I’ve got the pleasure of being on the ARC Tayrona, a Colombian Navy submarine (Armada de Republica Colombia – doesn’t “Armada” sound that much cooler than “Navy”?). And, I’ll confess, I like being at sea. Not the “apart from family” part of being at sea, but there’s things that you just can’t get in port.
There’s no sleep like sleeping in a rack that’s rolling – the motion must bring me back to something fundamental, the first essence of a memory, deep in my reptile brain, of being in my mother’s womb. Similarly, there’s the constant presence of other bodies nearby. It’s extremely social, but at the same time, it’s amazing how far away from other people you can get in your own mind.
I love riding with the Colombians – they love the sea. Being sailors to them hasn’t been broken down into a bunch of strictly technical procedures and checklists. It is THEIR ship, and THEIR crew, and their country. Good stuff.
But it’s good to be at sea again. Good to be in the environment where there’s ALWAYS something to do, never a chance to completely relax. And let’s be honest here for a minute – I thrive on stress. I’m never really happy unless I’m three days behind on two different projects. I like being Johnny-on-the-spot.
I’ve also been trying to figure out what draws me to the sea. I’ll be the first to admit – in a lot of ways, it sucks out here. Even when I was going out on the pipelay and construction barges in the Gulf of Mexico as a civilian, that pretty much blew. But there’s something special about having nothing on the horizon for 360 degrees, the motion of the wind and waves, and hard work.
(Incidentally, I’m back. I just felt compelled to write while I was out)