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I have heard or read of the many moods of the sea. It seems every romantic the world over has described the sea in this anthropocentric way. Yet I have never witnessed any of her moods. The sea, at least until today, had never been moody in the least. For me, the sea had always been a blank canvas upon which the wind and sun played endlessly.

This afternoon, as I gazed absent minded forward past Seaburban’s bows, past the waves that stood off to the horizon and past the clouds that bore down on all, I realized two things: Firstly, I have come half ways around the world and every mile forward is a mile closer to home as opposed to farther; and Secondly, there was nothing to look at on the sea. The latter came as a shock.

The mixed swell that had plagued Seaburban for days was gone. The cresting waves that had dealt us so many hard knocks were gone. Twenty knots of wind should have covered the sea’s surface with whitecaps but there were none. The sky appeared similarly uninteresting. Even the birds, our constant companions day and night, calm and gale, were gone. The canvas was a shocking blank.

Snapping out of my mental torpor, it struck me hard that the sea had become pensive. Her mood had changed. She was thinking what to do next and, like me only a few seconds ago, had entered some state of absent-minded torpor. The sea had lost all interest in the present and was off somewhere else, daydreaming. Against all my efforts and all the odds, I had become a romantic. The sea and all her moods indeed.

I looked more closely at the sea and sky around me. It had changed. I was not imagining things, daydreaming, or wishing it were so. I went below, fetched the camera and came back on deck thinking that the scene would not survive a photograph. I was wrong. Look carefully at the picture I took a few minutes after my forced conversion to romanticism. There is nothing to see.

Within the hour it was all back. The swell, the wind-waves, the knocks and the whitecaps. The sky, an earlier dull gray mass, had broken up into cumulus shards with blue streaks between.

Perhaps at halfway, the sea was thinking of some new trick. Something else with which to dissuade or discourage. Maybe finding that uninteresting, she gave up and lazily settled for more of the same. Or maybe she’s just moody. I cannot say. I will say, however, that her mood had changed.

Follow my tracks in real-time: