Mass Maritime Seaterm - Anchors Aweigh!

From the Mass Maritime Seaterm '10 Blog

Today was a pretty busy day for the T.S. Kennedy! We started off early this morning bunkering—that means a barge, or really large ship, came out to our ship to fuel us up for the next part of our journey.
Next, our fan motor was fully repaired. I’m sure the engineers and students are happy about this; without the ventilation of this fan, it could be over 100 degrees down there!

Now that we were all ready to go, there was only one more thing to do: pull up the anchor

! At around 1630, I went to the bow of the ship to watch the students start to work. First, the students have to get a large machine called the “wildcat” up and running. This involved loosening the brake on it so the chain could be pulled back up. Then, the machine was started and began pulling up the chain and anchor.

Looking over the edge, I watched as the chain came up and noticed it was very sandy and muddy from having been dragged on the sea floor. As the chain is pulled up, water is blasted on it to wash away this sand and a cadet blasts water from a fire hose in order to make sure the chain is clean; if we didn’t do this, the sand, muck, and mud could damage our equipment!

The chain helps to tell the crew how much longer they’ll be pulling before the anchor will come up. Every 90 feet, there’s a red link surrounded by a certain number of white links…if there are 3 white links on either side, that means there are 3 more sections of 90 feet; if there are 2 white links, then there are only 2 more links of 90 feet.

Finally, after much anticipation, I got to see the anchor come up! It was pretty cool to see the 3-ton anchor get cleaned off and start to feel the ship moving towards the Caribbean again.


  1. If we have 11 red links for one anchor, how many feet of chain do we have?
  2. When we were bunkering, it took 4.5 hours to fuel up. If it takes your mom or dad 5 minutes, what is the ratio of how much time our ship takes to your car? (Or how much more time does it take?)
  3. What kind of a machine do you think the wildcat is?
  4. What time did I go to the bow? (AM/PM time)

Send your answers to; if you get the right answer, we’ll put your name up on tomorrow’s post! Remember to include your school’s name too.


  1. What’s a winch? (Google it!) It’s a hauling or lifting device that consists of a rope, chain, or wire being wrapped around a horizontal drum that’s turned by a crank.

  2. If 60 cadets live in one room and there are three cadets in one bunk, how many bunks are in the room?


  1. Name one active volcano in the Caribbean. Montserrat