A brief and rain-swept trip last weekend took The Doctor and me to the south shores and harbors of Cape Cod. Though the weekend was good for staying inside, with winds, storms and low ceilings, whenever one did venture out, there was an unforgettable smell and taste in the air: The smell of the sea. I grew up at the ocean’s edge, nestled on a small patch of land between one of the world’s great harbors and the ocean. I grew up with this as part of my very center core:
So, when my way found me at sea over the years, it was only natural that I made it my “standing personal order” that when I did not find my way to the “roof” as part of my day’s work, I always found a way to stand for a while, be it on a weather deck or even just in the hangar bay, to watch the sea. When, many years later, I finally was able to take SNO, SNT & The Doctor to sea, I took each of those few, precious days to stand at the rail, near sunset, and again just look out. It is salutatory in its therapeutic effect upon the soul.
My friend Bill “Pinch” Paisley has a talent for capturing such moments. So, as we all sail into this weekend, I’d like to share a picture he took from USS Truman’s fantail a few years’ back:
Not bad for a fighter puke. Enjoy the time you have, wherever this finds you all.
“Sea Fever” by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.