alien element

“When there is no way back, no way out, you must be very, very sure of what you are doing. I did not know how I would react to absolute solitude. It is an experience few of us are ever called upon to undergo and one which few of us would voluntarily choose.

Even being on one’s own in undeveloped country, popularly supposed to epitomize loneliness, is not true solitude, for one is surrounded by trees and bush and grass and animal, all part of the substance of one’s own living. But the sea is an alien element. When a man says he loves the sea, he loves the illusion of mastery, the pride of skill, the life attendant on sea-faring, but not the sea itself.”

Ann Davison – My Ship is So Small (1956)

(In 1952, at the age of 39, Davison became the first woman to sail the Atlantic single-handed. Departing from Plymouth in her 23-foot sloop Felicity Ann she made landfall in Dominica. From there she sailed on to Florida and finally New York.  Davison had previously been an aviator in the UK, delivering mail. She died in 1992.)