|Petty Officer PT|
Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
As a Squad Leader it is my responsibility to supervise the youngies during Inspections, Study Hours and Cleaning Stations among other duties. This week it is my duty to run cleaning stations. I have not done cleaning stations so far this semester, because our Squad Leaders run morning and night cleaning stations for an entire week, and this is my week. The past few mornings I have had to wake up at 0540 and I almost forgot how terrible it is to wake up early. Over the winter, I had to be at work by 0500 most of the time so sleeping in until 0630 spoiled me. I am the DCA Squad Leader which means that the DC Locker (Supply Closet) is my responsibility to be clean and well stocked for supplies. That means that I have to go to bed early tonight because I am a grump in the morning.
After classes today I went to work at the Phone-a-thon our MMA Foundation is putting together. The cadets involved have a stack of callers to get in touch with and make sure they are aware of our MMA events and that their information is correct and in file. On top of the verification and let them know if the happenings at MMA we give them information on the Foundation and ask if they would make a donation to help better financially support the students. We are trying to get a donor for all 1,200 students and I am optimistic we will be able to make it. I made my first phone calls today and many people did not answer, probably due to caller ID, however those that did were so nice and willing to talk to me about their time at the Academy. We even had a few alumni make gifts to help our cause! I love talking to people and I think I am really going to love it.
Aside from the concert the next day we had our first examination in Captain Belle's Containerization class. The test was made up of fifty multiple questions and he informed us all the test were different and should not be that hard if we had been paying attention in class. As we all predicted everything that he had covered in class was in the test and everyone in the class passed the exam with flying colors. We will be having another Exam from Captain Belle pretty soon and then our final the first week of April because he will be going back to Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
At the end of this week, we will be attending the Shanghai Circus World since the Shanghai Maritime University set up the event for all the International students to attend a Chinese traditional dinner and then arrive at the event. We cannot wait for the Shanghai Circus World since a couple of us almost went on our own last week but due to time conflicts we could not attend, luckily the school has set up this event and now we can share even more memories with everyone.
- 2/c Eddy Ramos
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Okay, so it is not your typical TGIF title, but I can honestly say that this week has been the craziest I have had so far at the Academy. Between crazy classes, meetings, conferences, dinners galore I haven’t had much time to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having. This morning Mr. Gomes, the Regimental Commander, and Mr. Dineen, our Regimental Training and Retention Officer, hosted a meeting with all of the juniors applying for senior leadership positions next year. With less than 20 days to go before we have to hand in our application the pressure is on to make sure they are perfect and complete. After the meeting I had my classes and met with Dr. Ritschel, the play director, about Ireland. For our Patriot’s Day break I will be heading to Ireland with my best friend from high school for 6 nights. Dr. Ritschel, being from Ireland has been able to tell me all about what to see and hints to get the best bang for my euro while I am there. I never really had a good relationship with my professors in high school, not that I did not like them, but I never really got to know them and they never got to know me. I really value how different MMA in that our professors really do get to know us in and out of the classroom. After class I went to work in the ABS Information Commons participating in the Phone-a-than which is going to be such a great asset for the school to have. Essentially about 20 cadets are calling to speak with alumni and tell them all about the great renovations or events MMA and speak with them about The Foundation. After the meeting at 1800, I went to the USTS Kennedy rate dinner, hosted by the Board of Trustee’s, and spent a wonderful dinner eating steaks and tiramisu. With tomorrow being the Board of Trustee meeting I am looking with hearing from all of the different departments and seeing the Trustees again. It has been such an honor being a part of the Board of Trustees this year and with the school year coming to an end much quicker than I thought it would be I am valuing every meeting and committee day we have more and more. So, thank God tomorrow is Friday because after the conference, meetings, work, dinner, Squad Leader duties and Trustee meeting I am in need of a nap!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I had the privilege of attending the annual CMA Conference this past Tuesday in Stamford, Connecticut with a large majority of seniors and a few juniors. We got to the conference after a 3 hour drive and I could not have been more excited to be there. We got our name badges, went upstairs and I quickly spread out to speak to companies. I have never seen such a large conference or so many maritime companies in a local area. The first company I went to was Trade Winds and told them all about how our class reads their paper almost daily and then went on to other companies. I spoke to companies that aid ships in navigation for pirates, those that do emergency response for disasters, registry companies, different training companies and the list goes on.
I was so happy to learn about different companies and I could not believe how many Mass. Maritime graduates were among the managers there. I made sure to speak with them for a while and talked to them about internships. I thought that the MMA grads were more apt to help fellow maritimers and I got well over 30 business cards. I have learned that when going into these conferences you have to go in with the right mindset. There were so many companies there interested in getting fresh new faces, and with maritime industry experience they wanted to speak about internships. I have only been able to email a few companies, because I have been so busy, but this weekend I am going to sit down and go through the business cards and thank them for speaking with me, and then talk to them a bit more about a potential internship. Since being at MMA I have started a business card collection and typically write a little about where I met them and if they were a grad or not on the back of the business card or something that we spoke about to help them distinguish myself or jog a memory. I am constantly learning about common practices in the workforce and because of the new age of technology, face to face contact means a lot to many of the Vice Presidents and managers of the companies rather than a email. I hope to get an internship somewhere outside of the United States! Overall this was such a great conference and I can not wait to go again next year too!
Monday, March 19, 2012
|7th Company in the St. Patrick's Day Parade South Boston|
|Director of the USAF Band of Liberty|
Friday, March 16, 2012
Coming back to school was anything but a slow transition. It felt like as soon as I got back the work load was piled on. Maybe this was true, or maybe I was just wasn't used to taking classes for the last 3 months. What I do know for sure is that this is going to be one of the toughest semesters yet. The courses alone are very tough. For example, Applied Shiphandling 1 combines everything that we have learned over the last 2 years and puts into application. For this class we use our T/V Ranger and the brand new Ship Simulator in the ABS Information Commons. One of my other tough classes is Stability and Trim. In this class we discuss all the different forces that act on the vessel. It is a thorough application of physics as well as critical thinking. Some of my other classes include, Automatic Radar Plotting Aids, American Government, Tugs 2, and Composing in Electronic Media.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
This weekend was amazing, and we are planning to visit many more temples during our stay in Shanghai and cannot wait to continue sharing our experiences during our stay.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I was able to post one blog entry early in my voyage on the Maersk Wyoming. Unfortunately my ship came under internet restriction. Due to the fact that the ship is only allowed 20 GB of internet usage a month we were asked to limit the amount of time we spent on the internet. This meant that the blogging had to fall by the way side. Now that I am back from the Commercial Shipping Term I would love to tell everyone all about it.
On December 18th I reported to the Maersk Wyoming. The Wyoming is a 950 ft. container ship. We departed that same evening bound for Dubai, U.A.E. The trip across the Atlantic Ocean was easy and slow going. We didn't see too many ships or hit any significant seas. On Christmas Day the Captain and I passed out gifts from the Seafarers Center in Charleston, SC. On the same day we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. The Straits of Gibraltar were very exciting. The volume of ship traffic that passed through there at one time was incredible.
Our first port was Dubai. I spent nearly 21 days on the ship before getting off in Duabi. Unfortunately we did not get too far from the ship that night because we were restricted from leaving the port after 0000. Instead we went to the Seamans club and relaxed. After Dubai we went to Pakistan. We didn't get off here because again we arrived in the late afternoon and were leaving early in the morning. Our next stop in Mumbai (Bombay), India was a long one (20 hours). We were able to go ashore into the city and get some lunch. The restaurant was excellent service and quality. In India I saw a lot of poverty. I am very thankful for all that I have in such a great country. After India we started heading West to Salalah, Oman. Oman is very a beautiful country. Sand and mountains as far as the eye can see, but there was something about it that made it look exceptional. In Oman we went to the Oasis Club and enjoyed a nice meal before heading back to work.
After Oman we made our way back to the states. On our way back through the Mediterranean I passed the ship my girlfriend was on at less than two miles in the middle of the night. We talked on the VHF radio for about an hour. One of the coolest parts of the trip.
As I mentioned above, we had the intention of going straight to Dubai. When were about a days travel from Newark we had a small fire in the main engine. The fire was in one of the scavenge spaces below one of the pistons. The engineers were able to put the fire out quick and shut the engine down before the situation got worse. We floated for a couple of hours. This happened twice more and we had to drift dead in the water for over a day. In the end we had to take two pistons offline and limp to Spain for repairs. I got off in Algeciras, Spain and returned home on the 16th of February. Spain was an amazing sight, by far the most beautiful country that I visited on my travels this winter. On my way to the airport I was able to see the sun rise over the Mediterranean and hit the mountains in southern Spain. I wish words could capture that sight, but the fact is that somethings need to be seen in person.
All in all my winter aboard the Maersk Wyoming was very rewarding. I learned a lot, certainly more than I thought I would. I look forward to shipping on my license as a career one day very soon.
-View from the bridge.
-Myself in front of our Charlies Angels cut-out (Pirate Deterrent).
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Although it was hard to communicate with the elders our roommates helped translating for us which was nice. Even though there was a language barrier the smiles on the faces of the people we went to visit let us know that they were very happy to see us. We visited people in their rooms that could not physically get up and took pictures with them and they even gave us a thumbs up. We then went into a movie room where at least fifteen elders came to greet us and we put on a show for them. We all sang americans songs, we even sang the Barney sone "I Love You" because that was one of the songs everyone could remember the words to. The three German students (Marc, Jullian, and Sandra) also sang a German song. Everyone in the room sang the Chinese national anthem together or we at least tried to not mess it up as much. The elders also sang at least three songs to us which we did not expect which was a nice gesture.
Overall the experience was wonderful, everyone came out very happy and were very pleased about coming. I heard a saying when I was little and it was "always remember to do one good deed a day, because it can bring a smile to someones face". Hopefully us being there and showing up allowed the elderly to be happy for the moment, we plan on going back in the following weeks so we can perform a full song and maybe a dance to go with it.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
As many of you already know as a cadet at Mass Maritime you are required to complete 12 hours of maintenance a semester aboard the ship. Marine Trans., Business, EM and MSEP all do what is called deck maintenance which consists of doing cosmetic and structural changes everywhere on the ship except the engine room. The engine room receives its maintenance from the Marine Engine and Facilities Engineering cadets. Since they have specialize classes in boiler and AUX machinery maintenance they are much more qualified and familiar with this type of work then other cadets.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Growing up in New Jersey which isn't ridiculously far away from New England, I thought that the change in climate and location wouldn't be too drastic and this morning reminded me of how very wrong I was. This morning was about 20 degrees when we had morning formation and when I came back inside and put on the news it said to feel like 6 degrees! I can't wait for Spring to get here already because New England is absolutely gorgeous in the Fall and Spring!
As far as classes go they are very interesting and we all seem to enjoy every single one of them. Monday and Wednesday we have two classes but each class is three hours long so we go to class from 0820 until 1600 but we get an hour of lunch break. Tuesday we have only one class in the morning, and Thursday and Friday we also have only one class. To our surprise the language barrier while in class is not difficult all the teachers can get their points across to us no problem and it is very interesting to learn new teaching styles. The easiest class to understand is with Captain Belle because he is American which is no surprise. It was also nice to meet Captain Belle he has so much experience in the Maritime Industry so I can say that I have learned so much from him in such a short period of time. With only week one behind us it already the rest of the cadets and myself cannot believe we are in China it is as if we were in a dream. It has been such a wonderful experience so far, and we are all anxious to continue on and see the amount of valuable things we will learn.