deep sea fishing excursions went off shore (you would have thought they would have had enough of the deep sea by now) but most lazed around the beach and did what most Northerners to Florida do, swam in the warm Atlantic Ocean.

Tonight we have scheduled the long awaited "Talent Show" of Sea Term. It must wait for the end of the trip because tradition has it that whoever made the biggest mistake (or the most enemies) will be roasted in the various skits presented by the 4/c cadets. We do have a wealth of real talent aboard, and sometimes it even makes it to the stage, but all aboard await the show to see who earned the ire of the presenters. Usually, with close living and working conditions- remember, you can't get more than 500 feet away from somebody for 40 days and 40 nights- there is plenty of ire to go around. The humor doesn't translate well to outsiders though, most of the trip is a giant inside joke, as you will soon learn when your cadet tries to explain it to you next week. I'll fill you in tomorrow if there is a stand out winner of the event.

Tomorrow night we have "Las Vegas Night" We print our own money (good thing, because nobody has any right about now), play various games of chance for a few hours and then hold a raffle at the end of the night. The big prize is the privilege of being the first cadet to walk off the gangway upon arrival in homeport. Of course, the trick is; first you must win a fistful of TSES cash and then guess which envelope of the 20 or so identical white ones auctioned off holds the prize you desire. Another big prize is a night in a private room. It's the isolation room used by sickbay to keep contagious diseases at bay-only available if no one's sick at the moment. That is a sure winner for those confined to the 156 man cargo holds for the past 6 weeks. Even if the room has no porthole, you can take a shower, go to the bathroom and go to sleep by yourself! My personal favorite is having breakfast in bed served by the Assistant Commandant of Cadets. I hope I win that one!

mops: awaiting their masters. Many freshmen wish they could be the sorcerer's apprentice to get all the mopping done aboard ship.