A ham-fisted ally

Living landlocked is not for me – being close to the ocean is a must. From my long-time hobby, shipwreck diving, to my first real job as a navy A-6 Intruder carrier pilot, to where I choose to live today, the ocean’s influence on my life has been nothing short of monumental.

Military flight training appealed to my adolescent mind. But the notion of launching from a ship thousands of miles out to sea, with no emergency shore-based airport available, compelled me to join the navy. The sea was my ham-fisted ally, ready to kill in a monstrous hug, a friend who, despite her unforgiving nature, would back me up as long as I gave the day everything I had and, if need be, more.

As a child, I basked in the revelation of the unknown, mesmerized by the ocean’s contradiction of enigmatic obscurity, spending hours snorkeling, looking for anything unique. When too cold to continue, I would park my wrinkled young body on the rock jetty adjacent the beach, radiantly lost, gazing into the depths. When confronted with critical decisions, confused, or depressed, I have always looked to the omniscient depths for answers.

The ocean has marked every step of my life, inspiring a long list of adrenaline-charged memories. Self-discovery, the finale’ of my life challenges, welcomes the ocean’s serene fortitude.

Disguised by a thin veil of the world’s harshest interpretation of reality, the ocean’s wisdom is raw, unrefined. On the seas, there is no societal stigma; no complex cultural etiquette to follow. One is free to be. Born a Pisces, Poseidon has always been my god.

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