Mon 4 Jul 2011
Captain’s Log for 4 July 2011
Welcome aboard (virtually!) to all our Cal Maritime friends and family. My name is Professor Samuel R. Pecota, Chair of the Marine Transportation Department and Captain of the Training Ship Golden Bear for Cruise 2. We have a wonderful schedule planned for this cruise that includes port calls at Brisbane, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Pago Pago, American Samoa; and San Diego, California. I am certain that these port visits will provide our Cal Maritime and Texas Maritime cadets with fond memories that will last their entire lives.
More importantly though, the maritime training opportunities that the TSGB presents to our students are, in my opinion, second to none. We have the finest, most modern training ship in the world, crewed by highly skilled, dedicated academy faculty, staff, and top-notch maritime professionals. For many students, cruising on the Golden Bear is their first opportunity to apply the maritime knowledge they learned in the classroom.
Cruise 2 began at 1200 on Tuesday 28 June at Pier 19 in Honolulu. Cruise 1 officers, staff and cadets (not including a few held over for security) had departed the vessel earlier in the morning. By 1800, all Cruise 2 personnel had reported aboard, watches were set, and dockside preparations for the upcoming voyage were well underway.
On the evening of 29 June, a CMA alumni reception was held on the O3 deck aft. Approximately 150 people, mostly CMA alumni, enjoyed an evening of reunions and general socializing while taking in a beautiful view of the Aloha Tower and Honolulu Harbor. Captain Harry Bolton (CMA Class of ‘78), and primary Captain of the Training Ship Golden Bear, was our Master of Ceremonies for the event and welcomed all on board, setting the tone for a highly enjoyable evening. Ken Passe (Class of ’69), President of the Cal Maritime Alumni Association, also said a few words emphasizing the importance to the future of the academy of active alumni participation in the mentoring of future and present cadets. A marvelous buffet (complete with carved prime rib), wine and beer were provided by our cherished steward’s department led by Food Service Director Louis Bones and Chief Steward Mark Cosca. I myself met many of my former students from my ten years of teaching at Cal Maritime. We had many pleasant conversations.
The vessel departed on time from Honolulu on the morning of 1 July and promptly headed in the wrong direction, away from Brisbane. Just kidding, we headed east as planned to the Island of Lanai to begin the first of two days of Underway Training. During the next two nights, students on bridge watch were trained in piloting techniques as the vessel circumnavigated Lanai about 2 miles offshore. Starting on the morning of 2 July, first class deck students participated in the evolution known as rubber docking, experienced the launching, driving, and recovery of one of the Golden Bear’s Fast Rescue Boats, and observed the vessel maneuvering from the vantage point of an engineer in the engine control room. First class engineering students got practice in controlling the ship’s main engines during the rubber docking maneuvers.
“Just what is rubber docking?” you may be asking yourself. Well, it is a practical demonstration of ship handling techniques and vessel control that actually allows the deck student a chance to see and experience how a large vessel like the Golden Bear handles. Students have to maneuver the vessel around a 2-mile oval course and try to stop the ship directly alongside a small buoy (which represents the dock). The students enjoyed both the rubber docking and FRB exercises immensely. (See the accompanying photos of the Underway Training of 2-3 July).
UWT concluded at 1800 on 3 July and the vessel headed southwest (in the right direction!) to begin a 16-day transit to Brisbane. On Monday 4 July at 0800, the formal deck and engine training programs commenced.
There will be a 4th of July celebration barbeque on the fantail for all hands at 1700 tonight. Photos to follow.
Next captain’s log is scheduled for departure Brisbane.
Aloha a hui hou.
Captain Sam Pecota