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Sailing Quotes

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 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.” —Mark Twain

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them. —John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic. Self-Consciousness

“What is liberty? We say of a boat skimming the water with light foot, ‘How free she runs,’ when we mean, how perfectly she is adjusted to the force of the wind, how perfectly she obeys the great breath out of the heavens that fills her sails. Throw her head into the wind and see how she will halt and stagger, how every sheet will shiver and her whole frame be shaken, how instantly she is “in irons, ” in the expressive phrase of the sea. She is free only you have let her fall off again and have recovered once more her nice adjustment to the forces she must obey and cannot defy.” —
Woodrow Wilson, Twenty-eighth President of the United States
(Excerpts from First You Have to Row a Little Boat, by Richard Bode) 

The Norwegians have a saying— “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.” — Hermann Broch (1886-1951), Austrian novelist

“We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.” — Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1537?-83), English soldier, navigator, explorer. Said during a storm on his last, fatal voyage back from Newfoundland, Sept. 1583.

“Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore.” —Thomas Campion (1567-1620), English poet, musician. Never Weather-beaten Sail, from Two Books of Airs, “Divine and Moral Songs” (c. 1613).

“The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Society and Solitude, “Civilization” (1870).

“There is something about going to sea. A little bit of discipline, self-discipline and humility are required.”— Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b. 1960). Daily Telegraph (London, 7 Oct. 1988).

“For whatever we lose It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.” — E. E. Cummings (1894–1962), U.S. poet. Maggie and Millie and Molly and May.