This morning we were met with some cloudy skies and a heavier breeze. As we get closer to California the weather will likely get worse, but the work on the Bear must go on.

Down on the blue deck cadets were preparing for tank entry. The tank was ventilated the night prior and this morning it was checked for any toxic gasses, once it was deemed clear and safe groups of cadets began their climb. Once down in the tank you could hear the crashing of the waves, this is because you are below the waterline and along the shell plating, that is in direct contact with the sea.

Four cadets on blue deck

Cadets checking immersion suits on deck

Out on the main deck the 3rd Mate had cadets inspect their immersion suits. This is a part of a monthly check to ensure that they are functioning and have the proper equipment on them. They checked the lights to make sure they still had battery power and made sure the whistle was still attached. Once the check was complete the immersion suits were put back in their bags and the cadets took them to their berthing areas.

Around 1305 this afternoon, the Bear put out a Sécurité radio broadcast on Channel 16. Although there weren’t any vessels in the area, this type of call is to alert others that we were going to be conduct pyrotechnics training.  This training is important because it teaches cadets how to use pyrotechnics. Without this training they may not know how to use these flares, rocket flares, and smoke, during an emergency. Each of these types of pyrotechnics have their advantages and disadvantages.

Cadets shooting flares

Cadets with orange flares

We continue the journey with about 800nm left to go. Soon we will be back in California and I have a feeling that everyone is looking forward to that.

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 serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.