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Quotes

As to the sea itself, love it you cannot. Why should you? I will never believe again the sea was ever loved by anyone whose life was married to it. It is the creation of omnipotence, which is not of humankind and understandable, and so the springs of its behavior are hidden.

—H. M. Tomlinson, 1912

In all the ancient states and empires, those who had the shipping, had the wealth.

—William Petty, 1690

I am ill every time it blows hard, and nothing but my enthusiastic love for the profession keeps me one hour at sea.

—Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1804

I never even saw the use of the sea. Many a sad heart has it caused, and many a sick stomach has it occasioned! The boldest sailor climbs on board with a heavy soul and leaps on land with a light spirit.

—Benjamin Disraeli, 1827

Of all objects that I have ever seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much as the sea or ocean. A troubled ocean, to a man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest object that he can see in motion, and consequently gives his imagination one of the highest kinds of pleasure that can arise from greatness.

—Joseph Addison, 1712

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

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

The power which the sea requires in the sailor makes a man of him very fast, and the change of shores and population clears his head of much nonsense of his wigwam.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870

He who travels by sea is nothing but a worm on a piece of wood, a trifle in the midst of a powerful creation. The waters play about with him at will, and no one but God can help him.

—Muhammad as-Saffar, 1846

Tomorrow we take to the mighty sea.

—Horace, 23 BC

We are as near to heaven by sea as by land!

—Humphrey Gilbert, 1583

Seaward ho! Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head.

—Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.

—Zora Neale Hurston, 1937