ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY COMMUNICATIONS BRANCH ASSOCIATION


The Sailor

The life of a sailor itís a hard harsh life that these people pursue, they fight the elements the loneliness and sometimes even each other. They donít always do it for the love of the sea some enjoy the solace of a moon lit ocean, others do it for the comradery of their fellow shipmates whilst others enjoy the adventure, exploring new countries new cultures

They spend months away from family and friends they look forward to a simple mail drop, a letter from home, a message from a long distant loved one it brings joy to their heart and adds a spring to their step. It is not always beer and skittles it not always a new girl in every port, it is about mateship working as a team relying on you fellow shipmates to ensure your safety and the safety of the ship your home

This home doesnít have walls and windows, they are known as bulkheads and hatches you donít get the comforts of a regular home. They work and live in confined spaces and it takes them awhile to get their sea legs, to get used to the roll and the pitch of the ship caused by the wind and the choppy seas. Some are turned in confined to their bunks due to the foul weather and others by too much partying during their time ashore

They are taught to multi task these men of the sea, they are adept in seamanship firefighting and first aid this ship is their home their castle, and they will defend it with their lives. If their ship is breached the bulkheads and hatches stormed whether by man or elements they all go down as one

The sea can be a wicked lover, a night at sea with the ocean flat and a full moon to guide you home your minds drifts wanders to past lovers memories of passion past. When the sea is whipped up by the wind and waves it can be like a lover scorned she will pick you up shake you about and then throw you back down, we duck we weave we try to escape but her waves will grab us time and time again and complete the torture until her fury is vented

When a sailor is away at sea, time can stand still for his loved ones, they miss his wicked smile his swagger his bloodshot eyes, their man in uniform. They count the days watch the calendar awaiting his arrival and when he crosses that gangway all the lonely days and sleepless nights are washed away as he steps ashore grabs her and says honey Iím home

The Sailor

A poem by Wayne Pickering