Tales of the Sea by Eddie Gubbins is a semi-autobiographical novel based on my life at sea as a ship's officer between 1957 and 1969.
In its pages the reader will meet the characters with whom I sailed and their antics. They will experience nights ashore and visit through my eyes exotic places. Read about the different ships, old and new as they plough across the oceans carrying the products of the world Throughout the account there is the sea and its dangers. It dominates the sailor. The sea can be angry or benevolent. Storms rage sending the ship rolling and heaving pounding into the waves. At other times there can be flat calm and very peaceful, The essence of the novel can be summed up in a poem:
The sea is calling, always calling
Even when the sailor has long left voyaging behind.
The sea calls, ever calls,
Over the noise of this sometimes dreadful life.
To sail away , to leave this life behind,
But to where?
That is what adds to the thrill.
Let the voyage be long or short,
Let the oceans be calm or fierce,
In the urge to sail away,
Lies man's eternal quest
For something new.
Why oh why does man always strive after the new
When accepting the present would save a lot of heart ache.
It has long been a mystery to me but,
More than in any other profession,
The sea offers a greater chance to satisfy this need.
The sailor never arrives
Because each new port is a stepping stone to the next
And on to the next
Until the nomadic lifestyle grows too much.
It maybe that the sailor observes other people
Settling into a pattern of life which brings rewards
Such things as family and home,
Anchored to other views of living
Rather than constantly on the move.
So the sailor leaves the sea
And puts down roots.
Or does he?
The sound of a seagull screaming ,
The wind moaning around the roof of his house
The sound of waves lapping on the shore
Will awaken in the hidden recesses of his mind
The longing to feel the excitement once more
As the ship goes silent,
Ready to leave for the sea.