As you might expect from someone in my profession, I’m a huge fan of the ocean. I just love the raw power and beauty of it. I will readily argue that there is nothing in nature prettier than a sunset at sea. Watching the two suns melt into each other on the horizon is difficult to put into words.
Part of this feeling stems from the fact that, since I grew up in North Dakota, I was 19 years old before I first saw the ocean. As a result, there is still a mysterious type of awesomeness associated with it. Another part of the feeling is that I tend to be an overly romantic fool. Whatever the reasons are, I love the ocean.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If I had the choice between spending my life at sea or staying ashore with my family, I pick my wife and kids 100 times out of 100. There’s absolutely no contest. Since I do have to leave my family, however, I’m glad that I get to do it at sea.
It’s difficult to explain my fascination. There’s just something that takes my breath away. The never-ending shades of gray and blue combine until you are no longer able to tell the difference. When the ocean is calm, there is this feeling that everything is right with the world. When the water is rough, there’s a profound sense of power that leaves you in awe.
When you’re underway, there is always someone on watch. My favorite time to be on watch is the early morning between 4:00 and 7:00. You get to watch the entire ocean wake up as the sun rises. It’s also awesome to head out to the bridge wings around 6:00 p.m. to watch everything go back to sleep.
After awhile, the ocean feels alive. It has its own personality and tendencies. If you treat it right and respect it, it will do the same to you. Did I mention that I’m an overly romantic fool?
Once again, my family will always come first. I have never regretted joining the Navy however. One of the reasons for that is the love that I have for the ocean.