Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s a hard life and one oft misunderstood by those who haven’t been there, for they don’t know the allure, the draw that the sea can have.  She is a demanding mistress – claw you from family and hearth she will to draw you back to her clutches.  She is unforgiving – temperamental and unyielding.  She will toss you like a leaf on the breeze and shake you like wolf with its prey.  She will leave you beaten, bruised – gasping for life.  But then she will leave you with golden moments like this.

And for those of us who have gone down to the sea in ships, we sigh and nod…remembering.

(h/t SierraHotel  via FB)