Any person who has sailed even once in his life without turning green is qualified to try and explain to the mystified multitude of landlubbers what exactly holds the seafarer captive and draws him out to sea on repeated voyages. It is the siren call of the waves.
On a warm day, the sea looks very inviting to a tired sailor. The waves reflect glints of sunlight and dissolve into myriad colours. The water sparkles like champagne in a glass. The waves undulate gently reminding the sea-farer of a woman’s soft hair, loosely flowing down her back. Sometimes the curling white crests of the waves dissolve into lace like foam: frothy, frivolous and intensely feminine. The arching waves then begin their beguiling siren song. At such times the mariner would almost expect to find a mermaid appear nearby.
Certain waters are spectacularly beautiful. Here, Islands rise like jewels above the incredibly coloured sea and the water looks like it has been painted by a frenzied artist who has enthusiastically used every colour that he could lay his hands on, from navy blue and grey where the water is in great depth, to strips of turquoise, emerald green and mauve near land. Even the waves seem awed by such extravagant beauty and they quietly lap against the shore.
Some of the seas for the major part of the year are so still that there is no discernable movement. There is an eerie silence and there is no breeze to ruffle the water’s surface. But this oppressive atmosphere is forgotten as soon as the ship sails out of such waters and the sound of the wind and waves combine to form their familiar old song once more.
In sullen, sluggish waters, the waves beat out a monotonous rhythm. In seas where strong winds blow, the waves form in rows, relentlessly moving in straight lines to break against some distant shore and even the raucous cries of the seagulls do not disturb their tireless pursuit.
Usually tall waves begin to form threateningly before a storm but sometimes if the sea is capricious there is a sudden flash of bad weather. Jagged forks of lightening illuminate the whiplash movement of the waves. The howling wind churns the water and shapes it into huge peaks. Hearts thump in apprehension, but soon the thrill of challenging the sea in such rough weather overrides the fear. Now, it is easy to understand why scores of men sail to distant lands across unknown seas in small boats that were inadequate against the fury of the sea. They were motivated by the desire to conquer the waves. After a while, the storm abates and the pounding waves subsides into small eddies that swirl around and dissipate. The ship no longer rocks wildly. All is calm once again. Exhausted seamen collapse into unconscious slumber, hardly hearing the lullaby of the waves.
Whether the body of water is large or small, whether the sea is sapphire, aquamarine or pale jade in colour, the waves universally leave their spell with their practiced siren song, enticing and alluring the sailor and like a jealous mistress, never letting him go.