According to the captain of the USS George H W Bush, every single day is ‘a beautiful day to be at sea’. Such breezy optimism is understandable when you’re in charge of more than 1,000 feet and 100,000 tons of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The George H W Bush is one of the largest and most powerful warships on the planet, ‘the tip of the spear’ as Geoff Dyer notes in this absorbing account of two weeks spent on board as official ‘writer in residence’.
Alain de Botton’s Writers in Residence programme aims to place great writers in the places in the modern world ‘we do not understand because we cannot get inside them’. It is an excellent idea and a laudable aim, and Dyer’s meditative record of his brief stint in the Persian Gulf