AHOY Students! Follow The Voyage—Share the Experience

Since 2008, we’ve been printing profiles of maritime professionals in Sea History to show you all the kinds of careers out there that are related to ships and the sea. For students wondering if a career at sea is right for you, here is your chance to follow Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) cadets in real-time as they embark on their 2023 Sea Term, 3 January to 19 February.

TS Kennedy

The MMA training ship TS Kennedy was launched in 1967 as the Velma Lykes. This will be the final Sea Term for this ship, as the academy prepares to welcome its new training ship, Patriot State II, in 2024.

Students are invited to go to sea (virtually) with the MMA students during their six-week voyage aboard the academy’s training ship, TS Kennedy. Through cadet blogs, the captain’s log, photos, videos, special features, and a specially designed curriculum for schools, K–12 students will follow along as cadets tackle everyday shipboard tasks and challenges they encounter at sea. Weather forecasting, navigation and maneuvering, calculating and dealing with ocean currents, and practical experience operating a merchant ship at sea, plus maintenance tasks, including rust removal, engine and generator maintenance, treating sewage, firefighting, and seawater desalination, are just some of the activities you can witness as they happen.

Cadets are required to complete at least one sea term, and those majoring in marine engineering or marine transportation will do at least four sea terms aboard the academy’s training ship and in working commercial ships. There are six state and one federal maritime academies in the United States, and all have sea terms. A sea term is not a pleasure cruise. The voyage lasts about 6–8 weeks, and during that time a cadet will rotate through class and laboratory training at sea, vessel operations including deck and engine watches, maintenance work, and emergency drills.

sleeping area

Cadets share their unvarnished experience during the Sea Term. A maritime academy for college is not for everyone, but it is just right for some. This cadet is maintaining a sense of humor in the cramped and shared berthing areas.

You can follow along on your own, or your school can register for the program and take ad-vantage of resources and other educational materials provided. Learn about the maritime academy experience from the cadets themselves and see what a seagoing career is like. Share this article with a teacher at your school, and ask them to reach out to the program coordinator, Nancy Franks, at by 21 December 2022. (

Did You Know?

Lebreton Engraving

Today, shipyards have a number of ways to get a ship out of water, either by hauling it out or by floating it into a basin and the water pumped out.

Historically though, sea captains would careen their vessels in shallow water by either heaving it over on its side while it was still afloat or by anchoring in shallow water at high tide and then waiting for the tide to go out. The vessel would touch bottom, and, as the tide went out, lay over on its side.

How does one go about getting a ship, especially a big ship, high and dry out of the water today?

Learn more at A Ship Out of Water