What do you do in Castine?

I’ve applied to Maine and Texas, and I am trying to decide which I would like to attend. I just got back from a tour of Maine Maritime and everything looks nice, but I am wondering what people actually do at the academy. No cell service and nothing to do in the town, does everybody just sit in their dorms all day and just hang out? What about weekends, do people leave Castine to do things in other towns? The only thing that I could figure out that would be fun during free time at Maine would be lifting weights, but that’s only about 2 hours out of the day. Any feedback on whatever activities and stuff people can do in Castine would be nice, Thank you.

Party…Road sodas…large boned women…drink…be angry…drink by yourself…drink by yourself with the lights off…larger big boned women…ski, while drinking…hunt, while drinking…I think I covered it. There isn’t much to do up there, but the education you will receive will be top notch. The administration sucks, but the teachers are the best. A little known fact about Maine, and I suspect most of the other academies, is that the teachers don’t have to be published or deal with all the research that more prestigious universities require. Maine had/has some exceedingly bright teachers, that just got tired of dealing with all the BS at a larger higher end school. Maine also has the very excellent benefit of allowing seniors to live off campus, which most of the other schools don’t (Cal did I think, although Eisenhardt might have stopped it). It is a good place to be from, but not a good place to be at. That said you will make some of the closest friends you will ever make there and see some of the craziest stuff happen…Basically, it is like middle school with lots of booze and trees…lots and lots of trees.

haha cool, sounds like a blast…

While there is a very active ‘Social’ culture at Maine, I found the hands on aspect to be top notch. Everything you learned up on the hill was applied down on the waterfront.

As for activities, they have a huge fleet of boats, I spent the warmer months with the yachting club going on weekend sailing trips. There is, of course, the Reef. I think they changed the name, but it’ll alway be the Reef to me. It’s the local dive bar and a regular watering hole for townies and students alike.

What? they changed the name of the reef???

I have to agree with the two previous posters. Top notch education. I don’t know who’s still there but when I was there it was good. There were some not so good ones, but the % compared to other schools is MUCH better.

mind you my 10 year mark is next year… but at least when I was there, the place cleaned out on weekends. There is plenty to keep you busy, and plenty of alcohol to drink if all else fails* (*partake at your own risk).

I am glad I chose Maine.

Just a word of caution, knew guys who got the boot and/or flunked out because of computer gaming/online gaming. In that kind of environment it can be very addictive… be careful.

I was thinking the same… I dont know which academy I am going to go… I am going in as a transfer student and hopefully will be able to go for spring but I am not sure because I am currently taking a prep college algebra course… Does anyone know if you have to have college algebra and trig to get in? Maine looks so boring especially for someone like me from south florida but I think it would be nice because I would be able to focus on my studying. I love to snowboard so I imagine people go up every weekend, I checked and the closest slopes I believe were only 40 miles away. Anyways if anyone knows what the deal is for transferring I would love to hear about it. Thanks

Why did you only apply to maine and texas? Did you find that they were the easiest to get into… thats what i was thinking as well but wasnt sure. Where you from?

[I][quote=islandhopper;17597]Why did you only apply to maine and texas? Did you find that they were the easiest to get into… ?[/quote][/I]

U.S. News and World Report found otherwise:


Note that two with the highest enrollment are the only ones found “less selective.”

drkblram is right, if you go to Maine watch out for the online gaming, Xbox, etc it sounds silly, but they can become very addictive in the long cold winter that exists up there. I saw the same things he saw and I am a few years behind him, so I suspect it was even worse.

You like to snowboard, well Maine would be a good place for you. There were usually always people going to Sugar Loaf or some other mountain nearby, so you should be able to catch a ride to the slopes if you have the right friends. Unfortunately, I think you will find a trip to go skiing very hard on the finances, so you may not be able to go as often as you are imagining. That said there was a little mom and pop run ski slope in Bangor that cost 10 or 15$ for a lift pass and rentals. It was little more then a big hill, but it was close to the school and pretty cheap. I think it was called Hermon Hill, but I am not 100% sure.

I had to do the same thing with the remedial math classes before I got into Maine. When I was an applying freshman you needed trig and college algebra. However, if you really want to go to Maine you need to call the school and get in writing what you need…Get it in writing! Maine is a great school, but the administration is less then stellar. I knew people that were told one thing and then forced into another at Maine.

I think things changed down at the water front since Dredgemate was there. (I was there 1998-2002) I was told it used to be the case that you could take the boats out and go sailing once you completed a safety course. However, the people I knew that tried to do it were always given excuses as to why they couldn’t. There used to be a sailing club at Maine, but that petered out and died when the school figured out that they were sailing with beer on board and that they would sail over to Rockland and go to the bars. I would not count on using any of the watercraft down there except for labs.

Maine is a good school, but it will be a radical change in culture for you. I am from Florida too and things are VERY different in Maine. You should visit the school to sure that you want to go there. Once you start you are sort of locked into the school. It is very hard to transfer classes such as Cargo I, Cargo II, Navigation, etc into a traditional school.

Also, if you can meet the requirements to live off campus do everything in your power to do so. Life is much better off campus.

thanks for the advice kyngfish… I am going to be up in ny sept 10th so I am going to talk to suny and find out what the deal is with getting in. I think it would be pretty cool to be living and going to school in ny. Anyways what made you pick maine? Suny also appeals to me because of fl residents being able to pay in state tuition… Obviously huge. My bro is at MMA right across the way too… thats why Im leaning on suny a lot more than the rest.

SUNY offered the same deal when I was looking at schools and it is a pretty good deal. I didn’t go to SUNY for a few reasons. One, I didn’t want to go to a school under a bridge. Two, SUNY appeared to be more militaristic which didn’t appeal to me at all. I viewed the regimental life as a necessary evil and I did everything I could to be as uninvolved as possible. Three, I just didn’t really care about being close to NYC. I know there is a lot to do there, but at the time it just didn’t appeal to me.

For me it came down to Mass and Maine. I choose Maine because it was less regimental and there was some familial bias towards Maine. I believe the two best schools are Maine and Mass, all the other schools do produce good mariners, but the quality can be inconsistent at times. I am not saying that Maine or Mass don’t graduate a few knuckle heads every year, but the overall quality seems to be better. That being said one of the smartest people I ever sailed with was from SUNY.

In the end you have to choose the school that will provide you with the optimal lifestyle and teaching style that suits you. Maine is a good school and less militaristic than most of the others, excluding Cal, but the long, cold, isolated winters can be pretty hard on your mind. If you have never been depressed before, I can promise you will be at Maine at least a few times.

Oh, something else to look into, alumni services. Maine has a career website that only alumni can get access to. I found my current job through that and found a lot of leads for jobs as well. Just something to think about, even if you don’t go to a maritime school.

Hey, it was sweet going to school under a bridge. Not only that, but all the deck-side classes are in a fort! It’s actually a nice setup. It isn’t really militaristic, but it may be heading that way since they brought in a few new people. I know they brought in way too many freshman this year, and some of the upperclass are living on the ship until they can figure out where to put these people on land.

Every school offers different things to different people. You just have to find the one that will work the best for you. Living under a bridge I think would suck, but if it doesn’t bother you, great. Also, you live right there in NYC, which is a huge plus, if you want to live in NYC. It is just a matter of finding what works for you… I have met more than a few people that told me they would have gone out of their minds living in Castine Maine in the middle of nowhere.

Castine isnt all that bad, I love it up here, and im from Long Island, NY, the winters are cold but if you ski, they offer season life tickets for only $329 good for 3 diff mtns, Sugarloaf, Loon, and Sunday River. and there will be people that have condos or camps up there to stay at for free, I go every single weekend in the winter. As long as you pass the safety program, you can take out nearly any academy vessel nearly any time you like, its a really good deal. And yes the Reef is still has it’s origional name.

Best Regards;

Im a native Mainer. Castine is nice and your schooling with be elite. Suck it up and GO! You’re not too far from Camden and Rockport or Augusta. So if you have your own transportation you wont have any worries. Summers are nice and winters are long. An experience you wont want to miss. Please highly consider MMA.

[quote=Sailgsb3718;18745]Castine isnt all that bad, I love it up here, and im from Long Island, NY, the winters are cold but if you ski, they offer season life tickets for only $329 good for 3 diff mtns, Sugarloaf, Loon, and Sunday River. and there will be people that have condos or camps up there to stay at for free, I go every single weekend in the winter. As long as you pass the safety program, you can take out nearly any academy vessel nearly any time you like, its a really good deal. And yes the Reef is still has it’s origional name.

Best Regards;
Thanks for this post! Im going to apply to all the academies. Suny and Maine are at the top of my list.

There wasn’t a damn thing in Camden, Augusta, or Rockport worth the drive when I was going to Maine. Pretty towns, but nothing much really there.

I’m sure you have made your choice by now but here is my input for any prospective cadets. I went to SUNY and was very happy with the education I recieved and the friends I made while there, but had I known, I would’ve chosen Maine Maritime. They seem to put out a better product than the rest of the acadamy’s, maybe it has to do with the drinking in solitude?:), if you are planning on sailing I really don’t think you would get a better mm ed. elsewhere. 99% of the Mainer’s I have sailed with were great. Here is my personal rankings of the ocean acadamy’s, this is my own ranking system, so a lot of personal bias, but it is based on my personal experience, and I have been out of the game for a bit, but again, these are my views.

  1. Maine
  2. SUNY/Cal (tie)
  3. Mass (sorry but Captain Johnson was from there, I’m sure a few of you know him)
  4. Kings Point
  5. unknown
  6. unknown
  7. unknown
  8. unknown
  9. Texas A&M

I am sorry to the texas guys that know their head from their ass, but the ones I have sailed with def. do not

Maine has the best reputation. always has, even during the vietnam times when my dad was in the navy after graduating from Annapolis: the best pure mariners came out of Maine Maritime. I suppose the solitude in castine & ability to focus on your education are good precursors to life at sea.
regardless, at any maritime school watch out for the heavy drinking subculture: the schools have an abnormally high rate of alcoholism, even for this industry.

how does Maine maritime compare to suny in regimental life? suny has formation every morning, and one on Friday afternoon its also strict with hair cuts and shaves, how does this compare to Maine.