How many times I’ve read about exploration, about getting in a boat or a ship and chancing it, and yet it seemed a remote thing done by remote people.  Thank you Adam for conjuring the motivating currents driving people to embark upon ‘a potentially alarming sea’.

And let me turn his fine phrase into a benediction: may you see where you are going and have everything you need.

‘That is why this crossing of a potentially alarming sea, at a moment which is picked because the weather is kind and the spring is coming, because the tide is running with you and the sun is out, when you can see where you are going and you have everything you need, is one of the deepest of all historical experiences.’

See also a quote-rich mosaic review of this magnificent, entrancing book: a love letter to islands and a paean to the sea. 


Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 129

Photo credit: Ahmed Saffu at


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