Reading SEAPOWER: THE HISTORY AND GEOPOLITICS OF THE WORLD’S OCEANS

At the heart of the teeming South China Sea is Hong Kong, perhaps the finest natural harbor in the world. The first time I pulled into it was 1977, as an ensign assigned as the anti-submarine warfare officer on a brand-new Spruance-class destroyer named USS Hewitt. The captain, Fritz Gaylord, foolishly let me drive the ship as the junior officer of the deck for the sea and anchor detail. It was a complex mooring to a buoy, a huge floating concrete hulk anchored to the bottom of the harbor. The idea was to nuzzle the pointed nose of the 9,000-ton warship up to the buoy, hold it steady with the engines and rudder, and allow enough time for a handful of stalwart boatswain mates to jump from a small boat and affix our ship’s anchor to a kind of connection link to the buoy.

This was a situation that required great ship handling skills which I did not possess, at least not at that early moment in my career.

— Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans, p. 169

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