Original story by Matsuki Hirayama from KUAM News

All hands-on deck!

As our maritime industry continues to grow, cadets from California State University Maritime Academy are learning the ropes in Guam’s port aboard the Triton. 

It’s an industry that keeps our island afloat during tough times. 

Throughout the pandemic and super typhoons, Guam's port keeps moving. And Cal Maritime cadets from Vallejo, California are learning the ropes with the Cabras Marine Corporation. 

From engine cadets like Guyllermo Cordova, who said, "We work in the engine room making sure the systems are working, the valves are working," to deck cadets like Matthew Martinez, who noted, "We do everything from chipping, grinding, chart plots to voyage plotting," these Keelhaulers anchoring down in Guam for a 90-day internship aboard vessels like the Triton. 

For some like Martinez, family is what charted the course to the maritime industry.  "I’m a third-generation commercial fisherman," he explained. "My family has been doing it since they came here from Italy."

For others like cadet Ty Simpson-Kane, it’s a connection to home. He said, "I’ve grown up in Hawaii my whole life so I’ve been based around the ocean ever since I could walk. I wanted to stay around the ocean and didn’t want to go into a job office and be far away from it."

Cadet Dane Wells adding while it’s not all smooth sailing, it can be rewarding. "It’s a very unique path not suited for most people, but if it's something you really want to do, there’s no place I'd rather be," he told KUAM News.

From the helm to the engine room, while the vessel is filled with interns now, Wayne Bigler with Cabras Marine says ultimately the goal is to grow our own local workforce. "Obviously there’s a need for mariners right now, hence the partnership with Cal Maritime. We want to incentivize more and more of our island residents to work in this type of industry," he said.


Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus offers undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.