CASTINE, Maine — The State of Maine, the training vessel for Maine Maritime Academy, is scheduled to arrive in Castine Harbor on Saturday.
The cruise this year had a rocky start when engine trouble kept the vessel in Searsport for more than a week before the ship headed out to sea. Since then, according to reports posted by Capt. Larry Wade on the MMA Web site, the ship has had smooth sailing.
The training cruise covered approximately 12,000 miles during the past two months, and the vessel left Baltimore on Wednesday for the last leg of the voyage.
After a brief stop Saturday morning to pick up family members of upperclass students who will travel up Penobscot Bay with the students, staff and crew, the ship is expected to arrive in the harbor by about 3:30 p.m. and to dock at the MMA pier by 4 p.m.
The training cruise provides sea time for students seeking an officer’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard as a third mate or third assistant engineer. Those students are required to train at sea for at least 60 days in each of their first three years at the academy. Freshmen and juniors sail aboard the State of Maine, while sophomores ship out on commercial vessels.
This year, the cruise visited ports in Ponce and San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Newfoundland; and Baltimore.
Although the ship will be in its home port by Saturday, the training cruise will not officially end until Monday and students will remain on board until then.