This is the third installment of Southwest Family Member Marco Melloni's reports from the USS Nimitz. His second report is here. Land of the Rising Sun
Today, I sat on the sea and watched as the colors of morning broke and rose gallantly over the island nation of Japan. A brand new day seen in a brand new way. Breathing in Japan's brisk coastal air, I am revitalized. Three weeks of being crammed within a boat, with thousands of other sailors, washed right out of my soul. A new beginning to last the four days we are here. For this short time I am not a sailor in my mind. I am myself again. Free from the shackles and restraints that I take upon myself. Yes, once I set foot on land, I will be an ambassador for the military in all my actions. Yet, in my mind, I am a civilian and a tourist. As I look out, the features of this new land begin to form and take shape under new life. It is a sight to see, and I can not wait to explore this land of the rising sun.
We set out today leaving Japan in our wake. Four days we spent indulging ourselves in its culture. Although Sasebo was not exactly the port that I had wanted to visit, I had a blast. I had wanted to pull in to a larger city like Tokyo, since I enjoy more the city life and the huge shopping districts. However Sasebo was just as fun in its own way. We started out by doing a bit of shopping and exploring around the city. As we became satisfied with that, we started wandering farther out. Taking side streets and old stone stairways, we made our way about halfway up the nearby mountain. At that point, we had the choice of either continuing up the curving mountain road or forge our own trail. We chose the latter. As we ventured higher and higher the excellent view of Sasebo and its surroundings simply became greater. What sights there were to see deep in these mountain forests. Taking our path straight up the mountainside, we found ourselves at the base of an apartment complex near the top. Here we stopped for a short while to rest and enjoy the view. As we sat there, a little girl of about the age of four and her mother came out on their balcony above and greeted us. The girl was so cute standing there waving at us. We talked and entertained them for a short while. With that, we continued on our venture by way of an old stone stairway that leads to the peak of the mountain. Along this stairway were many historical objects. As we reached the top, we learned that we had stumbled upon a museum nestled up here in the mountains and at the highest point, an observatory to view a full image of the world around us in all directions. It was a truly amazing sight. We stayed up there and watched the sun set. After that, we took the roads down heading back into downtown Sasebo. It seemed to take a surprisingly long time down compared to our straight shot upwards. We reveled in the oncoming silent night. Walking down towards civilization in an almost trancelike calmness, letting the wonders around us seep into our souls, and letting the thoughts in our minds wander free. The following days consisted of more exploring of the city. Taking whatever roads spiked our interest and seeing some great sights.
It was an amazing experience, but now we must continue on our way. We have a few other port visits coming up, and I hope to keep you updated on all of these. However, none will be anticipated as much as our final stop. The goal that we all look forward to. Returning home to our friends and loved ones. I hope to see you all soon and want you to know that your thoughts are with me.