We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I went to grad school with a guy who served in an elderly, leftover DE in a Pacific cyclone during the Vietnamese War. They got green water in the bridge. Lost a forward 5 in gun mount, their stacks and all antennas and lose stuff. Rolled almost to the capsize limit, 70 degrees I think. Were swinging like monkeys off the steel pipes set in the ceiling and walls.
I went to sea for 35 years and only once in weather like that.....three days off Cape Hatteras. Read Joseph Conrad's Typhoon for for a good description. 100 coolies in a forward hold with nothing to hold-on to.
'This is the reason I didn't take the promotion offered to me when I worked for Texaco - I was not going to the North Sea - period, end of discussion.
Second, my Dad commanded a DE during WWII on North Atlantic convoy duty - he and his XO (who he was life long friends with) often said that they spent more time underwater than on top of it during storms.
One small correction. The sea doesn't want to kill you. The sea doesn't care about you one way or another.
If you do everything right, if your machines do not fail, if the material of strength of your hull is sufficient, then you will survive. If one thing goes wrong, one glitch in the system, one weakness in the steel, the sea will work at the tiniest flaw until all that man has wrought is torn asunder. You and yours will cry to the heavens, curse the sea, but you will succumb floating on the surface or sinking to the bottom. And after all the terror, all the pain, all the suffering, the sea will not care. The sea will not notice.
It is this realization that forces those who got to sea to accept how small and insignificant they are. To know, there is no evil, only an eternal universe in which you reside for but an instant. It is then you reach for God, for there is nothing so terrible as realizing you are insignificant in the face of nature.
Consider the shipwreak that the Apostle Paul survived at Malta...he and all his shipmates. Consider Jonah, inside the great fish....doomed and then vomited out. Consider me, almost drowned at the beach at Durbin S.A. or almost going over into a deep creek bed while bushhogging....except at the last moment the tractor clutch peddle engaged and I was able to stop.....Nature does not care..and certainly not the sea....but God does.
Moved back to New England in '76, married my high school sweetheart and went to work with one of the many mini-computer companies that populated Rt 128. Left in a buy out and switched to machine tools, when that company was purchased, I started a consultant service as a PE and the rest is history.
I served on a Fram 1 Gearing class destroyer from 1968-1971, 3500 tons, approx. 390 ft. long. My first deployment was to WestPAC (VN). We left Yokosuka Japan with 2 other DD's coming home in 1969 and ran in 35' seas almost all the way to Midway Island. Height of eye on the bridge was 36'. We ran a loose line abreast formation at 2000 yards. All you could see of the other 2 ships was the very top of the antennas on the mast. All we could do was stand our watch and hang on. I was standing bridge watch with my arms rapped around the pelorus when I saw the roll angle indicator hit 45 degrees more than once. Fortunately, we had plenty of fuel on board and were well ballasted down. The bow would ride over one swell, crash down, and go thru the next while the screws came out of the water aft. Looked like an aquarium looking out from the bridge. It beat the crap out of us for about 3 days. We finally got out of it before getting to Midway Island for fuel. I have had a very healthy respect for the sea since then.