Beautiful, mysterious, and peaceful are some of the words used to describe sunsets. Deployed sailors understand these words better than anyone in the world. Naval carrier based sailors especially, share a deep connection with the twilight as they stand inside the hangar bay staring at the ocean as the sun sets into the night. An unusual moment of peace aboard the hectic high-speed carrier life, sunsets are a moment when the salty sailors share the tales of yore with the inexperienced youngsters under their leadership. But, what exactly does a sunset represent for the navy?
For the majority of the world, a sunset is simply the passing of the day into night. However, for sailors, a sunset is a metaphorical passing of the torch. As one shift ends and a new one begins, as sailors of old teach sailors of young. Stories of joy, laughter, sadness, fear, and even moments of uncertainty are told under the rays of the sun to those who are willing to listen. A sailor knows all too well the value and significance of these tales; which seem nearly outlandish to those who haven’t experienced life aboard a naval vessel. But, the stories are part of our naval heritage, a long-standing tradition of sharing tales amongst each other as sailors spun the yarn.
Every once in a while, a sailor will witness beautiful sights across the horizon such as whales, dolphins, and other types of sea creatures, but it’ a rare opportunity a metaphorical needle in a haystack. Sunsets exist to amplify the magnificence of these beautiful events as nature unfolds around the floating steel city that is the ship. Yet, these moments happen whether they’re witnessed or not, and it’s even rarer to have a sunset unfold quietly aboard a carrier. Just as ships must sail, birds must fly, and jets must launch from the catapults. Moments of peace are rare in the carrier life, sailors are working, parts are moving, and bells are always ringing aboard the ship. The sunsets exist as a reminder of how beautiful the world is, and serves to remind sailors that their hard work and dedication is changing the lives of others.
Yet, sailors wouldn’t know how to answer the question of what a sunset represents for them. Every sunset represents something different to an individual and sailors aren’t any different. Sunsets are definitely a nice change of pace, from a constant view of the ocean. When a sailor looks around himself and stares at an endless ocean for hours on end, from the same location it can be rather monotonous. But, a sunset is the end of a day and the beginning of the night shift, the mark of one day closer to their return home.
Sunsets are mysterious and beautiful, but simply another part of the sailor’s life. But, when all sailors have is water and other ships nearby, they can be life changing events or they can simply be another day closer to seeing their friends and families.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.