Training in the Motor Whaleboats

Motor whaleboat Today in Basic Seamanship Lab we had our first experience training in the motor whaleboats. For those of you unfamiliar with motor whaleboats, here’s a picture of one very similar to the ones we have here at the Academy: Part of Basic Seamanship involves small boat handling, so we use the motor whaleboats to learn line handling and boat maneuvering. Today made it particularly interesting for our first time out, since we were fighting very strong crosswinds while docking, and driving rain. Continue reading »

Dorm Life

I’d imagine that one of the big questions that most prospective cadets and parents have, such as this parent, is what life in the dorms is like. In general, it’s similar to that of most other colleges: there are two people to a room, we share the heads, and we’re always in each other’s business. However, we have unique aspects of dorm life, such as cleaning stations and inspections. Cleaning stations are only for freshmen, and are done in the morning at 0550 and at night at 1900. Continue reading »

The Mess Deck: MMA's "Bread and Butter"

Hehe, you see what I did there? :-) Anyway, a parent posted a comment on a previous blog entry suggesting that I discuss some of the more “mundane” details of life at MMA, such as the mess deck. The mess deck is the hub of cadet life beyond the regiment. Eating, relaxing, and socializing are just a few of the major roles the mess deck plays in cadet life. On any given day of the week, you’ll find a variety of cuisine choices. Continue reading »

The Latest: Updates from Around Campus

I’m sorry it’s been a week since my last post. I haven’t written anything due to a combination of being wicked busy, and not having much to write about (those two don’t really seem to go together, do they?). At any rate, I thought I’d post an update on some of the more interesting things going on with me, as well as around campus. By now everyone has sorted out their schedule, and has gotten into their routine with classes and extracurriculars. Continue reading »

Starting at MMA: Weekends

Given that it’s Saturday, I decided to talk about weekends at MMA. Since the vast majority of cadets at MMA are Massachusetts residents (many of them living within an hour of campus), most people go home on weekends. It’s a nice break from the regiment. For those of us out of state, we have to get a little creative in entertaining ourselves. Some of us go home with friends who live close by, but many of us stay on campus. Continue reading »

Starting at MMA: Watchstanding

All cadets are required to stand watch, license and non-license majors alike. We stand watch in three places on campus - one in the dorms, and two on the Enterprise. In the dorms, we have watch at the Cadet Information Center (CIC), where we keep track of visitors entering and exiting the dorms, answer the phone during off-business hours, and do rounds throughout the dorms to make sure everything is in proper order. Continue reading »

Starting at MMA: Inspections

Inspections are a major part of the life of a fourth class cadet. Every morning at 0650, all fourth class cadets in the regiment stand room inspections, done by the squad leaders in each company. There are very specific requirements for your room to be inspection-ready, the state in which it is supposed to be kept not only for inspections but at all times. When a squad leader walks up to your room, he or she inspects both you and your room mate’s uniform. Continue reading »

Starting at MMA: Pre-Orientation Preparation

Orientation is probably the single biggest source of nervousness and apprehension for incoming freshman at Mass Maritime. Last summer when I was talking to some of my soon-to-be shipmates, the vast majority of conversations revolved around Orientation and what people expected it to be like. Many of the rumors my classmates discussed turned out to be just that, but at the time all the information we were talking about amounted to a pretty daunting concept of Orientation. Continue reading »

New Series: Starting At MMA

I received an e-mail from the parent of a student who will be a freshman at MMA in the fall. She suggested that I write about important aspects of starting out as a freshman at MMA. Over the next week or two, I plan to cover a variety of topics pertaining to Orientation and first semester freshman year. If you have anything specific about the beginning of freshman year that you’d like me to cover, please feel free to post a comment and I’ll try to cover it. Continue reading »

Beginning-of-Semester Confusion

Buttermilk Bay Today and tomorrow have been a little hectic as people are easing back in to their routines, and getting various issues sorted out. Schedules, financial aid, business office obligations, books, and a variety of other tasks we have to accomplish. As freshmen, this is the first time we’ve had to deal with a lot of these things as they were taken care of for us last semester. Since I had no classes today, and the semester’s still getting started, there’s not much to report. Continue reading »
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