“2 Things The Oceans And Seas Of Life Require To Survive Are Swim Or Tread Water”

Expect the unexpected, but there is one thing I didn’t think would ever happen to me, that’s being lost at “Sea” in the middle of a dark and very windy night.  Over the years that experience, has convinced me “2 Things The Oceans And Seas Of Life Require To Survive Are Swim Or Tread Water .”  This is a true story of a “Life” changing experience, Mother “Ocean” could have taken my life that night, instead, she gave it back.  Has is changed my Perception on life, what do you think.  What I learned was, what you put out we surely get back, and it is far better to give than receive.  Since I first penned this article, I had a chance encounter with the widow of a man who lost his life in the El Faro tragedy.  There is no rhyme of reason why I survived and he did not a poignant reminder to us all that”2 Things The Oceans And Seas Of Life Require To Survive Are Swim Or Tread” is a real fact of life.


Years ago, these boats were the way I made my living and fed my family.  I come from a long line of fishermen, so the Ocean and Sea are in my blood, it’s as strong today as it was then.

It was dark, windy night off the coast of Louisiana, myself and two others were on a cork of a boat with the name Capt. Stud, what possessed the owner to put that name on the bow is beyond me, but that name has been burned into my memory for life,”2 Things The Oceans And Seas Of Life Require To Survive Are Swim Or Tread Water'” explains why.

We were off the coast of Cameron Louisiana, at around 10 O’clock at night, there were 70 feet of water under the keel, heading a fishing ground located in 120 feet.  Our heading was South, but the wind was blowing a gale from the West North West, what that means is the waves were not hitting the boat on the bow, but instead at an odd angle on the starboard side.  Every now and then a “rogue” wave would hit the boat from the East, making the boat quickly roll one way then unexpectedly roll quickly in the opposite direction.   Maybe nasty enough for sight a seeing tour, but this type of weather I was well accustomed with, and had been in and worked in, much worse weather than this.

It was my turn to what the wheel, which means, the other two guys would take a nap, and I would make sure we did not hit anything, such as other boats “ghost” wells or ships that traveled that area on a regular basis.  It was none of the above that contributed to my being thrown overboard and lost at “Sea”, it was a simple glass of milk.

Someone had left a glass of milk on the dashboard in the wheelhouse, just a small simple thing.  Or it was until a large wave hit the side of the boat and the milk spilled on the floor, the dash and was soaking all the navigational charts.  I wiped the milk up with the T-shirt I had on, but the mess on the floor would require a mop.  There was a mop on the top of the cabin just behind the rear door to the galley.  There is a guardrail or handrail just outside the galley door, it’s there for a reason, to keep someone from accidentally, falling off the boat and into the “ocean”.  As most sailors know you don’t turn your back to the “ocean or sea” when there is no rail to grab or hang onto.   The rail was at my back, and for me to reach the mop I had to stand on my tip toes and reach on top of the cabin and grab the mop.  Just as I stretched up, one of those “rogue” waves hit the side of the boat I was on and knocked me off balance and against the wheelhouse wall.  In a blink of any eye a different wave hit the opposite side of the boat, and yes you guessed it that wave threw me past the guard rail, with my back still turned away from the “ocean”, and the back of my legs behind my knees hit the cap rail, and just that quick I was overboard, in the “ocean” while the others were sleeping and had no way of knowing I was gone.

It happen so fast I didn’t close my eyes, I could see the lights of the boat from beneath the water, when I broke the surface all I saw then was the stern of that boat “Capt. Stud running off and leaving me, and that’s part of the reason that name has been permanently, burned into my mind.   Did I see my life flash before my eyes?  No, I just saw the lights fading into the night. and out of sight.  Now it was Mother “Ocean” and me on a dark and windy night.

To “survive” I knew there were some things I needed to do, first I kicked off the rubber boots I had on, they were filling with water.  I also knew I had to make myself and buoyant as possible, so off  my shorts, I had on, and then the “Ocean” and I became quite intimate, we were both as naked as the day we were born and that was just fine with me.   The other
“2 Things” I knew I had to do for survival, was “Swim Or Tread Water” both of which I knew how to do quite well.  Because the “seas” were so high I chose to “Tread Water” it would take less energy, and I could ride up and down with the waves, trying to keep as much water out of my mouth as possible.  I have often wondered why, I felt no panic, fear, or a sense of desperation, it could be I had faith, that it just was not my time to leave, and that “Mother Ocean” had a life lesson for me.   I was able to “tread water” for 2 and 1/2 hours, doing what I knew it would take to survive.  There also some huge sharks in those waters I was in, and the only time they came to mind was when I grabbed onto a rescue line.   I said to myself, damn, you have been through all this and just when your life is about to be saved, ironically I realized I had been shark bait the whole time.

A glass of milk started this ordeal, and that empty glass played a role in saving my life.  The “sea” was so rough, that glass bounced around and made enough noise to wake someone up.  And as soon as it was discovered I had fallen into the ocean, a man overboard call was broadcast.  That put the search in motion, and seeing those search lights on the horizon, and knowing they were looking for me, quite frankly qualifies as one of the  beautiful sights I have seen.Mother “ocean” could have taken my life that night, instead, she gave it back. Have I wasted it, I have worked hard not to.  Did I still keep on doing the job of working on a boat, I did, until it became unprofitable, and as “life” works I moved on to something else.  But have not forgotten the gift of a second chance, and the truth is, you have probably been given a second chance or two yourself.

At this present time, I take photographs and write nonfiction stories.  When I want to enjoy fiction, I just reach for one of my collections of Harry Potter Books.  Are pictures of the Ocean Sea or rivers in my photographs, simply yes.



It’s what I find when I go there, things light my fire of passion for life, like the tracks of the Raccoon you see, we don’t have to see it with our eyes, but we know it’s been there by what it left behind.


Morning Glory’s at the edge of water that come from the “Ocean or Sea”  Look this article is not about me, actually, it’s about all of us, simply because, at any moment we each must know how or learn how to do “2 Things The Oceans And Seas Of Life Require To Survive Are Swim Or Tread Water .”











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