The Sea

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!

—Barry Cornwall (1787 – 1874)

A day at sea means different things to all of us. It is a time of reflection, time to edit photography, or simply time to swap yarns and stories with fellow shipmates of life at sea!

This morning expedition leader Peter Wilson prepared us for our upcoming time in the Falklands. First Safety Officer Johan Bernekorn inspired us with the story of finding his passion in the form of a 53’ ketch-rigged sailboat he refurbished and now calls home. Captain Heidi Norling, Hotel Manager Tracy Greiner, and Chief Engineer Yuriy Rudenko gave us behind-the-scene answers to a myriad of questions concerning all the different aspects of operations here on board National Geographic Orion.

In today’s highspeed world in seemingly all aspects of our lives, it is sometimes simply magic to revert for a short time to such an ancient form of travel, to ride upon the face of the sea!