Pearls of Wisdom
Icons/LFlorish.gif Random Reflections About Living Aboard Re Metau Icons/RFlorish.gif
Nautically Inclined QuotesPearls of WisdomNautically Inclined Quotes
The language of the sea, and the image of a life upon it evoked so many poignant and passionate thoughts, it often caused poetry to pour from many a pen. Since I began authoring this website, I sought to capture the most apropos phrases on the runner at the bottom of each of these pages. Some have been pulled from books, both autobiographical and fictional. Some come from lyrics, others from poems, and a few from movies.

Here you will find the complete list of this website’s quotes about sailing and sailboats, a sailor’s life at sea, ocean waves, sandy shores, everything about a watery, nautical life - and a few that regard our cruising kitty Neptune. Enjoy!


Re Metau and Cruise Ship
~ Re Metau off Egmont Key ~
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"If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends."
~ John Enoch Powell ~

"When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land."~ Samuel Johnson~

"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one."
~ Eric Hiscock ~

"Even now; with a thousand little voyages notched in my belt. I still feel a memorial chill on casting off."
~ E. B. White ~

"There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God."
~ Herman Melville ~

Dave Shugar's Sweet Enough
~ Sweet Enough off Washer Woman, Florida Keys ~
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"Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar."
~ Don Bamford ~

"I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
~ John Masefield ~

"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
~ Howard Bloomfield ~

“Experience is the name we give out mistakes.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~

“Today I felt pass over me a breath of wind from the wings of madness.”
~ Charles Baudelaire ~

Rainbow over Boot Key Harbor
~ Rainbow over Boot Key Harbor ~
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"I start from the premise that no object created by man is as satisfying to his body and soul as a proper sailing yacht."
~ Arthur Beiser ~

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing lesson and he'll sit in a boat drinking beer every weekend."
~ Alex Blackwell ~

"If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot."
~ Good Advice ~

"A ship is a bit of terra firma cut off from the main; it is a state in itself; and the captain is its king."
~ Herman Melville ~

Tarpon Springs Fishing Boats
~ Tarpon Springs Shrimp Boots ~
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“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”
~ Alexander Pope ~

"Prevention is, as in other aspects of seamanship, better than cure."
~ Sir Robin Knox-Johnston ~

 "It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."
~ John Kenneth Galbraith ~

"Still bent to make some port he knows not where, still standing for some false impossible shore."
~ Matthew Arnold ~

Junk in Bahamas
~ Junk Rig Schooner in Exumas ~
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"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."
~ William Congreve ~

"You are talking to a man who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe."
~ The Wizard of Oz ~

“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 ~

"Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.."
~ Francesco Guicciardini ~

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”
~ Samuel Ullman ~

Todd and Debbie on their Contender
~ Fish Whistle, Marathon ~
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"Sea life is just life with its doldrums and gales, its reefs and hospitable shores. But it's real, and not a collection of tales, and it's mine, but the fantasy's yours."
~ C. Robert Hilton ~

"Not all who wander are lost."
~ R.J. Tolkien ~

"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
~ Grace Murray Hopper ~

"A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives."
~ Anne Davison ~

"Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
~ Brooks Atkinson ~

Forgotten Seashell
~ Seashell, Manatee River ~
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“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.”
~ Babatunde Olatunj ~

"I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea."
~ Alaine Gerbault ~

“There is no more thrilling sensation I know of than sailing. It comes as near to flying as man has got to yet - except in dreams.”
~ Jerome K. Jerome ~

"The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span, those days spent sailing."
~ Ancient proverb ~

"I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full."
~ Arthur Ashe ~

"Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear, your head like the golden-rod, and we will go sailing away from here to the beautiful land of Nod."
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox ~

Sport Fisher Coming into Port
~ Sport Fisher, Boot Key Harbor Channel ~
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"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."
~ Steven Wright ~

"There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea."
~ Anacharsis ~

"Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me."
~ Hoyt Axton ~

"Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."
~ Richard Bach ~

"A true sailor is a person who, when one door closes, will be found on the outside looking for the wind."
~ Diana Reynolds ~

Coming up Boot Key Channel
~ Atlantic Bound Cruiser ~
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"I can't wait for the oil wells to run dry, for the last gob of black, sticky muck to come oozing out of some remote well. Then the glory of sail will return. "
~ Tristan Jones ~

"We are the boat, we are the sea, I sail in you, you sail in me”
~ Lorre Wyatt ~

"If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."
~ Captain Ron ~

"That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs but what a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom."
~ Jack Sparrow ~

“The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity.”
~ Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon ~

"The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails."
~ Joshua Slocum ~

Ken and Cassie's La Cazadora
~ Cazadores leaving a Sand Bar ~
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“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Andre Gide ~

"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
~ Marcel Proust ~

“Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”
~ Mark Twain ~

“Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life.”
~ John Amatt ~

“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
~ Allan K Chalmers ~

Heeling Under Sail
~Heeling Under Full Sail ~
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"I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else."
~ Joshua Slocum ~

"At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much."
~ Robin Lee Graham ~

"Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him."
~ Charles C. Davis ~

"A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea. "
~ Honore de Balzac ~

"It is our relation to circumstances that determine their influence over us. The same wind that blows one ship into port may blow another off shore."
~ Christian Nevell Bovee ~

Up the Manatee River Canal
~ Up the Braden River ~
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"Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.”
~ Unknown ~

"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe — Sailed on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew."
~ Eugene Field ~

"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
~ John MacGregor ~

 "And it's a fair wind blowin' warm out of the south over my shoulder. Guess I'll set a course and go..."
~ David Crosby ~

"The humblest craft that floats makes its appeal to a seaman by the faithfulness of her life."
~ Joseph Conrad ~

Bonaire Windjammer
~ Wind Jammer, Bonaire ~
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"Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down."
~ John Masefield ~

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
~ Vivian Greene ~

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

"The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore"
~ Vincent van Gogh ~

"Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, offer no angles to the wind. They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes less than themselves."
~ A.S.J. Tessimond ~

The Freedom Presidential Yacht
~ Mathis Trumpy Yacht - Freedom, Warderick Wells ~
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"To most men, experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed."
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge ~

"Without patience, a sailor I would never be."
~ Lee Allred ~

"Never a ship sails out of the bay but carries my heart as a stowaway."
~ Roselle Mercier Montgomery ~

"A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner."
~ English Proverb ~

"A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s."
~ Bernard Moitessier ~

"A small leak can sink a great ship."
~ Benjamin Franklin ~

Seventh Wave
~ Seventh Wave, Sombreo Reef ~
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"Thought is the wind and knowledge the sail."
~ David Hare ~

"Who heeds the waste abyss of possibility? The ocean is everywhere the same, but it has no character until seen with the shore or the ship."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

"Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination."
~ Fitzhugh Dodson ~

"The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land."
~ Joseph Conrad ~

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…"
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

"The sea calls - come live in my heart and pay no rent."
~ Unknown ~

"for whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea"
~ ee cummings ~


John Arguellas' Gand Banks Patience
~ Grand Banks - Patience, Near 7-Mile Bridge ~
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"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
~ Isak Dinesen ~

"Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore."
~ Lord Byron ~

"Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean."
~ Christopher Reeve ~

"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean."
~ Arthur C. Clarke ~

"There is no dilemma compared with that of the deep-sea diver who hears the message from the ship above, 'Come up at once. We are sinking!'"
~ Robert Cooper ~

"Man marks the earth with ruin - his control stops with the shore."
~ Byron ~

Reverse Sunset
~ Twin Dolphin Marina ~
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 "What we do is less than a drop in the ocean. But if it were missing, the ocean would lack something."
~ Mother Teresa ~

"Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds along the pebbled shore of memory!"
~ John Keats ~

"The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace."
~ Kate Chopin ~

"We travel, not to escape life, but for life not to escape us…"
~ Anonymous ~

"However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewher over your horizon"
~ Ken Nutt ~

"I am a citizen of the most beautiful nation on earth, a nation whose laws are harsh yet simple, a nation that never cheats, which is immense and without borders, where life is lived in the present. In this limitless nation, this nation of wind, light, and peace, there is no other ruler besides the sea."
~ Bernard Moitessier ~

"The best bilge pump of all is a bucket in the hands of a frightened man" ~ Butch Dalrymple-Smith

Boot Key Boats
~ Boot Key Canal ~
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"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." ~ Captain Larry

"Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world."
~ Nicholas Monsarrat ~

"Sailing unties the knots in my mind"
~ Al Noble ~

"I am a citizen of the most beautiful nation on earth, a nation whose laws are harsh yet simple, a nation that never cheats, which is immense and without borders, where life is lived in the present. In this limitless nation, this nation of wind, light, and peace, there is no other ruler besides the sea." ~ Bernard Moitessier

Re Metau Sailing Wing-n-Wing
~ Hans Christian 33T - Re Metau, Sailing Wing-n-Wing ~
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"I never was on the dull tame shore, But I loved the great sea more and more."
~ Barry Cornwall ~

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water."
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

"Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving....we must sail, sometimes with the wind, sometimes against it, but sail we must, and not drift nor lie at anchor."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes ~

"Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny."
~ Carl Schurz ~

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
~ Loren Eiseley ~

"When you walk with naked feet, how can you ever forget the Earth?"
~ Carl Jung ~

Put-in-Bay Water Taxi
~ Water Taxi - Emily B, Put-N-Bay ~
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"Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems."
~ Francis Stokes ~

"But where, after all, would be the poetry of the sea were there no wild waves?"
~ Joshua Slocum ~

"In the ocean, one does not need to sow water."
~ Somali Proverb ~

"The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance."
~ Annie Van De Wiele ~

"If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board."
~ Lin and Larry Pardey ~

Tarpon Springs Sponge Boat
~ Tarpon Springs Sponge Boat ~
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"If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most."
~ E. B. White ~

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky, let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic...”
~ Van Morrison ~

"Success soon palls. The joyous time is when the breeze first strikes your sails, and the waters rustle under your bows."
~ Charles Buxton ~

“Don't just sit there - sail something!”
~ chery fee ~

"The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator."
~ Edmund Gibbon ~

"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides."
~ Jules Verne ~

"Up anchor! Up anchor! Set sail and away! The ventures of dreamland are thine for a day."
~ Silas Weir Mitchell ~

Florida Keys Lobster Boat
~ Marathon Lobsterman ~
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"If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board."
~ Lin and Larry Pardey ~

"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."
~ Helen Keller ~

"The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats."
~ Ernest Hemingway ~

"It's remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living."
~ Ernest K. Gann ~

"The sea finds out everything you did wrong."
~ Francis Stokes ~

"Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear."
~ Buzzy Trent ~

Rick's Shall We Dance
~ Shall We Dance, Heading to Key West ~
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"Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.”
~ August Hare ~

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
~ Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows ~

"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind."
~ Webb Chiles ~

"Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made, for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid."
~ Robert N. Rose ~

"I look toward the fading dark horizon, There is no line between the sea and sky."
~ Andrew Shiston ~

Tampa Bay Shrimp Boat
~ Tampa Bay Fisherman ~
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"The decks awash with salty spray, the sails are full and pulling. Another sign of a tradewinds day and the 'Morning Winds' keep going."
~ Unknown ~

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea..."
~ Antoine de Saint Exupery ~

"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 ~

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes ~

Pink Masts in Sandusky
~ Sandusky Harbor Marina ~
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"The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted, Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."
~ Walt Whitman ~

"If you can not arrive in daylight, then stand off well clear, and wait until dawn. After all, that's one of the things God made boats for- to wait in."
~ Tristan Jones ~

"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
~ Ursula K. Leguin ~

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective."
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Bonaire Freighter
~ Bonaire Salt Pier ~
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"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
~ Dom Degnon ~

"Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.”
~ Winifred Carriere ~

“Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure.”
~ Bob Bitchin ~

"Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.”
~ Paul Gray ~

"Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.”
~ Winifred Carriere ~

Mystic Scooners
~ Mystic Seaport Tall Ships ~
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"Way down deep we are all motivated by the same urges, cats have the courage to live by them."
~ Jim Davis ~

"There is something about the presence of a cat...that seems to take the bite out of being alone.”
~ Louis Camuti ~

"Wind is to us what money is to life on shore."
~ Sterling Hayden ~

"A cat pours his body on the floor like water."
~ William Lyon Phelps ~

"Everything can be found at sea according to the spirit of your quest."
~ Joseph Conrad ~

"Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails."
~ Old Sailors Proverb ~

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
~ Leonardo Da Vinci ~

Power Yachts at Twin Dolphins
~ Twin Dolphin Marina ~
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“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”
~ Jim Rohn ~

"Any fool can carry on, but a wise man knows how to shorten sail in time."
~ Joseph Conrad ~

"Go small, go simple, go now”
~ Larry Pardey ~

“I grew to judge every purchase by how many bronze screws I could buy for the boat if I didn't spend on this or made do without that.”
~ Lin Pardey ~

Hans Christian Under Sail
~ Sailing Up the Pawcatuck River ~
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"The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself."
~ John Rousmaniere ~

"Being hove to in a long gale is the most boring way of being terrified I know."
~ Donald Hamilton ~

"Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part."
~ Hermann Broch ~

"If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends."
~ J. Enoch Powell ~

Bonaire Tug
~ Bonaire Tug ~
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"We're out here on the sea's sufferance - not as equals, certainly not as challengers. Because the sea can't lose. Only we can lose."
~ Unknown ~

"It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean."
~ John Locke ~

"He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles."
~ Walter Scott ~

"Your life is your ship and you are the captain. Choose your course, take the wheel firmly and get on your way."
~ Michael Josephson ~

"And after two days in civilization we realized we could never stay for long and started to plan our next adventure."
~ Bob Bitchin ~

"There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship. At that time you can be equal to Ulysses and brother to him."
~ Errol Flynn ~

"When I forget how talented God is, I look to the sea."
~ Whoopi Goldberg ~

"Land people take their boats out to go look at the ocean.  Ocean people take their boats out to go look at the land." ~ Don Reynolds

Manatee River Sunset
~ Pier 22 Sunset, Manatee River ~
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“Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life. They bring new food for shore creatures, and take ships out to sea. They are the ocean's pulse, and our own heartbeat.”
~ Tamora Pierce ~

"It is the weather, not work, that wears out sails."
~ Thomas Fleming Day ~

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

"We will let you know we have reached the end of our journey just as soon as we've crossed over the horizon."
~ Diana Reynolds ~

 "Cruisers don't have plans, just intentions."
~ David Skillings ~

Prestigious Lady
~ Yacht Docked at Marathon Marina ~
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"For the most part, a sailboat navigates through its world of wind and water not leaving a single trace of its passage. Nothing is consumed. Nothing is altered. The winds and the water are left in exactly the same condition for the next user. Sailing is forever."
~ Michael B. McPhee ~

"To be successful at sea we must keep things simple."
~ R. D. Culler ~

"There are parts of a ship which taken by themselves would sink. But when they are built together, they form a craft that floats and is going someplace."
~ Ralph W. Sockman

"The heart can think of no devotion greater than being shore to the ocean.... "
~ Robert Frost ~

St. Augustine Windvane
~ St. Augustine ~
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"Time and Tide wait for no man." ~ St. Marher

"I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." ~ Herman Melville

"A tradewind starts gently, without gusts — a huge ocean of air that slowly and resolutely begins to move with ever-increasing strength. Suddenly everything comes to life. Spirits rise as the sails fill. The boat heels slightly and moves ahead. The almost oppressive silence gives way to the sound of the bow cutting through the water. Gone is the sea’s glassy surface, and with it the terrible glare. Close the hatches and ports! We’re sailing again!" ~ Jim Moore

Put-in-Bay Party
~ Christmas in July, South Bass Island ~
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"Below 50 degrees south there is no law. Below 60 degrees south there is no God." ~ Old Sailors Adage

"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

"I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2." ~ Earnest K. Gann

"The sea drives truth into a man like salt." ~ Hilaire Belloc

"Mother, mother ocean, I've heard you call. Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall. You've seen it all, you've seen it all." ~ Jimmy Buffett

"However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewhere over your horizon" ~ Ken Nutt


Copyright © 2013 Diana E Reynolds - SV Re Metau.  All rights reserved.

"Up anchor! Up anchor! Set sail and away! The ventures of dreamland are thine for a day." ~ Silas Weir Mitchell