Quotes about Travel at Sea

Apr 11, 2001
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I was trying to find the great quote by Dickens about an Atlantic crossing and ran across this one- there must be some more memorable sentiments.

Mark Twain: "On [a long sea] voyage, with its eternal monotonies, people's intellects deteriorate...The mind gradually becomes inert, dull, blunted; it loses its accustomed interest in intellectual things; nothing but horse-play can rouse it."
- Following the Equator
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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One of my favorites comes from Captain Joshua Slocum. Sailing Alone Around the World.

"To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that is was made to be sailed over."

Joseph Conrad took another tack. The Mirror of the Sea.

"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. The ocean has the conscienceless temper of a savage autocrat spoiled by much adulation. He cannot brook the slightest appearance of defiance, and has remained the irreconcilable enemy of ships and men ever since ships and men had the unheard of audacity to go afloat together in the face of his frown."
 
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"Much has been said of the sun-rise at sea; but it will not compare with the sun-rise on shore. It wants the accompaniments of the songs of birds, the awakening hum of men, and the glancing of the first beams upon trees, hills, spires, and house-tops, to give it life and spirit. But though the actual rise of the sun at sea is not so beautiful, yet nothing will compare with the early breaking of day upon the wide ocean.
There is something in the first grey streaks stretching along the eastern horizon and throwing an indistinct light upon the face of the deep, which combines with the boundlessness and unknown depth of the sea around you, and gives one a feeling of loneliness, of dread, and of melancholy foreboding, which nothing else in nature can give. This gradually passes away as the light grows brighter, and when the sun comes up, the ordinary monotonous sea day begins."

- Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Here are a few :
The sea voyage is more than an adventure; it is a rite of passage, as decisive as a wedding. It marks the end of the old self and the birth of the new.

Jonathan Raban (1942 - )
Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.

Paul Theroux (1941 - )
Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air...It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative to excitement is irritability.- George Bernard Shaw