Nature, at best, is neutral it is often said. The sea, even less so. I have been through storms in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and have seen high seas in the Pacific as well as standing on that great ocean’s eastern shores and witnessed strong fury that actually pales in comparison to some of nature’s real efforts. But one thing I have learned is to give Davey Jones his due and not venture out where there be dangerous waters. Now, most of my experience was on the ample hulls of large, grey steel apartment houses, with airports conveniently located on the roof. At actual displacement of around 100,000 tons and most measuring over 1,000 feet in length, the fact that we took rolls and damage made me a true believer in our real place in the scheme of all things aquatic.
We sometimes forget that for centuries upon centuries, humans have ventured forth upon the waters on vessels much smaller, more frail and even more at the mercy of the seas. This morning, a recreation of one of the most well-known vessels of the 19th Century and those who remain on her, stands in deep peril off our shores as Hurricane Sandy churns the deep enroute to landfall:
For them, and all who venture forth, let us join in the Breton Fisherman’s Prayer:
Dear God, be good to me;
The sea is so wide,
And my boat is so small.
May they all come to shore in one piece.