It’s my watch at 0300h. The rain is cold against my face and there are no stars. My thoughts and the unrelenting wind filling the sails are my company as I bid a “Good sleep” to the person I relieve. Light will come on my watch; the best time of the day. I deliberately do not wear anything against the pelting rain and wind because I want to remember every moment and every breath. In only a few minutes, I am soaked but grateful for the smell of the ocean and the rain and the feel of the cold.
As light comes, the sky is deep grey and the ocean is indigo. There is no sun today. A light mist hangs over everything but I welcome the light as an old familiar friend. The vastness of the ocean, the fog and the rain are my proof that God is always with me. I smile as my thoughts turn to remembrances of my friends and how fortunate I am to experience this. I will have stories of the sea to tell over many smiles. This is God’s way of reminding me that alone on the deck, surrounded by ocean, I am truly never alone.
As I get used to the light, one of my fellow sailors pushes a cup of hot coffee in my hand and signals a job well done. I am mastering the mid watch.