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Thread: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

  1. #1

    Default Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    I have a few nautical quotes that I always enjoy reading again and again.

    These are mine.

    Joshua Slocum

    You must know the sea, and know that you know it, and know that it was meant to be sailed upon.

    Harry Pidgeon

    "I avoided adventure as much as possible. Just the same, any landsman who builds his own vessel and sails alone around the world will certainly meet with some adventures, so I shall offer no apology for my voyage. Those days were the freest and happiest of my life."

    What are your favorite nautical quotes?

  2. #2
    TYRNTLZRDKING Guest

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam.

    Popeye (the sailor man)


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    'Just clear that mast from the anchor with a stick before we come into port.'

    This expression was spoken in a variety of foreign accents as we changed watch after hearing the story of a ship arriving in port with a yacht mast entangled in its anchor.

    A gentle reminder to be vigilant on watch...

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxingout View Post
    I have a few nautical quotes that I always enjoy reading again and again.

    These are mine.

    Joshua Slocum

    You must know the sea, and know that you know it, and know that it was meant to be sailed upon.

    Harry Pidgeon

    "I avoided adventure as much as possible. Just the same, any landsman who builds his own vessel and sails alone around the world will certainly meet with some adventures, so I shall offer no apology for my voyage. Those days were the freest and happiest of my life."

    What are your favorite nautical quotes?
    This is not a quote, but I am the grandniece of Captain Harry Pidgeon and thank you for remembering him. He was a great but humble man and an inspiration to many of the sailing folks in our family. He always kept his priorities simple, which I now appreciate.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by ElizabethMadrigal View Post
    This is not a quote, but I am the grandniece of Captain Harry Pidgeon and thank you for remembering him. He was a great but humble man and an inspiration to many of the sailing folks in our family. He always kept his priorities simple, which I now appreciate.
    The complete quote that I have goes like this, "Ulysses is fabled to have had a very adventurous voyage while returning from the sack of Troy, but for sufficient reasons I avoided adventure as much as possible. Just the same, any landsman who builds his own vessel and sails alone around the world will certainly meet with some adventures, so I shall offer no apology for my voyage. Those days were the freest and happiest of my life."

    The quote is from one of my favorite books, The Circumnavigators by Donald Holm, on page 65 where the author quotes Harry Pidgeon.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    "Sailing is a long lesson in patience" - Bernard Moitessier.

    Which my friend Fred revised as "Sailing is a long lesson in patience...mixed with bouts of sheer terror".

    From there, my friend Sean's wife said it should be "Sailing with CHILDREN is a long lesson in patience mixed with long bouts of sheer terror...".

    To which Sean revised as "I think you mean: "Sailing with CHILDREN is a long lesson in patience mixed with bouts of sheer torture".

    All in fun, it was a great exchange...
    Our blog: svjaneo.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by scotte View Post
    "Sailing is a long lesson in patience" - Bernard Moitessier.

    Which my friend Fred revised as "Sailing is a long lesson in patience...mixed with bouts of sheer terror".

    From there, my friend Sean's wife said it should be "Sailing with CHILDREN is a long lesson in patience mixed with long bouts of sheer terror...".

    To which Sean revised as "I think you mean: "Sailing with CHILDREN is a long lesson in patience mixed with bouts of sheer torture".

    All in fun, it was a great exchange...
    Been there. Done that. Every line brings another flashback to my mind.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    As a Scot, we used to frequently use the expression
    "It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"
    It was years later I found out where the saying started.
    The monkey is a brass item that holds stacked cannonballs, when it got very cold, the item contracted, spilling the shot!
    Great expression.

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Quote Originally Posted by brogan007 View Post
    As a Scot, we used to frequently use the expression
    "It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"
    It was years later I found out where the saying started.
    The monkey is a brass item that holds stacked cannonballs, when it got very cold, the item contracted, spilling the shot!
    Great expression.
    http://www.snopes.com/language/stories/brass.asp

    Somehow Snopes will not allow one to copy and paste so you will have to actually go there.

    Sorry.

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    A nautical saying that sticks in my mind and was first learned by me at the young age of about 6 while anchored in the bight of the River Exe with my parents, was one that I would hear repeatedly in the future used by many skippers.

    It came in 3 versions as follows, depending on the severity of the situation:

    1) 'BUGGER'
    2) 'BUGGER, BUGGER'
    and finally
    3) 'BUGGER, BUGGER, BUGGER'

    Let me explain the first time I heard it used, as said earlier we were anchored near the beach on the River Exe.

    A friend of my fathers on a 21' Eventide (a wooden sloop) was anchoring (first outing of the season) abreast of us and his 15 year old daughter was up forward ready to drop anchor - I digress at this stage just to say that this guy (although nice) was one of those that when as skipper he said jump, you would say how high, I agree a skipper is in charge but sometimes a little sense can save a lot - he shouted drop the anchor, her reply was 'But Dad', he said drop the anchor, her reply was 'But Dad', his reply (at the top of his voice) 'Do as you are told', so she did as told.
    After the anchor was dropped he said, 'Now what did you want' she said ' It was not tied on', hence the first saying of 'Bugger, Bugger, Bugger'.
    I know this has happened in different ways to different people, but this is a true story.

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    One of our favorite anchoring expressions in the French Islands (also useful in Georgetown, Bahamas):

    "Vous etes trop pres!", or "You are too close!"

    Fair Winds,
    Mike

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Not a favorite quote, but one of my favorite cartoons!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Here's one of my favorites...

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

    - Mark Twain

  14. #14

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    From H. L. Mencken:

    "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    jmolen; I LOVE your cartoon! My favorite saying, which I repeat frequently to my mother, is "Boats are safe in a harbor, but that is not what boats are made for!" Don't know the source, but agree with the sentiment.

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Sorry, the only nautical saying I've ever really known is "three sheets to the wind" and that was well before my present sailing days.

    But, you just KNOW that cartoon has started the email journey to my monohull friends! I love it--thanks for including it!

    Marshall
    "People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it's more fun to go slow than it is to go fast." -- Dick Newick

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    I am glad you like the cartoon, if you look close the guy is surrounded by traditional boats and lore....

    I have one I got from the designer of my boat Jim Brown. "When the wind picks up, we slow down"

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    Light, Strong,Cheap...pick any two. I think it may have been Dick Newick.....also applies to bicycles.

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    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    I have had this in my office for many years
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    TYRNTLZRDKING Guest

    Default Re: Favorite Nautical Sayings and Quotes

    There is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
    - Kenneth Grahame

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    - Culler

    A lot of people ask me if I were shipwrecked, and could only have one book, what would it be? I always say 'How to Build a Boat
    - Stephen Wright

    I want a boat that drinks 6, eats 4, and sleeps 2.
    - Earnest K. Gann

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

    At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.
    - Robin Lee Graham

    Twenty years from now you will be more disppointed by the things that 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

    I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
    - John Masefield

    "The ocean has always been a salve to my soul...the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land."
    - Jimmy Buffett

    "The sea is the same as it has been since before men ever went on it in boats."
    - Ernest Hemingway

    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

    "Never a ship sails out of a bay, but carries my heart as a stowaway."
    - Roselle Mercier Montgomery

    "Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
    - Howard Bloomfield

    Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.
    - Old sailors proverb.

    There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship. At that time you can be equal to Ulysses and brother to him.
    - Errol Flynn

    "One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness."
    - Henry Wheeler Show

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Give him a fishing lesson and he'll sit in a boat drinking beer every weekend.
    - Alex Blackwell

    A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.
    - Bernard Moitessier

    The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.
    - Joshua Slocum

    "The sea finds out everything you did wrong."
    - Francis Stokes

    “I start from the premise that no object created by man is as satisfying to his body and soul as a proper sailing yacht.”
    - Arthur Beiser (The Proper Yacht)

    "The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    "Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
    - Brooks Atkinson

    "Not all who wander are lost."
    - JRR Tolkien

    There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.
    - Old Capstan Chantey attributed to Anacharsis, 6th Century BC

    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

    Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
    - H. Melville (Moby Dick)

    A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the monent he arrives.
    - Anne Davison

    "The only reason that Uldra's engine never failed was because she did not have one."
    - Dennis Puleston

    "Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down."
    - John Masefield

    "A small craft in an ocean is, or should be, a benevolent dictatorship."
    - Tristan Jones

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

    "It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better."
    - Sir Francis Drake

    "He who lets the sea lull him into a sense of security is in very grave danger."
    -Hammond Ines

    "It's out there at sea that you are really yourself."
    -Vito Dumas

    The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance.
    - Annie Van De Wiele

    "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk."
    - Sir Francis Chichester

    "Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems."
    - Francis Stokes

    When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land.
    - Dr. Samuel Johnson

    "The art of the sailor is to leave nothing to chance."
    - Annie Van De Wiele

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

    He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.
    - Thomas Fuller

    Off Cape Horn there are but two kinds of weather, neither one of them a pleasant kind.
    - John Masefield

    A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.
    - Webb Chiles

    "There are only two colors to paint a boat, black or white, and only a fool would paint a boat black."
    - Nathanael G. Herreshoff

    "For one thing, I was no longer alone; a man is never alone with the wind-and the boat made three."
    - Hilaire Belloc

    "If you can not arrive in daylight, then stand off well clear, and wait until dawn. After all, that's one of the things God made boats for- to wait in."
    - Tristan Jones

    "Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world."
    - Nicholas Monsarrat

    "Without patience, a sailor I would never be."
    -Lee Allred

    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

    "I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else."
    - Joshua Slocum

    "When I forget how talented God is, I look to the sea."
    -Whoopi Goldberg

    "If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board."
    - Lin and Larry Pardey

    Jolly boating weather,
    And a hay harvest breeze,
    Blade on the feather,
    Shade off the trees.
    -William Johnson Cory

    "There is little man has made that approaches anything in nature, but a sailing ship does. There is not much man has made that calls to all the best in him, but a sailing ship does."
    - Allan Villiers

    "The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
    - John MacGregor

    "Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar."
    - Don Bamford

    "Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that
    worries him."
    - Charles G. Davis

    The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.
    - John Rousmaniere

    Prevention is, as in other aspects of seamanship, better than cure.
    - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

    Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.
    - Sterling Hayden

    I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.
    - Bernard Moitessier

    "My experience with engines is that if you depend on them they fail you, but if it just doesn't matter, they serve you."
    -Frank Wightman

    “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks”
    - Warren Buffett

    "Ships are the nearest thing to dreams that hands have ever made."
    - Robert N. Rose

    "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."
    -Syrus Pubilius

    The water is the same on both sides of the boat.
    -Finnish Proverb

    “The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”
    - Dale Carnegie

    “Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.”
    - Jean-Paul Sartre

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