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  • Writer's picturePaul Coleman

Returning To The Sea

Updated: Dec 11, 2018

In The Persian Gulf, 1973
In The Persian Gulf, 1973

I joined the British Merchant Navy because I had a dream of visiting the Amazon. One company, Booth Line, went a couple of thousand miles up river to the port of Manaus, but I never got on those ships, instead I sailed around the world, with my first steps on foreign land being on the tiny Caribbean island of Curacao, as the ship I was on made it's way to New Zealand.

The trip across the Atlantic was nightmare, a tremendous storm raged for ten days and I was seasick the entire time. I vowed that this would be my last trip to sea, but when we entered the tropical waters of the Caribbean as smooth as the surface of a mirror, beneath the clearest of blue skies and brilliant warmth of the sun, I forgot my seasickness and from then on it was smooth sailing no matter what the weather.

It is said that a sailor can leave the sea, but the sea can never leave the sailor.

Thanks to a British Merchant Navy Facebook group I recently discovered, the stories, photo's and video's that members have shared I have been able to remember things long forgotten and I am excited, because I feel that now is the time to share this gap in my life that enabled me to live the life I chose.

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