We are off the Big Island this morning in preparation to drop anchor and have a swim call.

The anchoring process takes about an hour to lay out the correct length of chain. Once the chain is out the cadets and crew prepare the fast rescue boats. These are lowered in the water in the event of an accident, they can respond quickly and effectively. Next the gangway is lowered, this is for assisting getting a person out of the water in the unlikely chance there were any injuries. The pilot ladder was lowered to allow those who chose to swim to get back on the Bear.

Once everything was set up swim call was on! I decided to take the plunge off the fantail, I dawned my PFD and jumped. In about 2 seconds I hit the water and swam clear of the ship. For many who chose to swim today it will be a once in a lifetime thing. The water was an amazing color of blue and was quite refreshing. During one portion of the swim, people getting in the water were greeted by a couple of dolphins and excitement raised to a new level.

Rescue boats

Cadets looking out to shore

At around 1345 the ship raised anchor and we began our slow steam towards Honolulu. When the anchor chain is brought back into the chain locker it can be felt throughout the vessel. Once the anchor was secured, we were off.  Everyone enjoyed their time and will remember this for a long time.

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.