I love exploring quotes about the seas and oceans. I find it interesting how such a broad range of authors have found interesting things to say about the topic without ever hemming it in; there seems to be always something new to observe.
My appreciation of the topic has one major exception; those quotes that compare the sea with womankind. Unfortunately, I think one, the other, or both tend to get short-changed or insulted in many of those quotes. Worse, there is a strong tendency towards the cliched.
Years ago, this came up in a discussion I had with John O’Toole. O’Toole was a career PO First Class destined never add a rocker to his crow and claim the rank of chief petty officer. But he knew his way around a ship. Never being one to mince words, this is what he said to me: “People are always comparing the sea to a woman. That’s a mistake. Even a woman that you’ve cheated on and abandoned is more forgiving than high seas and a bad storm.”
I hope never to be so foolish that I put that to the test.