Why is a ship under sail more poetical than a hog in a high wind? The hog is all nature, the ship is all art.

—Lord Byron, 1821

A fair complexion is unbecoming to a sailor: he ought to be swarthy from the waters of the sea and the rays of the sun.

—Ovid, c. 1 BC

But look, our seas are what we make of them, full of fish or not, opaque or transparent, red or black, high or smooth, narrow or bankless—and we are ourselves sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children, waves.

—Hélène Cixous, 1976

The legislator is like the navigator of a ship on the high seas. He can steer the vessel on which he sails, but he cannot alter its construction, raise the wind, or stop the waves from swelling beneath his feet.

—Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full.

—Book of Ecclesiastes, c. 250 BC

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.

—Anaïs Nin, 1950

Never trust her at any time when the calm sea shows her false alluring smile.

—Lucretius, c. 60 BC

He who commands the sea has command of everything.

—Francis Bacon, c. 1600

Ashore it’s wine, women, and song; aboard it’s rum, bum, and concertina.

—British naval saying, c. 1800

The Mediterranean has the colors of a mackerel, changeable I mean. You don’t always know if it is green or violet—you can’t even say it’s blue, because the next moment the changing light has taken on a tinge of pink or gray.

—Vincent van Gogh, 1888

The wonderful sea charmed me from the first.

—Joshua Slocum, 1900

Tomorrow we take to the mighty sea.

—Horace, 23 BC

The sole business of a seaman onshore who has to go to sea again is to take as much pleasure as he can.

—Leigh Hunt, 1820