I am a Thalassophile

I am a Thalassophile. I love the sea, the ocean. Looking at it, listening to it, smelling it and traveling on it.

Alaska’s Inside Passage

Yet there is always frisson. Vast, all encompassing, immensely powerful and inhabited by inscrutable creatures, it is uncontrollable.

Hurricanes have filled my beach apartment with water, waves in the Drake Passage flipped the heavy chair in my cabin and more than a few stomachs aboard. Constant foghorns during four foggy days crossing the Atlantic Ocean set many landlubbers’ nerves on edge. Pack ice kept our expedition ship in Greenland’s Arctic Ocean from reaching several ports.

Yet to me, ocean cruising is a special form of heaven. Whatever the sea throws at us, aboard a ship I am cosseted in comfort – all needs met from cleaning to cuisine by smiling, helpful staff.


The water’s movement can make sleep blissfully deep or exciting and challenging, impelling me to peer out to see the height and depth of the waves. Either way it is strangely satisfying,

One day is never like another so I immediately head to the porthole/balcony upon waking to see what the sea has brought. Sun, fog, clouds, rain, it doesn’t matter. Each brings its own array of pleasures.

Pacific Ocean surrounding Hawaiian Islands
Crossing the Atlantic East toWest on Queen Mary 2

Are there signs of marine life? Are we in port or nearing one? Another day at sea?  A midday spent reading and napping may be an impossibility on land but at sea it becomes an activity.

Rivers are like calming highways that take you through the heart of countries. Canals are deliciously relaxing and indulgent.

I love them both, but it is cruising on an ocean that sends tingles of anticipation throughout my body.

Enough of this. I think it is time to sign up for a nice, long cruise. Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, whatever, as long as it is through an ocean.


Photos by Judy Wells

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