CASTINE – Over 200 Maine Maritime students are going to get to know each other, their professors, and the world a lot better over the summer.
There was a warm send-off in chilly Castine Wednesday, because while most college students are eager to relax on a beach somewhere, more than two hundred brave souls from Maine Maritime Academy will spend the next two months working at sea.
The students say they’re excited to get out on the open water.
As for the parents, they’re happy to see their sons and daughters take a big step toward their career.
One joyful mom named Denise said of her son, “This is his dream to go on this ship and come to Maine Maritime, so yes, I’m very excited.”
The crew, made up of 225 juniors and freshmen – with about 50 faculty – will spend 90 days at sea, with a new group of juniors switching in halfway through.
To say they’ll get hands on experience would be an understatement, because there’s no study breaks when you’re floating in the middle of the Atlantic.
“When you’re out on the ocean you’re your own fire company, police department, medical ward, everything,” said Cadet Master T.J. Diguglielmo. “So once you’re out there, everyone has to pull together as a team, and it usually happens pretty well here at Maine Maritime.”
And that doesn’t intimidate the students, who know the training is a unique opportunity, and one they’ve been looking forward to.
Junior Kyle Bradley said, “I think I’m gonna come out with a little bit of an advantage having a better understanding for how the maritime industry works.”
Freshman Elan Silver added, “I’ve always liked traveling, I’ve liked ships my entire life. I actually went to a maritime high school.”
So don’t cry for these college kids, because when they’re not training, they’ll be seeing the sights of places like Nova Scotia, Scotland, Ireland, and Spain. And they’ll have loved ones on dry land waiting for their return.
Denise added, “When he comes back home we’ll probably have lamb on the BBQ and bean hole beans in the ground…”
A perfect “welcome home” in Maine.