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

—British naval saying, c. 1800

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

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

—Humphrey Gilbert, 1583

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

I’ve been bathing in the poem

Of star-infused and milky sea

Devouring the azure greens.

—Arthur Rimbaud, 1871

Ocean. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man—who has no gills.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

—Publilius Syrus, c. 30 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 sea hath no king but God alone.

—Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1881

The sea receives us in a proper way only when we are without clothes.

—Pliny the Elder, 77

The life of a sailor is very unhealthy.

—Francis Galton, 1883

He that commands the sea is at great liberty and may take as much and as little of the war as he will.

—Francis Bacon, c. 1600

Take back your golden fiddles, and we’ll beat to open sea.

—Rudyard Kipling, 1892