Monday, October 29, 2012

Why Be a Sailor

My thoughts this morning are with the crew of the tall ship HMS Bounty. Somewhere in the Atlantic are two young sailors, adrift in 20 foot seas. The good ship Bounty has been abandoned and presumed to be sunk.

I am overwhelmed with sadness, and have spent the day pondering why people like us are drawn to this life. 

For now, I will let the words of others express my thoughts. Perhaps at some later time I'll put my own feelings into writing.  Not today. 

God bless the family members and the crew of the good ship Bounty.

Photographs from our experiences on the water accompany the quotes.


Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. 
-H. Melville

"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place." 

'A sailing ship is no democracy; you don't caucus a crew as to where you'll go anymore than you inquire when they'd like to shorten sail."    
-Sterling Hayden
"The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself."                             

"The ocean has always been a salve to my soul...the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land."   -Jimmy Buffett

 "Never a ship sails out of a bay, but carries my heart as a stowaway." 
-Roselle Mercier Montgomery

 "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

 "Confronting a storm is like fighting God. All the powers in the universe seem to be against you and, in an extraordinary way, your irrelevance is at the same time both humbling and exalting."  -Franciose LeGrande

 "I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came."    
- John F. Kennedy

 "For the most part, a sailboat navigates through its world of wind and water not leaving a single trace of its passage. Nothing is consumed. Nothing is altered. The winds and the water are left in exactly the same condition for the next user. Sailing is forever."
-Michael B. McPhee 

 "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." 
-William Shedd

 "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." 

-Mark Twain

"If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends." 



  2. Mark twain and John,F,Kennedy said some real good things and I hope that the 2 people at rest in the sea died living a dream that will never die with them

  3. Thank you for this, Chris. I've also spent this morning thinking about the conflict of our lives at sea, that we're so deeply drawn to what can easily devour us. I wouldn't trade a minute of my time on my water, and that alone gives me a little pause in times like these.

    Anyway, thanks for putting these out here. Be safe, be well.