New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Landlubber

Three rough rides on the sea let me know I was a landlubber. At one time, I had thought that sailing as a hobby would be something I might pursue. The romance of the sea as conveyed via books, photos, films, smells, the beach, vistas of and from the ocean - everything about the sea is compelling to me, except the experience of actually being on the water. I was going to qualify that by adding "especially when it's rough", but at this point, apprehension of seasickness and its extremely unpleasant queasiness gives me cause to approach every nautical trip with trepidation. Of course, the world abounds with suggestions for prevention and cure but once you have motion sickness, suggestions of the well-intended around you just add insult to injury. I have been OK, however, on ferry and riverboat rides around the city. Distraction can be helpful and the vistas around the island of Manhattan are spectacular enough to keep one's mind off any pitch, roll or yaw. This photo was taken of lower Manhattan from a river boat. The highly reflective, rounded building just left of center in the photo is 17 State Street, about which I have previously posted - click here. I love the quote from a story by Isaac Asimov. In it there is an anecdote about a seasick passenger whom a steward assures "nobody ever dies from seasickness." The passenger responds "For Heaven's sake, don't say that. It's only the hope of dying that's keeping me alive.'"

A note about the word landlubber - I misunderstood the derivation of this word, thinking the word lubber a play on lover. Lubber dates back to the 1300s and means a clumsy person. Landlubber dates back to 1690 and refers to an unseasoned sailor or someone unfamiliar with the sea and is a sailor's term of contempt for a landsman. I'm OK with the insult :)

8 comments:

Nathalie said...

Fantastic photo!
It adds another page to the romance of seeing places from the water... until we read your words about seasickness. It is true that most people want to die when it's very severe, and I can understand that.

My husband and I once sailed into NYC, on our own sailboat. Beautiful memories. We berthed in Staten island and took the ferry across to Manhattan. No seasickness for me, lucky me!

Nathalie said...

Glad you can at least enjoy a ferry ride!

And thanks for the explanation of the word "landlubber" !

Lucy said...

Beautiful photo -- they say people get used to it after awhile, but also if it gets rough enough anybody will get seasick. Sometimes when there is a fuel smell too it doesn't help.
I am not a fan of boats, it feels claustrophobic so I find it perfectly understandable to appreciate the visuals but not necessarily want to partake of any long boat trips myself...

Jen, aka ChinaMom2005 said...

Thanks for the lesson on the word and it is a beautiful picture!

Brian said...

Thanks all. Yes, I have heard you can get used to i, but I'm not sure I want to invest the stomach. I dont' know if it is true, but a sailor once told me once everyone gets seasick at one time or another. I found that surprising.

An Honest Man said...

I'll stick to the big boats, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Merci d'expliquer le mot landlubber car je ne trouvais pas la traduction !Moi aussi j'ai mal au coeur sur un bateau ! !

Carpedeum said...

I love the constrasting lighting in this one. Also thanks for reminding me about the meaning of "landlubber". I think I knew that once but it was long forgotten!