MMA Training Cruise Scheduled for May

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Maine Maritime Academy students, officers, and crew will depart from Castine harbor on Sunday, May 11, 2003, at approximately 7:30 a.m., aboard the training ship, State of Maine, for its annual two-month training cruise to foreign and domestic ports-of-call. The training cruise will commence in port on Sunday, May 4, for a week of preparation. Under the command of Capt. Larry Wade of Bradley, Maine, this year's itinerary will include Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Antwerp, Belgium; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The trip will cover nearly 12,000 nautical miles with more than 210 students and 51 officers and crew aboard. According to Capt. P.J. Loustaunau, port captain and commandant of midshipmen, this year's training cruise will be highlighted by an equatorial crossing with a traditional "shellback" ceremony marking the occasion. A floating trade mission sponsored by the Maine International Trade Center will feature Maine products at a shipboard exposition set for Antwerp, Belgium. Products will again be on display for a special reception scheduled for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Invited dignitaries include the Premier of Nova Scotia and Maine Governor John Baldacci. Due to heightened shipboard security, the vessel will not be open for public for tours while in foreign or domestic ports. Well-wishers are welcomed and encouraged to view the vessel departure from the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront, however shipboard visits the morning of sailing are no longer possible. Port visits are scheduled for Santa Cruz de Tenerife, June 2-June 4; Antwerp, Belgium, June 15-June 17; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 27-29. The ship will also conduct a working port visit in Portsmouth, Va., proceeding to the port immediately following its departure from Castine. The ship will return to its homeport of Castine, Maine, on Tuesday, July 1, with a tentative arrival time of 1:30 p.m., with the ship expected to dock at 2 p.m. Training cruise activity will continue in port through Thursday, July 3.

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