God, I miss the sights, sounds and smells of a submarine. I miss my life aboard a boat. I can still see that misty black silhouette as she slipped the bonds that tied her to the land while the colors were shifted, and ships horn sounded it's solitary note.
We were headed out to sea where a sailor belongs. Out
into the channel past the Arizona while rendering honors to our fallen comrades.
There was the smell of salt water and the feel of the tropic breeze that touched our face like a hand from heaven as we stood on the bridge, the lush greenery of the island falling astern. The low rumble of our Fairbanks Morse engines reverberated through the deck into our very soul and spoke of the power of God himself.
The pulses and rhythms of the rhapsody they created
were broken only by the muted voices that relayed the ships commands.
As we passed the channel buoys at the entrance to Pearl, we began a gentle roll that told us we had left home and loved ones while traveling the same passages others had once traveled to war.
Men and ships of whom many never return home. Now it was time to secure the maneuvering watch and set the underway watch.
Ships routine was in force. The bow wave formed with a
gentle hiss as we knifed through the sea and it wouldn't be long before playful
Dolphins would leap in perfect unison over the crested water playground we had
Off in the distance you could see the shafts of rain from a far off storm while close by flying fish skimmed the water and gulls circled effortlessly over head calling to us as if to wish us a safe journey and a speedy return.
Our lookouts scanned the leadened skies to the horizon for signs of life, ready at any second to abandon their watch at the command, "DIVE, DIVE" as the raspy voice of the diving alarm echoed in the hull and we slid silently beneath the waves to become as one with the sea.
Oh! how I miss it. These will be the memories that will play in my mind when my spirit passes silently away and I slip into that final harbor.