I spent a few days with my sister by the sea. Walking along the coast with the sound of the waves breaking on the beach and the smell of seaweed brought back all thoughts of my previous life. It is strange after spending my childhood near the sea and then after leaving school spending twelve years as an officer in the British Merchant navy, I should then move to a place as far away from the sea as one can get in the UK. My children have always laughed that whenever we visited relatives living near the sea, we had to go and walk along a beach before going on to the relative's house. Even now whenever I board a ship I feel at home.
My life at sea between 1957 and 1969 has been used as the basis for an autobiographical novel called
Tales From The Sea.
In its pages the reader will meet the characters with whom I sailed and their antics both on board and ashore. There are the funny incidents and the tragic. They will experience nights ashore and visit through my eyes many of the places I visited. I tell of the different ships, old and new as they plough across the oceans carrying the products of the world. Throughout the pages there is the constant sound and smell sea and its dangers. The sea can be angry or benevolent bringing violent storms which toss the ship around or flat calm lazy days.
This is the call of the sea summed up in the poem that starts chapter one.
The Sailor’s Mistress
When the cargo is loaded and all falls quiet
The sea itself is calling,
Beckoning the sailor out there beyond the dock.
His mistress is waiting
Where the river meets the sea.
He has no real knowledge of what her reaction will be
When he sails out to meet her.
She may greet him in a calm, balmy mood,
Like a gentle lover entwining him in her arms,
Leaving him refreshed and happy when they part.
It might be that she is angry
And will meet him with unmatched violence
A violence that beats upon the senses
And leaves the lovers drained and exhausted,
Ready to rush apart,
Ready to find a place of peace and quiet
Not the feeling of complete satisfaction.
Like all lovers, the sea and the sailor
Will never quite know what moods will greet them when they meet
Or how the mood can change very quickly.
This is the excitement of the sea.
Every time a ship leaves port,
The sailor approaches that love
With a mixture of exhilaration and apprehension.
Will they together make beautiful love under a clear blue sky
Or will they fight?
It is not for the sailor to subdue the sea
But to live with her moods
In the hope that he can survive.
The sea is calling, always calling
As a lover calls.
Tales From The Sea by Eddie Gubbins is available from Amazon and www.createspace.com as a paperback and Amazon for downloading as an ebook for all e readers.