October 18, 2012

“Semper paratus”

flags./one./two./three./four./five./six./seven./eight./

 Walking down the quay, Jonathan observes the floating boats that are awaiting for their owners to get them out and sail for a new trip, a brand new adventure like the one that he will face tonight.

 Memories from his maritime, military past keep springing up inside his head when he glances at his old U.S. Coast Guard hat. Everything looks so different right now with his new job and his lovely family in San Francisco. However, Jonathan can’t overcome his love for the sea and the journeys and as a result he often goes sailing during the weekends. With his sailor bag full of stuff, he is well-equipped for every incident. Or almost every..

 The wind’s got a high temper tonight and the atmosphere warns for a storm to come. Thanks to his woolen cardigan, he won’t suffer from the cold weather while his leather boots keep his feet warm. A fearless sailor like Jonathan wouldn’t be afraid of tonight’s thunders but the conflicting signals that he gets from his cruiser compass, make him anxious and sweaty. If he loses the coordinates of the ship, he won’t be able to come back.

 The decoration of the boat is noble and classy. Every man that respects himself must have objects that refer to deceased members of the family, like his grandfather’s hand-made tobacco smoking pipe or a bottle of Sloan’s liniment. Unfortunately, the intense shaking of the ship, forces all the objects to one side and some fall crashing into small pieces like the mentioned bottle, the content of which forms a small stream on the wooden floor.

 Panic is not a common word in Jonathan’s vocabulary, as in U.S. Navy, they learned to be “Semper Paratus”, aka “always prepared”. Thanks to new technology, he uses his phone to navigate through the unknown spot, even though the satellite signal is really weak. Suddenly, a huge wave hits the right side of the boat and makes Jonathan grasp the helm and remain attached to it until the end of its attack. Every single muscle of his body collaborates to keep him still and upstanding in order to stay on track.

 A few minutes later, a black figure appears to the front. Jonathan wishes that it won’t be another obstacle on his way, because a maneuver isn’t the easiest thing to do right now. After staring at the figure for a while, he recognizes the nautical flags that are fluttering in the quay.

 Yes..His journey tonight will have a good ending not because of his naval abilities but mostly thanks to his luck. He will see his family again and he will stay away from his sailing weekends for a period of time. But for a seaman that takes only just a while..

By Tim Krag

(product search and photo collage by Gertrude)

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