Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My Favorite Nautical Quotes

To prepare myself for winter, I redesigned my sailing blog and added a list of nautical quotes at the bottom. I searched the internet for hours on Sunday and these sum up my sailing philosophy best.

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails". -- William Arthur Ward

"Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up." -- Henry David Thoreau

"He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea". -- Thomas Fuller

"There is little man has made that approaches anything in nature, but a sailing ship does. There is not much man has made that calls to all the best in him, but a sailing ship does." -- Allan Villiers

"A small craft in an ocean is, or should be, a benevolent dictatorship". -- Tristan Jones

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

"Bad cooking is responsible for more trouble at sea than all other things put together". -- Thomas Fleming Day

"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk". -- Sir Francis Chichester

"Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar." -- Don Bamford

"One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness". -- Henry Wheeler Show

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes". -- Old Norwegian Adage

"The sea---this truth must be confessed---has no generosity. No display of manly qualities---courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness---has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power." -- Joseph Conrad

"Wind is to us what money is to life on shore". -- Sterling Hayden
Each one is perfect. I especially like the ones by Thoreau and Villiers.
Then of course there's always Emily Dickinson:

Wild Nights--Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our Luxury!

Futile--the Winds--
To a Heart in port--
Done with the Compass--
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden--
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor--Tonight--
In Thee!
He who would keep himself busy,
let him equip himself with these two; a ship and a woman.
For no two things involve more business once you start to fit them out, nor are these two ever sufficiently adorned, nor is any excess of adornment enough for them.
Titus Maccius Plautus, 254-184 BC
A ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for.

Source unknown.
That last quote is from Grace Murray Hopper. The actual quote is "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." It's my all-time favorite.
Here's another great one:

I have studied many times
the marble was chiseled for me -
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth,
It pictures not my destination but my life.

For love was offered me,
and I shrank from its disillusionment.
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid.
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.

Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny,
Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Or restlessness and vague desire.
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

~ Edgar Lee Masters
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