State of Maine to Set Sail Tuesday



CASTINE — If greening foliage and precocious black flies weren’t evidence enough, the imminent departure of Maine Maritime Academy’s State of Maine on its annual training cruise is proof positive that spring is here.

 

Under the command of Captain Larry Wade, the training ship will begin departure operations at 10 a.m., and is scheduled to depart from Castine Harbor at approximately 10:30 on Tuesday, May 4. The training cruise will begin in port on Friday, April 30, when students and crew move aboard the ship for pre-sailing preparation.

State of Maine and its complement of first- and third-year students, officers and crew will visit ports in Europe this spring during the planned two-month training voyage to foreign and domestic ports-of-call. This year’s itinerary includes stops at: Marseille, France, May 19-22; Gibraltar, May 24-26; Kiel, Germany, June 1-4; and Portsmouth England, June 7-10.

After crossing the Atlantic westbound, State of Maine is scheduled to arrive in Portland on June 20, then sail for home on June 23. Plans call for the ship to make a brief stop in Rockland for a family day sail on the return leg to Castine.

According to Wade, students participating in this year’s training cruise will have the opportunity to visit a number of modern European ports.

“We rotate our domestic and international itineraries to give as many students as possible an opportunity to make a trans-Atlantic crossing during their training with us,” Wade said in a statement issued by MMA.

While in Germany, students will be able to visit the German Naval Memorial at Laboe, located at the entrance of the Kiel fjord. Featuring a restored World War II German U-boat and a monument tower, the memorial honors seamen of all nations and calls for peaceful seafaring on the open seas. Students will also have an opportunity for a shoreside visit in France.

As part of this year’s cruise activities, students and staff will coordinate MMA’s online ship tracking and training cruise activities website “Follow the Voyage,” now in its ninth year of operation. Once the ship is under way, the public is invited to join the voyage by visiting www.mainemaritime.edu and following the “Cruise 2010” link.

Complementing the educational focus of MMA’s training cruise, students and staff sailing aboard the State of Maine will work for the fourth consecutive year with the Belfast-based organization Educational Passages to launch small sailboats at various locations along the cruise track.

Educational Passages utilizes 4.5-foot-long unmanned sailboats to enable school or community groups to study ocean wind and current patterns. The boats rely solely on wind and current power and need no outside assistance. To follow the boats, visit www.iboattrack.com or contact Baldwin at [email protected] or (207) 338-4087 for information.

The training ship is scheduled return to Castine on Saturday, June 26. Arrival is expected at approximately 6:30 p.m., with docking anticipated at 7. Training cruise activity will continue in port through Monday, June 28.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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