(Vallejo, CA – April 25, 2012) – The Training Ship Golden Bear, the 500-foot training vessel of The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University, will arrive at the Port of West Sacramento on Sunday, April 29th. Onboard will be approximately 320 cadets and 56 officers and staff, all of whom are on the first leg of a two-month international training voyage that includes a transit through the Panama Canal.
This is the first time in more than 15 years that the ship has visited the Sacramento area. To celebrate its arrival, the Port of West Sacramento will be holding a Community Day on April 29th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Family-friendly activities include student-led tours of the Training Ship Golden Bear, as well as displays by community groups including West Sacramento Police Department, West Sacramento Fire Department, River City Rowing Club, Washington Outboard Club, and the West Sacramento Chamber.
The Training Ship Golden Bear's annual training voyage is part of the specialized curriculum offered at Cal Maritime, whose students 94 percent job placement rate, and in some cases with starting salaries of $60,000 and above. The cruise provides students who are pursuing a U.S. Coast Guard license with the hours of sea experience they need to graduate and work aboard ships of any size worldwide. For the duration of each summer training cruise, Cal Maritime cadets are responsible for running the ship, including navigating anddriving the ship, repairing and overseeing the engines, and maintaining the vessel. All training cruises are supervised by Cal Maritime faculty, the ship’s captain and chief engineer, and a team of experienced mariners.
"Transiting to the Port of West Sacramento is going to be a great experience for our cadets and we are really looking forward to it," said Captain Harry Bolton, Commanding Officer of the Training Ship Golden Bear. "En route, they will encounter all kinds of shallow water and narrow channels that make ship handling a challenge, but also provides a great learning experience. "The Port of West Sacramento has welcomed us with open arms, and we are looking forward to visiting with the local community so they can learn more about our unique educational programs and the important role we play in providing the future leaders of the maritime and transportation industries."
Bolton added that the ship will depart the Port of West Sacramento on Tuesday, May 1. Other activities planned in conjunction with the ship's visit are tours for prospective students and a reception onboard for legislators, local dignitaries, alumni and parents.
After leaving the Port of West Sacramento, the ship will log approximately 8,500 nautical miles and visit ports of call that include: Los Angeles; Punta Arenas, Costa Rica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and La Union, El Salvador. One of the highlights of this summer's training cruise will be a transit through the Panama Canal, a journey that hasn't been made by the Golden Bear in more than a decade.
"Going through the Panama Canal is a phenomenal experience for seasoned mariners and cadets alike," added Bolton. "It really makes you realize how much it has changed commerce throughout the world. You can be in one ocean and then be in another ocean of the world in just 16 hours. Knowing how long ago they built the locks in the Panama Canal and that this feat of engineering is as viable today as it was 100 years ago is just amazing."
The ship and crew will return to Cal Maritime's Vallejo campus on Friday, June 29th. To follow along on the Training Ship Golden Bear's two-month journey, visit the "Follow the Voyage" blog at www.cma-virtualftv.org.
ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Cal Maritime was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as #18 in the “Top 20 Best Value Colleges” in the nation – and the #1 Best Value in California for providing students with the highest quality education for their academic dollar. Located in Vallejo, Calif., the campus serves approximately 900 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. It also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses. For more information about Cal Maritime, visit www.csum.edu.