Saturday, April 10, 2010

Navigare necesse est - To sail is necessary

I am doing what is necessary. My hope is that you will do the same.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I do not know that I understand what you have posted here, but I believe you should qualify the statement with “I am doing what I feel is necessary”, because none of us has the ability to know exactly what the course should be for the betterment of all concerned.

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

11 Steps to LCDR said...

Master Chief,

It’s a motto. The full statement is often seen as, vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est - meaning, it is not necessary to live, it is necessary to sail.

So I would take it that the good Captain was off sailing on Saturday.

General Quarters said...

I prefer the example of Odysseus. At his retirement, he put his oar to his shoulder and marched inland wandering from town to town until he reached a strange land where the sea was unknown and his oar was mistaken for a winnowing fan. There, he planted it in the earth and sacrificed a ram to assuage the wrath of Poseidon.

Anonymous said...

LCDR and General Quarters,

I never really had much time to learn the niceties of ward room talk, I was never asked to leave but when the Assistant Weapons Officer was grinning I got the clue that I should vacate because I did not understand any Latin. But I did believe it was vitally necessary to sail, and I still do.

My first leading Petty Officer of Fox Division on the USS Manchester (CL 83) back in 1954 told the sea story of his upcoming retirement. He said when he retired he was going to go down to supply with an approved salvage chit, which would allow him to draw an anchor from Navy salvage, then he would head directly inland carrying that anchor on his shoulder, and, he said, when someone asked him what that was he had on his shoulder he was going to throw it down, right there, and that is where he was going to spend the rest of his life. I had no Idea that he had stolen the thought from Odysseus and that has left me between Scylla and Charybdis since the day I found out. What is an old Sailor to expect? Was it all a myth or was there truth in the thinking and expressing?

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

11 Steps to LCDR said...

Master Chief,

With every good yarn, tale, and myth there is some semblance of truth. Your reference to Scylla and Charybdis has some truth to it as well. There is a natural whirlpool in the Straits of Messina that any good sailor should avoid.

General Quarters said...

Master Chief,
Fundamental underlying truths conveyed down the centuries by these old nautical myths and mottos: two kinds of old salt archetypes, here. First (Captain Lambert/Pompey/You) , has the sea in his blood and must continue to sail until he dies (otherwise, he WILL die). Second (your LPO/me), regards the sea as a cruel mistress, and after giving her his best years, moves far away inland, remembering her fondly, but wanting nothing more to do with her. Part of the beauty, romance, and history of the sea services, stretching back to ancient times. All true, except the part about this kind of thing being wardroom talk!! GQ

Anonymous said...

11 Steps to LCDR,

Have been through the Straits of Messina on a number of occasions and have heard rumors of the whirlpool but have never seen it. We never transited the Straits in the daytime as near as I can remember, my memory is not what it was a one time though. The Captain always had us man the Mk 37 Gun Fire Control director to keep range to the nearest point of land during the transit. We made up stories, for the benefit of new Sailors on board, about the whirlpool and the mermaids that might be there to enchant the sailors and have them run their ship run aground. We had an amateur historian as a Yeoman who always generated some good words about the dangers of the Straits and history of the Mediterranean in general. I wish I still had some of those POD s to glance over.

Very Respectfully,
E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS)
US Navy (Retired)

Anonymous said...

General Quarters,

You are right about old nautical myths and actualities too, for many years I never felt I could walk straight on dry land. And within the last few years that same kind of feeling has returned, but it is due to infirmities now. I was raised in Colorado but have not been back there except to visit for over 50 years. I still live on a Sea Island here in South Carolina. I took one of my Grand Sons to visit the tall ships here in Charleston harbor and after he managed the gangway and was standing near the rail looking out over the harbor he said “Papa it feels like the water is pulling me to it.” I told him that is why I spent most of my working life on the water, because it did the same thing to me.

I might also explain that I was never stationed on a Submarine until I was eligible to put in my papers. I did spend the majority of my Navy career looking out at the sea some time during the day nearly everyday. And always had a special feeling for the sea.

I did not mean to disparage the Wardroom in reference to talk other than English. But as an enlisted man I really was not exposed much to Latin, other than what we might read in the POD on occasion. There was one time while stationed on a ship that had considerable berthing space and the senior Chief’s decided to have separate berthing spaces for junior and senior Chief’s. The junior Chief’s put up a sign up over the doorway to their berthing that said “Illigitimus non Carborundom”

Very Respectfully,
E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS)
US Navy (Retired)