Review: SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker

SPOT satellite tracker I recently received a SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker as part of a contest run on gCaptain. For those of you unfamiliar with the device, it’s a GPS antenna and commercial satellite transmitter integrated inside of a handheld case, with a few different functions thrown into the mix. You can use it to track your location throughout the world, send assistance requests, as well as distress and emergency calls. For more detailed information, check out the SPOT web site, and perhaps watch the video they have featured on their home page. Read On →

Photo Of The Week #13

Queen Elizabeth 2 This week, the Queen Elizabeth 2 visited Southampton, England for the last time ever. The cruise liner is making its final voyage before coming to rest in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to live out the rest of her days as a floating hotel and museum. You may have heard in the news that she ran aground on her way into Southampton, but sustained no damage. She departed Southampton with fireworks and ceremony, a proper farewell for a ship of such notoriety. Read On →

Classes This Year

I received a suggestion this week that I talk about how my classes are going so far this year. To be honest, classes are much tougher than they were last year. Now that I’m starting to get into the core material for my major, the learning curve is a little steeper. Rules of the Road is probably my most difficult class, as is the case for many other sophomore Deckies. This is the class where we learn the regulations for ship movement and traffic, as well as how to identify other vessels. Read On →

Drug Testing at MMA

I received a suggestion a few weeks ago to talk about drug testing. As most people involved with the Academy know, cadets are randomly drug tested to stay in compliance with Coast Guard licensing requirements. Testing has always been conducted regularly at the Academy, but this year it’s being done with greater frequency. Starting this year, testing is being conducted twice a month, instead of just once a month as it used to be. Read On →

Presidential Politics at MMA

I received a suggestion a while ago (sorry for the delay to whoever left it) to talk about what opinions are being expressed about the presidential election. To be honest, I’ve been tiptoeing around the issue on my blog, since this is such a polarized election. However, since today is election day and what’s done is done at the time that I’m writing this, I figured it might be a good time to discuss it. Read On →

Photo of the Week #12

T.S. Kenndey I took this picture this morning from my room, which is why the picture quality leaves a little to be desired. However, I wanted to seize the opportunity to get the shot, since they’re keeping the new name covered up until the ship is christened as the USTS Kennedy. So, enjoy this “sneak preview” picture of Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training ship with its new nametag. If you’re a little confused as to why there’s a new name on the bow, take a look at this post. Read On →

Google Maps Updates MMA

On a whim, I happened to look up Mass Maritime on Google Maps tonight, and discovered that they have recently updated their imagery of this area. You can now see the addition built on top of the 1st and 2nd company dorms, as well as the 81kW solar array on top of the addition. The windmill is also clearly visible, along with the new turf field. Check out the new satellite imagery of Mass Maritime

Training Ship Name Change

As I’m sure most people are now aware, the Academy trustees have voted to rename the training ship to the USTS Kennedy, in honor of Ted Kennedy’s service as a U.S. Senator for Massachusetts. I was asked last week via Skribit that I write about cadet reactions to the name change. There hasn’t been much discussion among cadets about the name change, to be honest. We heard a little bit about it at the beginning of the year, and were asked to express our opinions via e-mail about a possible name change. Read On →

Photo of the Week #11

Sanko Blossom This week’s Photo of the Week comes from Flickr user OneEighteen, a Houston ship pilot. The photo is of a tanker in the Houston ship channel, the Sanko Blossom. I thought it was a cool picture because of the sheer massive size of the ship, and the way that’s really emphasized by the angle from which the shot was taken. I haven’t gotten any new photos this year around campus. If you have any photos you’d like to submit for Photo of the Week, please e-mail me. Read On →

U.S. Coast Guard Recruit Training – A Developing Web Presence

As I’m sure regular readers know, I went to Coast Guard Basic Training this past summer, having enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Since coming back to MMA, I’ve had quite a few of my shipmates ask me about it, some of whom are interested in doing it themselves. In my Internet travels, I have discovered some resources, some new and some well-established, that may be of interest to those with questions about recruit training. Read On →