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.


31 responses »

  1. Beyniaz says:

    Thank you Ay.Quite a compliment coming from u. 🙂

  2. Aywrites says:

    Even though I am not the ‘Sea’ kinda girl, I enjoyed reading your piece.Very nicely put and as usual brings out the ‘You’ in expressing emotions the right way.Kudos to you! ❤

  3. gc1963 says:

    What wonderful description. Absolutely poetic as though painting a picture on print. I am always greatly attracted by the sea though got very few chance to be near it. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Great going, Beyniaz!

  4. Beyniaz,
    Really enjoyed this. One of my favourite past times when I had finished schooling, (in Chennai) was to go to the beach, and watch the waves for hours together – later on, it was almost like a meditation to me, and I had to do it atleast once a week – it was that important.

    Nice to read something like this that I could relate to very much.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Thanks Om. Watching the waves coming in is very soothing and can hypnotize you too! Glad you liked this.

  5. Mira Pawar says:

    Thanks Beyniaz for that information! I heard of the tablets for sea-sickness but did not know about the patch. I would surely prefer the patch. Thanks!

  6. Beyniaz says:

    Thanks Mira. Cruise ships are built to make their passengers so comfortable that they come back again! If you are talking about the Coral island Boat in Pattaya, then you would be sea-sick! Now they have anti-sea-sickness medication which is a small round patch to be fixed behind your ear.

  7. Mira Pawar says:

    Beyniaz lovely read! The colour of the water in the pic is really very tempting. My only worry every time i think of sailing is sea-sickness. Although when we took the Star Cruise for 2 days from Singapore, I was quite ok but when we went for coral diving in Bangkok in a boat, it was a horrible experience. I puked until, I was almost unconscious. I would love to sail provided it is one of those giant vessels because you don’t feel anything when it moves. Hope some day i can do it!!

  8. Adil says:

    Beyniaz, impressive prose that magnificently describes the hypnotic nature of the waves.

  9. Minocher says:

    It is like listening to the sound from a shell on the beach.. it transports u to another world.. so far away from all the noise n chaos ashore.. where else in the world can u see the sun, set and rise in whole without the clouds ,fog or buildings playing spoilsport.. its like an oxygen spa out at sea.. people pay big and dream of taking a cruise once in their life n come back home to boast about it… we are on a cruise all the time n get paid for it too.. Yup there is something very mysterious ( in a good way) about the call of the waves…. it transforms u to another dimension.. imagine a world without land…. n who can beat the star gazing… u can see almost every star n the milky way too.. ( reminds me of the song Starry starry nights by Don Mc Lean)… An adventure around every corner.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Thanks for commenting, Minocher. I used to love looking at the stars in the southern hemisphere…they are so different from what we see at home. Also the peace one feels looking at the sea is indescribable.

  10. vimala madon says:

    who’s the mariner, viraf or you? Lovely piece of writing on the beauty of nature.

  11. Wonder-full post 🙂

  12. nadi says:

    love the sea.
    thank you so much for writing this and reminding me

  13. Sonal Shree says:

    poetry in motion- that’s how I’d like to adorn this piece of writing. beautiful. i have never had a chance to enjoy sea travel. I guess I’m missing out on something so alluring.

  14. Eva Bell says:

    You’ve made the call of the waves so alluring. I’m just waiting for the memory of the tsunami in Japan to die down before I book myself on a cruise.

  15. Irene says:

    Beyniaz, you are ensuring that sea travel becomes a part of the “things to do” list!

  16. vimala ramu says:

    My only foray into the sea was in a whale sighting cruise in Hawaii. I was surprised to see that the pleasant blue of Pacific in and around Hawaii, looked inky blue and menacing once we went farther into the sea.
    A beautiful piece of writing,Beyniaz.

    • Beyniaz says:

      Thank you Vimala.The Whale cruise must have been lovely. I remember the excitement on board a ship when whales or dolphins were sighted.

  17. Dear Beyni.

    Only those who have travelled by sea know the call of the waves. I have travelled just once and it left me wanting for more…
    Nice write-up.

  18. Shernaz says:

    Beyniaz, a beautifully poetic, thoroughly pleasurable description. Loved reading it.

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