Drifting Through Memories

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 14 Aug 2011 06:34

16.00 Position: 34 59.8 S 150 57.7 E
Wind: Calm
Weather: overcast, mild

Sticking my head out the companionway this morning I found a light breeze ruffling the ensign on Sylph's backstay. Time to get moving; after breakfast I dropped Rod off on the wharf, let go our lines and motored out of the harbour into the slight swell where we raised sail and a few minutes later we (now just the usual Sylph and I) had rounded Kiama Head and were sailing close hauled down the coast.

The light breeze remained mostly constant for all the morning and much of the afternoon but now we are becalmed off Beecroft Head, the headland marking the entrance into Jervis Bay where I spent a significant part of my life as Midshipman at the Australian Naval College. As I stood on deck looking at the all too familiar coastline my thoughts turned to the many memories I have of my life in the Navy, so much of which was spent in these very waters conducting various exercises to help keep the world safe and free, at least that is what I genuinely believed then. I felt like my own young ghost was indelibly imprinted into the fabric of this small corner of the universe, along with so many other wonderful souls, and it was in some way bemusedly looking at me now. I felt very sad that probably the happiest part of my life is past and gone, a stark confrontation with lost youth. Perhaps that is a cliché, but nonetheless I am sure a real feeling which everyone of us who is fortunate enough to make it this far must eventually recognise.

I doubt whether I shall return to this place again. I hope some breeze comes soon so we can be on our way.

All is well.