The ship singled up all lines, was ready to leave and I was the Quarterdeck watch Petty Officer. I had to make sure that everyone that came on board the ship belonged there. After raising the gangway, I looked down at the pier for my wife and children, waved goodbye and yelled, “It won’t be long, and I’ll be back before you know it.”
Just then over the 1MC speaker system came the announcement, “Cast off all lines shift colors, ships underway” was echoing off the bulkheads. Shifting colors was taking down the flag on the stern and flying the flag on the mast above the bridge.
My wife and kids looked up, waved and said goodbye and I waved back. “Kids, make sure you mind your mother. Goodbye, I love you.”
As soon as the ship secured from sea and anchor detail I went to the flight deck. The evening air was cool and the night sky was clear. Sitting down I was surrounded by the calm of the ocean’s stars and watched the stack’s trail of wisps of smoke and steam. All I could think about was how I was getting further from my family and closer to the Persian Gulf for a six month cruise.
© 2012 Michael Yost 3/12
This week’s Trifecta challenge:
For our weekday challenge, we return to our regular one-word prompt. Check out the third definition of trail (below), and respond, using the word exactly as it appears, in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.
We wish you well.
trail verb \ˈtrāl\
1 a: to hang down so as to drag along or sweep the ground
b: to extend over a surface in a loose or straggling manner <a vine that trails over the ground>
c: to grow to such length as to droop over toward the ground
2 a: to walk or proceed draggingly, heavily, or wearily : plod, trudge
b: to lag behind : do poorly in relation to others
USING THIS DEFINITION: 3: to move, flow, or extend slowly in thin streams