(U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Idle)
I stumbled upon this photo while browsing the web the other day. It is a cool shot of a Sailor diving off a carrier (USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CV 72)) in the Arabian Gulf.
I am having trouble with this.
For one thing, I have never enjoyed a swim call. No ship of mine ever held one, and I was on a lot of ships. Maybe I was just unlucky. Maybe the schedule didn’t allow it. Maybe it was just chance. But the words of the great philosopher Graham Hess (character in the movie “Signs”) keep haunting me: “Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”
When I think back, I have always had a problem with swim calls. Here is a cartoon from a quarter century ago.
If my ship would have actually had a swim call, I would like to think I would be one of the guys in this photo, diving off the elevator.
(U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Welch)
Truth be told, I would have probably been one of these guys.
In a swim call evolution, lots of things can happen – some good, some bad. But mostly bad. (Caution! You are about to descend into the dark, paranoid corners of a cartoonist’s brain.)
In the “bad” category:
1. You could get sucked into an inlet. (Supposedly this is taken care of, but I’m not an engineer so I’m not sure.)
2. You could get hurt in the fall.
3. Your ship could leave you behind.
4. Sea snakes.
5. There are people with loaded guns floating around you.
6. Speaking of which, oh by the way, there are sharks.
In the “good” category:
1. You can have a good time.
So maybe it isn’t a coincidence that I never had a swim call. Maybe it was by design. Perhaps there is a reason I now live in a state that is about as far removed from the ocean as a state can be.
Where there are wolves.