Friday, January 3, 2014

Mariner's Code

 Photo by A. Pick ~ Taken May 2013 from RCI's Mariner of the Seas

Yesterday I read this wonderful story A Speck in the Sea that tells of the ordeal of John Aldridge when he fell overboard from his lobster boat the Anna Mary.

This story reminded me of an event when I was on my cruise last year. One of the spotters noticed something floating out in the water and our ship the Mariner of the Seas came to a stop and deployed a rescue boat to check it out. In our case 'the speck' was nothing more than some trash, but seeing anything at sea is taken very seriously.

The ocean is a vast space, really vast when you think that 70% of the Earth is covered by water and 97% of that water is salt water. It makes mere man less than a speck really.

This past week there were two different reports of people on cruise ships going overboard, either by jumping, or falling or being pushed. The result is the same, in almost an instant a full-sized human becomes nothing more than a speck in a sea of blue.

But what amazes me is this mariner's code that exists that goes beyond national boundaries or politics or religion, where man stops what he is doing and begins a search for another human being. Not for money or fame or power - I think merely because in this massive environment of the sea we instantly realize how helpless we all are when left on our own.

I love the sea, its power, its beauty and how it smells. And mostly I think I love how it makes us behave in times of trouble.


  1. Interesting. I never noticed how everyone pitches in when a ship or person is going down, possibly because I never read the "fell overboard" stories. The idea is too horrifying, I figure it's best if I don't know about it. I adore swimming in salt water, but not when it's thousands of feet deep. There are...things...down there. Nasty things. But you're right. It's nice to see everyone pitch in regardless of politics, religion or any other identifying marker. Say, you don't think this means that people are...good, do you? Nah, that can't be.

  2. You are right probably can't be.

    You made me chuckle. I never liked swimming in lakes it would freak me out if my feet touched the bottom. Growing up by the Pacific Ocean I would run and jump in and swim out to deep water as fast as I could. I only really trusted about the first ten feet of shoreline. Now I'm not saying I have never been scared by "things" but I really don't want to think about that just now.

  3. Let's think about pudding instead. Ahhhhh. Pudding!