white lighthouse overlooking the sea

199 Quotes about the Sea to Help You Appreciate the Marine World and All Its Wonders

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Since the dawn of time, the vastness of the sea, and its unfathomable depths, have provoked only two things in the hearts of men and women – fear, or fascination.

To some, the sea is a veritable wall meant to fence in and keep humans solely within the shores. Its uncharted extent is a province of numerous, inconceivable dangers, and its dark, unexplored depths are a dominion of horrors unimaginable. The sea represents the unknown, and thus to be feared. That humans have already gone to the moon and back, but have explored very little of the Earth’s marine waters only furthers this fear of the sea.

But to others, the unbounded expanse of the sea offers limitless possibilities and freedom from confinement on land. Its vastness promises thrill and adventures of a lifetime. Its unmapped depths hint of a world of wonders yet to be revealed to human eyes. Thus was born the proud tradition of seafaring, and the sciences dedicated to studying, and preserving, the Earth’s seas and oceans and everything therein.

Throughout the years, numerous men and women have spoken words about the sea – some in fear of it, but most out of love for it – which are immortalized in the form of pithy inspirational sayings. Here is a compilation of some of the most meaningful and remarkable quotes about the sea to help you appreciate the marine world and all its wonders.

A graphic for a compilation of quotes about the sea

  1. “A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau 
  1. “A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.” – Webb Chiles 
  1. “A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” – Bernard Moitessier 
  1. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd 
  1. “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  1. “A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives.” – Anne Davison 
  1. “Ah, monsieur, to live in the bosom of the sea! Only there can independence be found! There I recognize no master! There I am free!” – Jules Verne 
  1. “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full.” – King Solomon 
  1. “And the winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” – Edward Gibbon 
  1. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus

Quote about the sea by Franklin Roosevelt on a background of a stormy sea with rough waves

  1. “As the sea is beautiful not only in calm but also in storm, so is happiness found not only in peace but also in strife.” – Ivan Panin 
  1. “At night, when the sky is full of stars and the sea is still you get the wonderful sensation that you are floating in space.” – Natalie Wood 
  1. “At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.” – Herman Melville 
  1. “At sea, I feel comfortable and I come to rest.” – Laura Dekker 
  1. “At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.” – Robin Lee Graham 
  1. “At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” – Sandy Gingras 
  1. “Beauty of expression is so akin to the voice of the sea.” – George Matthew Adams 
  1. “Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay 
  1. “Boats, like whiskey, are all good.” – R. D. Culler 
  1. “Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.” –
    Alfred Lord Tennyson

Man diving underwater

  1. “But where, after all, would be the poetry of the sea were there no wild waves?” – Joshua Slocum 
  1. “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 
  1. “Don’t sit and wait. Get out there, feel life. Touch the sun, and immerse in the sea.” – Rumi 
  1. “Even in the vast and mysterious reaches of the sea we are brought back to the fundamental truth that nothing lives to itself.” – Rachel Carson 
  1. “Every drop in the ocean counts.” – Yoko Ono 
  1. “Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” – Loren Eiseley 
  1. “For every moment the sea is peace and relief, there is another when it shivers and stirs to become chaos. It’s just as ready to claim as it is to offer.” – Tim Winton 
  1. “For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” – E. E. Cummings 
  1. “From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau 
  1. “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

Top view of a ship on sea

  1. “Hark, now hear the sailors cry
    Smell the sea, and feel the sky
    Let your soul & spirit fly,
    Into the mystic.” –
    Van Morrison 
  1. “He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea.” – George Herbert 
  1. “He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.” – Thomas Fuller 
  1. “He who lets the sea lull him into a sense of security is in very grave danger.” – Hammond Innes 
  1. “He who rides the sea of the Nile must have sails woven of patience.” – William Golding 
  1. “Headwinds are sore vexations and the more passengers the sorer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  1. “Hence, in a season of calm weather
    Though inland far we be,
    Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
    Which brought us hither.” –
    William Wordsworth 
  1. “Home is like the ship at sea,
    Sailing on eternally;
    Oft the anchor forth we cast,
    But can never make it fast.” –
    Charles Dickens 
  1. “However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewhere over your horizon.” – Ken Nutt 
  1. “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

Stormy sea and sky

  1. “I am alone again and I want to be so; alone with the pure sky and open sea.” – Friedrich Nietzsche 
  1. “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott 
  1. “I cannot not sail.” – E. B. White 
  1. “I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.” – Helen Keller 
  1. “I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh 
  1. “I find myself at the extremity of a long beach. How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep! A greeting and a homage to the Sea! I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow. That far-resounding roar is the Ocean’s voice of welcome. His salt breath brings a blessing along with it.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne 
  1. “I found myself in a sea in which the waves of joy and sorrow were clashing against each other.” – Naguib Mahfouz 
  1. “I grew up with the sea, and poverty for me was sumptuous; then I lost the sea and found all luxuries gray and poverty unbearable.” – Albert Camus 
  1. “I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.” – Bernard Moitessier 
  1. “I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it roaring and raging like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free, and ending just where it began.” – William Hazlitt

Quote about the sea by Helen Keller on a background of a sailboat on the blue sea

  1. “I must go down to the seas 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 
  1. “I need the sea because it teaches me.” – Paul Neruda 
  1. “I once knew a writer who, after saying beautiful things about the sea, passed through a Pacific hurricane, and he became a changed man.” – Joshua Slocum 
  1. “I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.” – Drew Barrymore 
  1. “I spent uncounted hours sitting at the bow looking at the water and the sky, studying each wave, different from the last, seeing how it caught the light, the air, the wind; watching patterns, the sweep of it all, and letting it take me. The sea.” – Gary Paulsen 
  1. “I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.” – Alain Gerbault 
  1. “I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else.” – Joshua Slocum 
  1. “If I had my will I would live in a ship on the sea, and never come nearer to humanity than that!” – Eleonora Duse 
  1. “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca 
  1. “If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn’t worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it’s life or death.” – Morgan Freeman

Tall ship with sails drawn up anchored on the sea

  1. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery 
  1. “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” – Jonathan Winters 
  1. “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” – Kahlil Gibran 
  1. “In still moments by the sea life seems large-drawn and simple. It is there we can see into ourselves.” – Rolf Edberg 
  1. “It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.” – Rachel Carson 
  1. “It is extraordinary to see the sea; what a spectacle! She is so unfettered that one wonders whether it is possible that she again become calm.” – Claude Monet 
  1. “It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.” – Sir Francis Drake 
  1. “It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” – George William Curtis 
  1. “It is not to be wondered that men have worshiped the ocean, for in his depths they have seen mirrored the image of Eternity of Infinity. Here they have seen the symbol of God’s great plan of oneness with His creatures, for the sea is the union of all infinite particles, and it takes the whole to make the one.” – Elbert Hubbard 
  1. “It is only when we are very happy that we can bear to gaze merrily upon the vast and limitless expanse of water, rolling on and on with such persistent, irritating monotony to the accompaniment of our thoughts, whether grave or gay. When they are gay, the waves echo their gaiety; but when they are sad, then every breaker, as it rolls, seems to bring additional sadness and to speak to us of hopelessness and of the pettiness of all our joys.” – Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Quote about the sea by Alain Gerbault on a background of the side of a sailboat cruising along the sea

  1. “It’s out there at sea that you are really yourself.” – Vito Dumas 
  1. “It’s remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.” – Ernest K. Gann 
  1. “It must be remembered that the sea is a great breeder of friendship. Two men who have known each other for twenty years find that twenty days at sea bring them nearer than ever they were before, or else estrange them.” – Gilbert Parker 
  1. “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” – Hunter S. Thompson 
  1. “Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.” – Albert Schweitzer 
  1. “Land is the secure ground of home, the sea is like life, the outside, the unknown.” – Stephen Gardiner 
  1. “Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.” – Brooks Atkinson 
  1. “Life is a big sea full of many fish. I let down my nets and pulled. I’m still pulling.” – Langston Hughes 
  1. “Life is as inexorable as the sea.” – Thomas Wentworth Higginson 
  1. “Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.” – Heinrich Zimmer

Tall ship with sails drawn up anchored still on a calm sea

  1. “Little islands are all large prisons: one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow.” – Richard Burton 
  1. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  1. “Maybe life was like a sea, and all the people were like boats … Everybody who was born was cast into the sea. Winds would blow them in all directions. Tides would rise and turn, in their own rhythm. And the boats – they just went along as best they could, trying to find a harbor.” – Cynthia Voigt 
  1. “Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down.” – John Masefield 
  1. “Most of us, I suppose, are a little nervous of the sea. No matter what its smiles may be, we doubt its friendship.” – H. M. Tomlinson 
  1. “My soul is full of longing
    For the secret of the sea,
    And the heart of the great ocean
    Sends a thrilling pulse through me.” –
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
  1. “Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.” – Hiroshi Sugimoto 
  1. “Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway.” – Roselle Mercier Montgomery 
  1. “No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau 
  1. “On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.” – Alexander Pope

Rough waves of the blue ocean

  1. “One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness, a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs.” – Josh Billings 
  1. “Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar.” – Don Bamford 
  1. “Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.” –Charles G. Davis 
  1. “People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.” – Saint Augustine 
  1. “Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another’s great tribulation; not because any man’s troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant.” – Lucretius 
  1. “Praise the sea, on shore remain.” – John Florio 
  1. “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
    Man marks the earth with ruin—his control
    Stops with the shore.” –
    Lord Byron 
  1. “Sailing unties the knots in my mind.” – Al Noble 
  1. “Spirits rise as the sails fill…
    Gone is the sea’s glassy surface, and with it the terrible glare.
    Close the hatches and ports!
    We’re sailing again!” –
    Jim Moore 
  1. “That the sea is one of the most beautiful and magnificent sights in Nature, all admit.” – John Joly

Sea waves with the shore in the background

  1. “The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.” – Vladimir Nabokov 
  1. “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Karen Blixen 
  1. “The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.” – Joshua Slocum 
  1. “The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place.” – Rachel Carson 
  1. “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 
  1. “The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.” – John Rousmaniere 
  1. “The great sea makes one a great sceptic.” – Richard Jefferies 
  1. “The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” – Blaise Pascal 
  1. “The loneliness you get by the sea is personal and alive. It doesn’t subdue you and make you feel abject. It’s stimulating loneliness.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh 
  1. “The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.” – Dom Degnon

A quote on the sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh with a background of an aerial (top) view of the sea and the shore filled with coconut palms and other trees

  1. “The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea.” – Ovid 
  1. “The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.” – Victor Hugo 
  1. “The ocean and I have many pebbles to find and wash off and roll into shape.” – William Stafford 
  1. “The ocean is a mighty harmonist.” – William Wordsworth 
  1. “The ocean is an object of no small terror.” – Edmund Burke 
  1. “The ocean has always been a salve to my soul…the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land.” – Jimmy Buffet 
  1. “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward 
  1. “The questions that used to bother me at times, do not weigh anything before the immensity of a wake so close to the sky and filled with the wind of the sea.” – Bernard Moitessier 
  1. “The sea complains upon a thousand shores.” – Alexander Smith 
  1. “The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears.” – Jules Verne

Man standing with a paddle amidst the blue sea

  1. “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh 
  1. “The sea drinks the air and the sun the sea.” – Anacreon 
  1. “The sea drives truth into a man like salt.” – Hilaire Belloc 
  1. “The sea finds out everything you did wrong.” – Francis Stokes 
  1. “The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.” – Joseph Conrad 
  1. “The sea has this contradictory quality, that the more you see of it, the more it overwhelms the eye and disappears in its own brightness. Like a flame, whose meaning is light but whose centre is dark, it demands to be undefined.” – Alice Oswald 
  1. “The sea hates a coward.” – Eugene O’Neill 
  1. “The sea hath fish for every man.” – William Camden 
  1. “The sea is as near as we come to another world.” – Anne Stevenson 
  1. “The sea is certainly common to all.” – Plautus

A quote on the sea by Francis Stokes on a background of the gentle waves of the blue sea

  1. “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” – Christopher Paolini 
  1. “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 
  1. “The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence.” – Jules Verne 
  1. “The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats.” – Ernest Hemingway 
  1. “The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it?” – Jules Verne 
  1. “The sea lives in every one of us.” – Robert Wyland 
  1. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau 
  1. “The sea possesses a power over one’s moods that has the effect of a will. The sea can hypnotize. Nature in general can do so.” – Henrik Ibsen 
  1. “The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.” – Annie Dillard 
  1. “The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.” – Carl Sandburg

A small wave rolling on the sea

  1. “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau 
  1. “The sea! The sea! The open sea! The blue, the fresh, the ever free!” – Bryan W. Procter 
  1. “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.” – Joseph Conrad 
  1. “The sea, washing the equator and the poles, offers its perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it… ”Beware of me,” it says, ”but if you can hold me, I am the key to all the lands.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  1. “The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home…” – Christopher Columbus 
  1. “The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” – Henry Beston 
  1. “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 
  1. “The waves of the sea help me get back to me.” – Jill Davis 
  1. “There are more sharks on the land than in the sea.” – Neil Wheatley 
  1. “There are no signposts in the sea.” – Vita Sackville-West

White waves lapping against a brown sandy shore

  1. “There are three sorts of people: those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.” – Anacharsis 
  2. “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” – William Shakespeare 
  1. “There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity.” – Thomas Gibbons 
  1. “There’s never an end for the sea.” – Samuel Beckett 
  1. “There is no new wave, only the sea.” – Claude Chabrol 
  1. “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 
  1. “There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.” – Joseph Conrad 
  1. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” – Dave Barry 
  1. “There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” – Herman Melville 
  1. “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

Wooden pier

  1. “There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it.” – Cecelia Ahern 
  1. “They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.” – Francis Bacon 
  1. “Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” – Hermann Broch 
  1. “Though the terror of the sea gives to none security, in the secret of the shell. Self preserving we may dwell.” – Muhammad Iqbal 
  1. “Thought is the wind, knowledge is the sail, and mankind is the vessel.” – August Hare 
  1. “Time and tide wait for no man.” – Saint Marher 
  1. “To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?” – Walt Whitman 
  1. “To me, the sea is like a person – like a child that I’ve known a long time. It sounds crazy, I know, but when I swim in the sea I talk to it. I never feel alone when I’m out there…” – Gertrude Ederle 
  1. “To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes 
  1. “To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” – Rachel Carson

Rolling waves of the blue sea

  1. “To young men contemplating a voyage I would say go.” – Joshua Slocum 
  1. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 
  1. “Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.” – Charlie Cook 
  1. “Voyager upon life’s sea,
    To yourself be true,
    And whate’er your lot may be,
    Paddle your own canoe.” –
    Sarah T. Bolton 
  1. “Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear.” – Buzzy Trent 
  1. “Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life.” – Tamora Pierce 
  1. “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” – John F. Kennedy 
  1. “We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.” – Paul Tillich 
  1. “We lived within two hundred yards of the sea, and its voice was in our ears night and day.” – Edward Carpenter 
  1. “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” – Aristotle Onassis

Rough waves lashing against dark rocks beneath a cloudy sky

  1. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa 
  1. “What is there more unruly than the sea, with its winds, its tornadoes, and its tempests?” – Pliny the Elder 
  1. “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” – Werner Herzog 
  1. “When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land.” – Samuel Johnson 
  1. “When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke 
  1. “When the draught of your vessel exceeds the depth of the water, you are most assuredly, aground.” – Ian Walsh 
  1. “When you grow up on an island, what matters is how you stand to the sea.” – Roddy Doyle 
  1. “Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems.” – Francis Stokes 
  1. “Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.” – Paul Carvel 
  1. “Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” – Robert Henri

Cross-section view of the sea with a palm-covered island in the distance

  1. “Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.” – Sterling Hayden 
  1. “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” – Sylvia Earle 
  1. “Without patience, a sailor I would never be.” – Lee Allred 
  1. “Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than the power that crosses the white sea, driven by the stormy wind, making a path under surges that threaten to engulf him.” – Sophocles 
  1. “Would you learn the secret of the sea? Only those who brave its dangers, comprehend its mystery!” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
  1. “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore
  1. “You have to think of your career the way you look at the ocean, deciding which wave you’re gonna take and which waves you’re not gonna take. Some of the waves are going to be big, some are gonna be small, sometimes the sea is going to be calm. Your career is not going to be one steady march upward to glory.” – Alan Arkin 
  1. “You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.” – Thomas Traherne 
  1. “You stand next to the sea and you’re in touch with all your longings and all your losses.” – Elizabeth Hay

Aerial view of a ship with unfurled sails

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