As an ex-Marine I often reflect on what was it that kept me going throughout my time in the military. I keep returning to the same thing, friendship.
Life takes you to many places both in your heart and your head but also physically too. Along the way you meet a variety of souls, some of whom stick with you forever, even when you lose contact they pop back up. I didn’t used to believe in serendipity but now I do. The other part of this is that is it the sea that has once again united us and has acted as a pathway to catch up and enjoy our lives outside of the military.
Juniour is a tall, bearded bear of a man with a heart of gold, but someone you would never want to cross. Post the marines we fell out of touch but walking down a street several years ago was about to lead to memorable moment. Quite often post serving in the Marines you lose touch. The intensity of days spent together mean that when you get home you seek a peace of just being away from that life. That peace was soon to change for the better as I encountered Juniour one day strolling towards me after several years of no contact. We greeted each other like it was yesterday but still could tell that enough time had passed that we both had some yarns to share. After a coffee and a few beers we were up to speed with the various happenings in our lives. Losing touch was something we were not going to do again and ironically I found myself staying with Juniour through the first lockdown. Since serving Juniour has achieved many things but most notably he embarked on an Atlantic Row in honour of the cockleshell Heroes last year alongside several other Marines and ex Marines. After days of dust and war the sea has been a sanctuary and a place to re-set our own internal compasses.
Friendship is something that often takes you by surprise, it is sometimes the people you least expect that become the truest of friends. Max is no exception. Portishead to many is a song that represents many a good night out but to me it is the place that united Max and I and once again all because of the ocean. Working in Portishead in a marine based role I was excited about the prospect of “getting on with the job” My CV was read, I got offered the role and before I knew it an email arrived. It was Max, he also worked at the marina and after not seeing each other for several years post the marines we were soon going to be working together but in a very different capacity! Meeting Max again was like no time had passed, a genuine chap with a brilliant sense of humour we picked up from where we left off. Not only does he work with boats now, but he also now lives on a boat.
So, from our early days in the Marines, we now find ourselves on the Bristol Channel sailing, swapping stories and growing into the next phase of friendship together.
Ross Brady Sailing Scallywag
I feel lucky to have served with such souls and as such will always consider them part of Scally’s Crew.