Today is day three of four sea days as National Geographic Resolution travels from the nation of Kiribati to Niue, a self-governing island country in free association with New Zealand. Sea days are as full and busy as guests choose to make them. Presentations on offer today included, “Pacific Island Cultures and Traditions,” by Master Navigator Tua Pittman. Just before lunch, Joe Holliday presented his talk, “Climate Change Around the World.” National Geographic photographer Nitye Sood capped off the day with, “Photo Editing on the iPhone.” A brilliant end to the day came from the staff, who entertained guests with a game, “How well do you know your expedition team?”
My mind is often turned inward on sea days, and I thought I would share one of my favorite poems about the sea with you, dear reader:
Barry Cornwall (1787-1874)
THE SEA! the sea! the open sea!
The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
Without a mark, without a bound,
It runneth the Earth’s wide regions round;
It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
Or like a cradled creature lies.
I’m on the sea! I’m on the sea!
I am where I would ever be;
With the blue above, and the blue below,
And silence wheresoe’er I go;
If a storm should come and awake the deep,
What matter? I shall ride and sleep.
I love, O, how I love to ride
On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
When every mad wave drowns the moon
Or whistles aloft his tempest tune,
And tells how goeth the world below,
And why the Sou’west blasts do blow.
I never was on the dull, tame shore,
But I lov’d the great sea more and more,
And backwards flew to her billowy breast,
Like a bird that seeketh its mother’s nest;
And a mother she was, and is, to me;
For I was born on the open sea!
The waves were white, and red the morn,
In the noisy hour when I was born;
And the whale it whistled, the porpoise roll’d,
And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
And never was heard such an outcry wild,
As welcom’d to life the ocean-child!
I’ve liv’d since then, in calm and strife,
Full fifty summers, a sailor’s life,
With wealth to spend and a power to range,
But never have sought nor sighed for change;
And Death, whenever he comes to me,
Shall come on the wild, unbounded sea!