Spiritual Reward of the Sea
It was 11:55 PM, when I stepped into the bridge of the U.S.S. Everett F. Larson. I was reporting for duty on the mid watch. The bridge was dark and quiet, the only light was a small lamp illuminating the Quarter Masters table. All voices were subdued. The Larson was a destroyer plying the North Atlantic.
My duty station, the first of four, was as starboard lookout. I relieved the man on the open bridge. I donned the earphones, and hung the binoculars around my neck.
I looked up at stars so close I felt I could touch them. I was wrapped in a cocoon of silence. The only sound was the gentle sush, sush, of the water as the ship cleaved the waves.
Occasionally the soft voice of the OD correcting the heading, “Starboard five degrees, steady up on zero four zero degrees.” and the helmsmans answer, “Aye, aye, sir. Zero four zero.”
Through the binoculars, I made a 90 degree sweep where the horizon met the ocean, and was rewarded with the black sky meeting the blacker ocean. All was peaceful.