Goodbye Navy Blue
End of tour award, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, 1988. I was
torn - I'd enjoyed the Navy but I wasn't one of its stars. I had done best
at teaching and training, but was terrible at navigation - a weird sort of
brain mis-wiring causing me to mix up east and west and when under stress, I
can't navigate at all. Fine in a classroom, but in a channel, at sea, in
the rain, I'm literally lost. It all added to the decision to "punch out"
and try my hand at an engineering and construction company. The trouble
was, I missed the sea. Two years later, in 1990, I was writing around the
clock and in every spare minute, the story I'd imagined that first day on
Hammerhead, which I named The Titanium Coffin, but which was
renamed Voyage of the Devilfish by publisher Don Fine.