Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back in the Atlantic

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, at approximately 15:30, we spotted the Rock (Gibraltar) and for next three hours all onboard could enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Morocco on one side and Spain on the other.

At 19:00 TSES had passed Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Atlantic ocean.

All on board remain in good spirits, but some signs of homesickness  have begun to emerge. This is totally  understandable given that some of these mariners left home eighty days ago.

I visited the machine shop today and observed deck engineer Jules Schaefer  giving lessons in the use of a mill lathe to engineering cadets.  The machine shop is very well maintained and equipped. There is no piece of  equipment that you cannot find here: metal lathes (they have three of them), mill, grinders, drills, vises, multiple welding gear - they have it all.  Those students willing to learn can obtain very valuable skills in that shop.

Last, the ship’s clock was reversed one hour today hence everybody onboard got one extra hour of sleep.

Until  next time,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Approaching Gibraltar

Dear Readers;

As we approach Gibraltar all is well on the TSES VI.

At sea, the students are participating in medical care provider classes in the library.
The topic of the day was traumatic injuries. Cadet Henry Greenberg volunteered as the “patient” to participate in the practice of treating a serious eye wound.  Immediately after he had been “injured,” Henry was given medical help by his fellow cadets who took care of the injured eye using all available materials in the immediate vicinity. In this particular case his eye was covered with a water cup and bandaged with a piece of scotch tape. After having his “injuries” attended to Henry was put on a stretcher and awaited to be transferred to a medical professional.

Starting tomorrow night we will be setting our clocks back one hour every other day until on August, 7 when we return to Eastern Standard Time. 

Until next time,


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Onward to the Azores

Dear Readers,
We have now disembarked from Malta and are beginning the last leg of our journey – returning to NYC. The TSES VI will approach Gibraltar on July 28, and then continue onward in the direction of the Azores Islands.
After we pass the Azores Islands we’ll be heading straight for the Long Island Sound.

 Malta was a great destination for some R&R. Cadets and crew spent three days diving, fishing, swimming, and visiting the island’s historical locations.

We are however, back to our regular routine and with classes resuming the library is once again a busy place.

Morale is high and everyone is in good health and spirits.

Until next time,


Monday, July 22, 2013

Malta Bound

Dear Readers,

Today is a sunny, hot Sunday as the TSES approaches Valletta, Malta at full speed. We are scheduled to take a pilot aboard at 16:30 and dock at 18:00.

All on board are looking forward to a few days on shore. Malta promises to be a great port of call to visit for everybody. Besides a scuba diving trip, the regimental affairs office has organized three day trips, including a trip to the famous Blue Laguna.

The last few days were dedicated to STCW training . Cadets learned to enter confined spaces for search and rescue operations . This training took place behind the library’s walls in the cadets’ recreational room which was converted into a “dark confined space flushed  with CO2 gas”.  The library served as a staging area. Cadets worked in teams of two, entering the space clad in rescue gear, searching for mannequins  representing  unconscious  crew members.

Meanwhile, future navigators have been practicing the Williamson turn, designed for the “man overboard” emergency. In such an instance, the  ship turns in a certain pattern in order to return exactly to the same spot where person went overboard.  Meanwhile, rescue boats had been deployed multiple times to pick up “person in water”.

 Also, on fantail, some cadets learned firefighting skills while others practiced ship survival techniques.

Everybody was enjoying the practical learning experience.

Until  next time,


Friday, July 19, 2013

In the Mediterranean

Dear Readers;

As we continue our Mediterranean journey it is business as usual aboard the TSES VI with more STCW training scheduled for today and tomorrow. Classrooms are also filled with cadets taking Mid- Term exams. The foosball table outside the library’s door in the recreation room is usually very busy as well.       

I had an opportunity recently to speak with the ship’s Doctor. Dr. Freeman is a Navy reserve officer and also a surgeon in a New Jersey hospital. The Doctor said he is not busy on this trip!  Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Freeman has his plate full as he organizes and coordinates teaching opportunities, inspects our food and water, and also carries a lot of other responsibilities, but his sickbay is empty! There have been only a few very minor health issues to take care of e.g., scratches , mild sea-sickness, and very minor allergic reactions. This is not Dr. Freeman’s first cruise aboard the TSES IV and he is characterizing this trip as the most peaceful thus far.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

STCW at sea

Dear Readers,

After the ship left Trieste we sailed down Italy’s coast.  Just recently, the students participated in the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping training which took place off Pylos, Greece.  Shortly after the STCW training we passed through the Strait of Messina once more. According to Captain Smith, the ship is going to navigate in a westerly direction and then turn about towards Valletta, Malta. We should be arriving at Malta on July 21st. The students are excited and looking forward to spending time on the sunny island of Malta. The regimental office has organized a scuba diving trip in the Maltese waters, fifty cadets are already signed up.

The library is full and filled with activity as mid-term exams are beginning this week.

Until Next Time,


Monday, July 15, 2013

And now Malta

Dear Readers,

We recently left Trieste and the students seemed to be enthralled with the city. It kept reminding me of Vienna.  One of the highlights of the visit was a bus trip to Venice.

The Malta docking dates have been changed we will be there from July 21 – 25. Please send your letters to the address listed below.

Address in Malta:

c/o Mediterranean trading Shipping Co Ltd 13, Barriera Wharf Valleta,

VLT 1971 Malta




Castle Miramare

Docking in Trieste
Fountain of Neptune in Trieste

Grand Canal in Venice

Piazza Unita d'Italia, Trieste

Gibraltar and Dublin

Bunkering At Gibraltar

Cadet Archie Williams at Gibraltar

The Dublin Pilot Tug

A View of Gibraltar

Cadet Raina Barnes at Gibraltar

Photos from the training Ship

Bringing in a Rescue Boat

Bringing in a Rescue Boat

Chief Mate Vecchio and Deck Cadets

Engine Room Cadets

Engine Room Cadets

ETO Mikael Safarian (right) and Cadets

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Towards Trieste

Dear Readers;

Everyone on board, the cadets, faculty, and crew are looking forward to three days on dry land as we approach Trieste.  This is a great opportunity for the students to immerse themselves into Italian culture. There are two day trips planned. One is to Venice where I’m looking forward to seeing in person the canals, gondolas, palaces, and glass works. The other trip planned is a bus tour to Ljubljana in Slovenia. This should also be a great city to visit as some European travel guides refer to it as a “second Prague.”

Until next time,


Monday, July 8, 2013

Ionian Sea

Dear readers;
The TSES departed Gibraltar after bunkering and is now crossing the Ionian Sea heading towards Trieste. We recently passed through the Straits of Messina, a very narrow channel at the tip of Italy’s boot that when crossed has the island of Sicily on starboard and mainland Italy at port.
Reference questions are picking up and cadets are spending even more time in the library whether in study groups or as individuals.
On the week of July 4th, Father Pete visited the library. He’s quite active about the ship – attending formations, visiting the regimental office, and conducting services.  He also finds the time to run a small discussion group.
I asked him for his comments on the cruise thus far.
 “From the depths of the engine room to the heights of the bridge, I found the cadets to be excited and enthusiastic about summer cruise. The practical experience of being on the TSES VI in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean makes the theory of classroom learning come alive. I have traced the pipes in the engine room with students smiling and nodding their heads amidst the roar of the furnaces. I have shared a few minutes of a tranquil watch from the doghouse on the stern with cadets intently peering through their binoculars. Deck or Engine, the joy of following the sea, following their dreams to be licensed mariners is as obvious as the miles of deep blue ocean that surrounds our ship.”


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gibraltar Bunkering

Dear Readers,

We are happy to report that Oleg Kushelev, our librarian for the second half of the 2013 Summer Sea Term has reported in.  This is Oleg’s first cruise with the college and he has served as a volunteer with the US Coast Guard.

Oleg writes:

Everything is well aboard the TSES VI and everybody looks healthy and happy.

As we continue our journey more cadets are continuing to congregate at the Library to read, study, or to just take a breather from their various ship responsibilities.

Many students have a variety of reference questions that cover a wide variety of subjects. As we are headed towards the Italian city of Trieste many questions ask about its history.   They are also immersed in our Italian study guides.

Of interest, the library is also holding a class.  This is a medical care provider class that is run by the ship’s doctorStudents are now learning how to take blood pressure by practicing on one another.

One thing I would like to mention is that I find the food to be of high-quality thanks to the ship’s cook Chef Jeff and his staff who approach their kitchen duties with pride.  I’m impressed that they are able to feed over six hundred people three times a day, seven days a week.

We recently skirted Spain and this morning we approached Gibraltar.
This is where we will bunker and it should take from six to eight hours. Once we are all fueled up the next destination will be Trieste!

Until next time,



The ship’s address in Trieste:
c/o Domar Ship Agent
Via Martinelli n 14
34015 Muggia Trieste
Attn: Capt Giampalo Lonzar