We are a little more than halfway to Hawaii, you can feel the temperatures rising throughout the ship. It is also getting more humid throughout the day. For some this comes as a surprise while others enjoy the warmth.

Out on deck this morning the 3rd Mate gathered one of the divisions for an inspection of their immersion suits. These suits will help keep people warm and afloat in the event we had to abandon ship in cold waters. The suits are a bright orange/red and can be spotted easily from the air. Inspections of these suits is important to ensure they are in proper working order. Two of the cadets then raced to see who could get it on the fastest. Putting these suits on is difficult, but it is important that everyone knows how to do so.

Immersion suits

Cadet wearing immersion suit

Out on the bow cadets were continuing to learn about proper line handling and mooring operations. They must listen how the line “talks” as tension is slowly put on it. If they don’t pay attention to this the line could snap, possibly causing injuries to the crew or damage to the equipment. 

Cadets with ropes

Cadets on deck

Cadet with sextantSome of the cadets were seen taking solar fixes with their sextants. This is to help aid in navigation. The process in which they take the fix with the sextant and lower it down to the horizon takes patience and a steady hand. Unfortunately, with the cloud cover, the sun likes to play “peek a boo,” which makes this more difficult and stressful. I was handed a sextant last cruise and they are surprisingly heavy and very complicated to understand, but once I was shown how to use, it was amazing.

Down in the engine room the cadets were busy at work. Some were repainting the flats to seal them from oil and water. These flats are painted green in some areas to show where to walk and have red outlines. Other engine cadets were busy working on the engine light off, the process is very time consuming, but listening to the roar of the engine when it starts up is very impressive and can be heard throughout the engine room.


Cadets below deck

Cadets in engine room

As our day comes to an end we are met with a beautiful sunset. We are just a few days away from Hawaii now and everyone is looking forward to seeing the sights as we pilot along the coast. Each island will bring new views surrounded with history and beauty.

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.