Monday, December 21, 2009

Great Sailing Quotes

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

Spoken by Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows a children's book by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932).


A sea captain when he stands upon the bridge, or looks out from his deck-house, thinks much about God and about the world. Away in the valley yonder among the corn and the poppies men may well forget all things except the warmth of the sun upon the face, and the kind shadow under the hedge; but he who journeys through storm and darkness must needs think and think. One July a couple of years ago I took my supper with a Captain Moran on board the s.s. Margaret, that had put into a western river from I know not where. I found him a man of many notions all flavoured with his personality, as is the way with sailors. He talked in his queer sea manner of God and the world, and up through all his words broke the hard energy of his calling.
- William Butler Yeats, The Celtic Twilight

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

- William Arthur Ward

I just thank God I don’t live in a trailer.

Jimmy Buffet , Son of a son of a sailor

The house was built on the highest part of the narrow tongue of land between the harbor and the open sea. It had lasted through three hurricanes and it was built solid as a ship.

- Ernest Hemingway

Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.

- Dennis Conner

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

- Old Norwegian Adage

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

- Joseph Conrad

I cannot not sail.

- E. B. White

The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.

- Dom Degnon

There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.

- Joseph Conrad

The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.

- Joshua Slocum

At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.

- Robin Lee Graham

The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.

- Isak Dinesen

The sea hates a coward.

- Eugene O’Neill

To young men contemplating a voyage I would say go.

- Joshua Slocum

Boats, like whiskey, are all good.

- R. D. Culler

Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.

- Sterling Hayden

I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.

- Bernard Moitessier

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

- Donald Hamilton

The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.

- Edmund Gibbon

The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared.

- Ted Turner

If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.

- Pete Goss


Messing About said...

These are superb. I hadn't read the full Messing About quote for many years. The others are great too, especially the Norwegian fishing quote. Another non-sailing Norwegian fishing quote that I love and use a lot in business is the "The spouting whale gets the harpoon"

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