Super Bowl Sunday in Golfito!

T.S. Enterprise in Golfito Today is our last day in Golfito. Everyone’s had a good time, but I think we’re ready to be on our way. At the moment, however, most people are focused on the Super Bowl just a few hours away. We’ve been told, as I posted yesterday, that a projector is going to be set up on the helo deck so we can watch the Super Bowl as one big group, which should be a lot of fun! Read On →

Golfito So Far

I’m writing this post from a place called the Maritime Bar in Golfito, which provides free Wifi. At the moment it’s probably in the 80s with 100% humidity since it’s pouring rain. There’s a gentle breeze coming through this open-air restaurant, which is also rustling the palm trees and other plants around. Bob Marley is being pumped out of the stereo here, and there’s a gorgeous 180 degree view of the bay and the ocean. Read On →

End of Engine Training, Entering Golfito

Yesterday was my last day of engine training. We learned about various measuring tools, and about basic electrical wiring by building an extension cord. We learned more about electricity in class yesterday afternoon, as well as about various instrumentation. On Tuesday my group was in lab the entire day, working with black iron pipe and making a picture frame out of aluminum stock. The picture frame was my favorite lab because we got to work with so many different tools and have a useable finished product. Read On →

Engine Training – Day 1

Yesterday was my first day of Engine training. My group spent the morning in the classroom reviewing boiler operations and the systems within the engine room that we need to know for our exam on Febrary 4th. In the afternoon, we were doing labs. We have a list of activities we need to complete during Engine training that are spread out over the three days. Yesterday my group learned how to sweat copper pipe, join lengths of soft copper pipe using flaring and compression fittings, and join PVC pipe using various fittings. Read On →

Farewell Panama!

Yesterday was our last day in port in Panama, and what a time it was! The past four days have been incredible. The weather alone has been a nice treat, and we’ve had tons of fun in and around Panama City. I spent a lot of time in a part of town known as the “Causeway”, a more upscale peninsula a few miles long lined with shops and restaurants, and many Maritime cadets. Read On →

This Is AMAZING!!!!!

It’s about 2315 as I’m writing this, and we’re currently passing through the part of the Panama Canal known as “The Cut” - the man-made portion after the Gatun Lake. We finished going through the Gatun locks around 2100 and have been steaming along ever since. We couldn’t have asked for better weather! The temperature and humidity are perfect, there isn’t a cloud in the sky so the stars are amazing and the moon is almost full, and there’s no wind. Read On →

Waiting Outside the Canal

We spent today anchored in the waiting area right outside the entrance to the canal. We’ve been in the company of about 30 ships of all shapes and sizes, from ROROs to small sailboats. I was mistaken in my post yesterday regarding the schedule for going through the canal. We are weighing anchor between 1630 and 1700. We are expected to get through the first three locks by about 1900. We should exit the canal into the Pacific around 0130 on Thursday, and be fully docked by about 0300. Read On →

Arrival at the Panama Canal

This afternoon we arrived at the Panama Canal. We have to wait until tomorrow night to go through, so we’re going to be hovering outside until then. We’re doing anchoring and turning drills right now, so even though we’ve arrived at our destination, the ship is still moving. Tomorrow maintenance should be easier since the ship won’t be rolling as much. I’m planning on being out on deck as much as possible while we’re going through the canal, so I can take it all in-and get tons of pictures! Read On →

More Like a Cruise Ship Than a Working Ship

Today we have Sunday at Sea, when we get some well-earned R&R. There are no musters, except for the divisions on watch and maintenance. Watch division continues on its regular schedule, and maintenance division has maintenance in the morning and the rest of the day off. Lunch and dinner are both cook-outs on the helo deck, where you’ll find hundreds of cadets covering almost every part of the helo deck and the boat deck above it. Read On →

Rougher Seas Make Classes a Lot More Fun!

Today we’ve had much larger waves than the past few days. The ship has done quite a bit of rolling, and we’re starting to understand much better why the tables in the mess deck have slide guards on the edges! I’ve been in MSEP training since Thursday, and today was the last day. The chairs and stools in the classrooms are not fixed to the deck in any way, so when the ship rolled we all went sliding to one side or the other. Read On →