Dad's in the ocean


Waterloo Bay, Elliston

Today I consigned some of my father's ashes to the Indian Ocean in the Great Bight of Australia. He wished to be buried at sea. I hope he doesn't mind that we settled on cremation and scattering a bit of him in the world's waters.

I didn't know until we were planning this trip that Dad had been in Australia as a sailor in the US Navy. Mom sent me this excerpt from a letter he wrote on 6 September 1964 (his 27th birthday) when his ship, the USS Enterprise, was visiting Australia:

Friday evening I went over and looked around Sydney. It is quite a place and has a certain air about it. You would really like it. It's a very young city. The 'old' buildings are less than ten years old and almost everything else is new. It's awfully clean for a large city - 2 1/2 million population - and it has the only decent waterfront I've ever seen. It is a combination of America, England and Europe, all in one spot. There are big supermarkets and small groceries - like in France. There is some night life but not too much. The people are friendly to an extreme. Total strangers can't seem to do enough for someone they've just met and it's not 'put on' either. They really mean it. The Australians take life easy during leisure time and are hard workers all the other time. It's really nice.

I'm happy to know I've brought him back to a place he liked.


and so am I.


Oh, Dad's words! You made my day.

As another sailor who once sailed on the USS Enterprise (1967-1969), I am happy to see one of my fellow shipmates get his final wish. Sounds like a wonderful way to get to closure and only sailors know the true majesty and beauty of the seas.

He will be at peace now. You did a good thing.

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  • michael: As another sailor who once sailed on the USS Enterprise read more
  • Jennifer: Oh, Dad's words! You made my day. read more
  • Fran: and so am I. M read more