Sunday, September 6, 2009

So I went shopping today

I was looking for several things, but in particular I wanted a rug for my apartment. Something about 5' by 7' or so. I went to three stores looking for one. I found several, including some that probably fit the bill size-wise; however I couldn't get them because they didn't match the color scheme. Normally I wouldn't have thought twice about this. I would have found one that was the right size, and if I had a choice of colors I would have picked one I liked. But the apartment I have is actually decorated and has a color scheme and everything. I ended up not getting a rug. I did get a frying pan and potato chips though.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Pre-Fall video

So, one of my fellow cadets, Brad Szczotka took a lot of video footage during the two weeks of Pre-Fall and he put together a pretty cool video about it. It's fast-paced and give a good idea of what all the cool stuff we did is. If you're wondering what the Academy is all about, this might be a good place to start.

Here it is: YouTube

Also a few other cadets are blogging, so if you want a different point-of-view you can go to Brice's or Mike's respective blogs. We all three have most of the same classes, but they think a lot harder than I do.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Things learned aboard T/S State of Michigan

1. Life on a ship is different than life on land.
The beds are smaller, the common areas are definitely common to everybody and the clock governs everything. None of these are very big deals individually, but altogether they're a noticeable difference. Captain wanted us to keep the doors to our staterooms open during the day, so they had to be neat. In addition, things that aren't 'secured' (nautical speak for 'put away') can fly around and hurt someone. The change was a good thing, as it force us incoming cadets to adjust and realize that it's a different world.

2. Surviving at sea is not a walk in the park
One of the two classes I took for three hours a day during this two-week 'pre-Fall' term was Survival at Sea. This isn't your everyday run-of-the-mill survival course, we learned all about lifeboat and life raft construction, davit systems, survival equipment packed in rafts, SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations and how they apply and a whole bunch of other stuff. This isn't just a class we take so that we're safe on the training ship, it will earn all of us a LIFEBOATMAN certification on our Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC). This certification is pretty basic and almost required to get a job.

3. Whatever you do, listen to the Captain
He has that title for a reason. Captain Surgalski is great guy, and very proficient at his job. However, he is more than happy to give you just enough rope to hang yourself with to learn a lesson. While we were underway coming back from Mackinac, he told those of not on watch to leave the pilot house so we wouldn't be in the way going through Gray's Reef passage. After a bit, he came out on the weather deck and took the time to point out the various lighthouses we could see and tell us some stories. He's a great guy. Also worth noting, if the captain asks you if you can breathe underwater, the correct answer is NOT 'yes'.

4. This is most definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life
As we were sailing back from Mackinac, we had some weather. I was on the wing of the pilot house (the deck just outside of the pilot house), enjoying the blow, the rolling seas and watching the ship be piloted through the passage. I thought to myself "this is SO cool, why didn't I start anytime before now?" I have some pretty cool classes this semester, just about all of which are hands-on. It's going to be a great four years, but an even better career.

I'll try blogging again

So I had a blog once, but it had one post back in April of 2006. I have seen the blogs of a couple of other incoming cadets and thought that writing stuff down might be a good thing for me and keep people back home updated.

I'm going to try to keep up with life, but don't be afraid to bug me if I haven't posted in a while.

Life is a trip, won't you come along?