Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quote of the Day (John Steinbeck, on How a Man ‘Builds the Best of Himself Into a Boat’)

“Bad boats are built, surely, but not many of them. It can be argued that a bad boat cannot survive tide and wave and hence is not worth building, but the same might be said of a bad automobile on a rough road. Apparently the builder of a boat acts under a compulsion greater than himself. Ribs are strong by definition and feeling. Keels are sound, planking truly chosen and set. A man builds the best of himself into a boat—builds many of the unconscious memories of his ancestors.”— John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951)

The scientific expedition that Steinbeck made with friend Ed Ricketts took place on the coast of California; I took the photograph you see here clear across the other side of the United States, in the coastal town of Beaufort, S.C.  But the principles of sturdiness and seamanship are universal, as is the magnificence of the sea.

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