The Sea, the Sea, the Beautiful Sea

We like sea days. I never tire of just watching the sea in all of its moods and colors. One nice thing about a balcony is that we can see the sea from our bed. Another good thing is that no one can see us.

Pictures are not adequate to express the mystery and underlying terror of the sea. We are land creatures, with no fins or gills. We aren't meant to be out on the sea. Despite the excellent safety record of cruise ships, there is always that underlying uncertainty: what if . . . ?

The word that comes to mind in "unfathomable." A fathom is six feet. Water depth used to be measured by dropping a weighted rope into the water, marked in six-foot increments. If the depth in the river was two marks (twelve feet), then they would say "mark twain." Sound familiar? Author Mark Twain was once a riverboat pilot and took his pseudonym from that phrase. We have been in water that was three miles deep. That's literally unfathomable. Well, OK, it's "mark 2630." Hm-m-m-m. Very long rope.