September 24, 2006 Sunday
Still in Cape Verde. I have the option if I want to go out in town today. Yesterday I was confined to the ship for duty, but I am considering going out and seeing the sights. From what I spied coming in there is not much, a half-built small city huddled among dry mountains. I’ve heard that the shopping is good–masks and the like. If I do wait it would only to wait for another time. Often it is better, I have found to stay in the routine if it going well and time is flying. Ports have a way of gumming up time, you see. Still from only word of mouth, the vendors are very persistent, and everyone was followed by the natives in hopes of acquiring some small form of American wealth. Our division officer, Mr. Dasta, had a very good time, and just told us about a little boy who followed him all night, using various schemes to get a few coins.
But the talk turned to coming home, and I will relate this. It begins the night before, as we hang tantalizingly close to the shore, just in sight of your lights. Would you drive to the beach that night, and talk afar to me in the moonlight, as you look out of the waters and possibly get a glimpse of the minuscule dot floating far off the darkness? And then the throngs of anxious family members. You might get handed a flag or a noise-maker, or a t-shirt. Then we will make our big arrival, red-white-and-blue blunting hanging from the bow, the sailors lined up along the sides in their dress blues. And everyone will shout wlecomehomewemissedyouandloveyou. There will be crying and laughing and excitement, new babies waiting to meet their fathers, I’m sure. And suddenly six months will vanish into the past, and it will the present.