- Training period.
- First experience of a sea.
- Adventures and dangers.
- Swimming for life when his ship sink.
- Life at home after a long voyage.
A sailor is both born and made. In a maritime country like England, every boy is potentially a born sailor. Perhaps his father or his grandfather was in fact a sailor. But, in spite of this fact, he needs an extensive course of training. There are special naval schools where boys are trained as sailors. Discipline is the keynote of this training. He is trained how to work when the sea is stormy or calm; to work in times of war or peace.
He is thrilled when he enters deep waters for the first time as a full-fledged sailor. Obviously, he has become a sailor because he loves the sea. But the sea is not always a lovable thing, especially when waves rise up mountain high and the storm breaks in all its fury. Nevertheless, he loves the sea. The wide expanse of water, stretching to the very limits of the horizon, thrills him. He enjoys the wind that beats his face and the water that drenches him to the bones.
A sailor’s life is not bed of roses. It is perhaps, next to the life of an air-pilot, the most dangerous kind of life. There are storms, cyclones, icebergs, fire, the danger of sinking boats, etc., even in the normal times and his wife becomes still more uncertain when there is a war on. He does not know when an enemy plane would swoop down and machinegun him, or when an enemy, the submarine would come and torpedo his ship. Sometimes there is actual battle with the enemy’s ship, which opens fire on his ship. Sometimes when the enemies succeed in penetrating into his ship, there is grim hand to hand fighting. In olden days there were parties who attacked ships containing cargoes. A sailor hardly dies a dry death. More often than not, the sea is his grave.
Sometimes when his ship sinks owing to some causes, he has to jump into the ocean and swim for his life. He has a life belt with him or sometimes he catches hold of some plank floating in the sea and manages to keep his head above water. He is attacked by sharks and other water animals. Hardly a few in a hundred, under such circumstances, manages to reach the shore.
For all the dangers he passes through, his salary is not enviable. All the same, he is a happy contented man. He has his wife and children too. When he comes home, especially after a long and stormy voyage, he is very happy to see his children and his wife once again and live with them a few days of indescribable joy and peace.