Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Some years ago I was sitting on a bit near the fantail, no I was standing with my forearms leaning against the rail, and just looking out over the water while take a break as we were underway between Karachi and the Persian Gulf. It was a quiet moment in the early afternoon with the sun beating down as usual and the seas were fairly calm as the sleek cruiser made its way north. Gazing at the dark blue water, I saw a sea snake, then another one, as we passed them up. With nothing else to do, I wondered how many there were in this secton of the ocean, so I began to count, that was two, three......four.........five. I heard that these little critters were very poisonous, and were warned to be on the lookout for them if I was ever in the ocean. I didn't plan to jump overboard, so I couldn't see how I would ever come in contact with one. I was also told that their mouths are not very large and if you leave them alone they won't bother you. The ship sailed past another one.....that's
eleven....twelve. I turned and looked to see if somebody was coming to bother me, but the deck was clear. I looked up at the missile launchers and the blue sky beyond, returned my attention to the water, and soon I had reached 50 or sixty snakes, all headed in the same direction we were going it appeared. Maybe they were looking forward to a hajj or something. I continued counting, but stopped when I reached one hundred. I had better things to do than count sea snakes. It was unusual also in that somebody could stand out on deck for almost an hour on a nice day and not have another swabbie come along and ask what you were doing, wanting to tell a sea story or two. I went back into the superstructure looking for someone to tell about all the damn snakes I'd seen. What a great life it was! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every bit of it, except for a few mishaps along the way.

I wish I could remember all the sea stories I've heard, I'd have you rolling in the aisles with laughter. It was a great pastime and still is, probably. There is one that comes to mind that was started on some damn subject, most of them had a sexual reference or two, but every time I ran into the guy, he would pick it up from where he left off and away we went again. It went on and on until I was transferred to another ship. If he could have written it down and put it in book form, he might have a best-seller on his hands.

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