A lamentable fairwell to a sailor's first love.

Tonight will be the last night I ever spend at sea.

Subtley over the past 18 and a half years, the ocean has worked it’s way into my blood and is as crucial to what makes me “me” as my upbringing and education. Deploying aboard a ship is (I’ll begin getting used to using the past tense tomorrow) a part of my life that I’ve both celebrated and cursed, longed for and dreaded.

Sure I bitch about what I miss out here… my son, a cold beer, pretty lasses. But it is what I chose to do with my life nearly two decades ago. And it was a good choice which has made all the difference to me.

Personal issues have made me face the fact that after my next tour of shore duty I’ll bid a fond farewell to my Navy life. I’ve no regrets.

Better than seven years of my life I’ve gone to bed at sea. That’s more nights than I spent with my ex-wife. I guess tonight will be my last night with my first love.

Neither mundane nor pointless, but it’s off my chest now.

Hey, Chief, salutations and best wishes with your life!!
And I wanted to be the first poster to say that when I saw this thread title I panicked and thought you’d had your right hand amputated! :smiley:

Good one Wombat!

As a Viking who cannot bear the thought of living in a landlocked location, I understand all of your trepidations Chief. Best wishes in your new pursuits!

Chief, thanks for sharing that with us. I chose a different path but in my two cruises I learned what a powerful mistress she could be.

I hear ya, Chief. I only served aboard one ship, and when I was cruising the Navy web site a couple of years ago and found she had been decommissioned, I was overcome by sadness. She was only 13 years old when they mothballed her, it was so unfair! I have so many memories, experiences I could not have had elsewhere, connected with that “pig-boat.” When I got out of the Navy in '91 I never imagined I would look back on it so fondly.

Just last night, I was in a club when they started up the smoke machine, and I turned to my friend and started telling her about the mass conflag drill when they filled up the ship with that crap, and I got so disoriented after being sent up this ladder and down that passageway…ah, those were the days! Sweating down in the engine room during GQ drills. Taking a walk out on deck underway and feeling that sea breeze. Or just sitting on the fantail watching the sun go down over the water.

Good luck with the next phase of your life, Chief.


All the best in your new voyages. Thank you for sharing the tales of your life at sea with us, and I look forward to hearing all about your new adventures.

Welcome ashore, Old Salty.

You could always switch services, I hear the Marines spend alot of time on-ship.


chiefscott, never fear. the thames river is a great place to be a pirate. easy access, the sounds right there, lotsa places to hide, tons of booty. youll be livin the life soon, and ill sign on, if you promise ill get a hammock or sumthin and not have to sleep on 2" of foam rubber on a steel shelf. sheesh.

‘Luck, pal. The changes keep on comin’.

Careful, us landlubbers have a tendency to smile at ex-sailors! :smiley:

"Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind that our
Forefathers harnessed before us.
Hear the bells ring as the tide rigging sings.
It’s a son of a gun of a chorus.

Where it all ends I can’t fathom, my friends.
If I knew, I might toss out my anchor.
So I’ll cruise along always searchin’ for songs,
Not a lawyer, a thief or a banker.

But a son of a son, son of a son, son of a son of a sailor.
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer
I’m just a son of a son, son of a son, son of a son of a sailor
The sea’s in my veins, my tradition remains.
I’m just glad I don’t live in a trailer."

AHHH Chief,
I’m with Essvee, if you should decide to embarck on a life of piracy, I’ll sign on.
Anything involving “tons of booty” should make you feel right at home.
But I too, being a soft wench, will require something under me other than foam and steel. Perhaps a volunteer???


Two questions for you:

  1. Why leave now? Why not stay another two years for that nifty little retirement paycheck?
  2. Any plans after you leave? I mean, should your “Piracy and Privateering Firm” work out, have any need for a wet-behind-the-ears engineer?

Best to you Chief. You da man!

“Hooray, and up she rises.
Hooray, and up she rises.
Hooray, and up she rises
early in the mornin.”

Best wishes to the finest “Drunken Sailor” I know!

Hope you will find a new love.

Of couse you could settle down on one of the coasts and get yourself your own boat. It is a tease, but it’ll remind her you still care.

Congratulations. And sorry. Ya know?

But if you ever need to replenish the salt in your veins, the oceans will always be there.

To old chapters well-written, and pages yet to be turned.


Tripler, the Navy rotates between sea and shore duty. The Chiefster is merely completing his last tour of sea duty, not leaving the Navy just yet.

Here’s thinkin’ of ya, Chief. You’ve lived a life and experienced things most people can’t even imagine.

The sea will still be there, even though it won’t be the same as experiencing it from the Ike. Being with your boy while he IS still a boy…well, you already know.

All the best to you.

Aaah! Thanks for the clear-up. Subltle differences . . .

Props to ya, Chief!

Thanks, all.

And I slept like a newborn baby last night.
(Meaning I slept soundly and woke up wanting to suck on a boob!)

[bolding mine]

Now you’ll have more time to pursue those elusive boobs.