CASTINE, Maine — The State of Maine, the training vessel for Maine Maritime Academy, is scheduled to return to its home port on Sunday, winding up its annual 60-day training cruise.
The vessel, carrying 55 crew members and 230 students, is scheduled to arrive in Castine Harbor by 8 p.m. Sunday and to be tied up to the college’s dock by 8:30 p.m.
The cruise, under the command of Capt. Leslie B. Eadie III, covered about 11,000 nautical miles and included stops in Norfolk, Va.; Valetta, Malta; Civitavecchia, Italy (near Rome); and Cobh, Ireland. This is Eadie’s first cruise in command of the 500-foot vessel. He took over as master of the State of Maine, replacing longtime captain Larry Wade of Bradley, who retired this year.
On Thursday, the State of Maine was headed toward Portland, the final stop on its voyage before heading home. The ship is scheduled to arrive on Sunday in Portland where families of upper-class students will board the ship and sail on the final leg of the voyage to Castine.
The training cruise provides “at-sea” time for MMA students seeking U.S. Coast Guard licenses. Students travel on the training vessel at the end of their freshmen and junior years. Younger students rotate through different watches learning operations on board the ship while the older students have the responsibility of operating the vessel under the supervision of the professional crew.
During the summer after their sophomore year, MMA students ship out aboard commercial merchant vessels.
Although the ship will dock on Sunday, students will continue to work on board completing cruise activities until Tuesday, June 28.