The trip across the Pacific

I had meticulously planned my trip for this year’s journey to the USA. I had already made my Airline reservations and hotel reservations for my first stop on this annual sojourn of mine. As the departure time was growing closer, I was really becoming excited. I would be seeing some of my shipmates who I hadn’t seen in over a year, while some I had not seen in several years.

The reunions are always great in that we all gather around the bar or large round table and talk about the “old days”. There are so many stories bantered about. Most of them we’ve all heard, and well, the stories seem to become a bit more embellished every year. However, there are never any complaints, never any bad words spoken or derogatory remarks against the person telling the story. It is his story and everyone’s story. What a remarkable group of people who can get together once a year and it’s as if the person had just told that story for the first time in his life.

I will indeed miss the adventure. This year will have been my eleventh year of shared camaraderie, friendship, and the general atmosphere that Sailors all love. We are all there for each other to re-establish that unique bond that we have all come to cherish so much.

The final day of this frivolity, laughter, and light heartedness will see us gather around and pay tribute to our former shipmates who are no longer with us. It is a melancholy and sobering time. We will stand, gathered to toast those heroes who have gone before us. A tot of rum in hand for some. Many of the tough old guard will fight back the salty mist that gathers in their eyes. I know this to be true as I have been in that situation in years past.

The next morning will see me boarding a flight for the West Coast on my way back to my home in Japan. I always stop in Los Angeles at one of the beach towns just south of the metropolis. Huntington Beach, the original surf City is a nice little beach town with a terrific atmosphere. My daughter and her husband live there and I look forward to my visit with much eagerness. I know that we will squeeze in a professional baseball game or two while I am there. We always manage to visit some of the cozy restaurants available and partake of the wonderful food available in the town.

The watering holes are just as amazing as the restaurants. Quaint little wine bars are sandwiched between sushi bars and open-air Mexican restaurants. The raucous sports bars and laid-back beach front bars are a wonderful place to relax and just plain have fun.

However, disappointment has managed to break this magical spell that had captured my spirit. With great regret I have to cancel the trip this year. I awoke one morning recently at 0400 with this uncanny feeling of dread. A premonition so to speak. Unsure who or what was waking me up and telling me not to travel. I have often had premonitions and learned to follow my instincts and plan accordingly.

I will not dwell on the uncertainty of these sudden feelings. Possibly a good omen or possibly not a good omen. One never knows what fate has in store for them in this life that we lead. I will hopefully be able to keep my feelings in perspective and continue to enjoy all that life has to offer, both the good and the bad.

Published by williamcloonan

I am a retired sailor and proud veteran of the United States Navy. After having served 26 years in the US Navy I then found work with a Ship Repair Company located in Sasebo, Japan. I served all of my career in the Pacific. I served two years on a ship homeported out of San Diego, Ca. The majority of that two years was spent in Viet Nam. My ship returned to the United States and I departed active duty to make my home in Oklahoma City. I realized after one and a half years how much I missed the sea and my travels to foreign ports of call. I re-entered active duty and the rest is history and served the remainder of my career in duty station and ships in Japan with one year spent on a ship homeported in Hawaii. I am currently retired from the work force and will spend the rest of my years on enjoying the good life. I am thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family.

One thought on “The trip across the Pacific

  1. Bill,

     Sorry you won't be able to make it.  I have only made one but it was one of the best times I've ever had.  I, like you this year, have had conflicting events that interfere with the trip.  Hopefully you can make the next one and maybe I can also.  We ain't getting any younger.  I normally send my rep, Graz, to say Hi to all.   

    Take care Shipmate.


    Liked by 1 person

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