Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008, science fiction writer, past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the Academy of Astronautics & the Royal Astronomical Society) is purported to have said, "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."
Living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, as we do here on Ocracoke Island, does not always impress us with the true immensity of this vast body of water. Our daily lives are centered around the village, and only a few of us venture off-shore. Those who do, generally go to fishing areas in the Gulf Stream, about 25 miles from land.
Simon Winchester, in his 2010 book, Atlantic, reminds us how "incalculably large the Atlantic happens to be."
Winchester observes that "A big ocean -- and the Atlantic is a very big ocean indeed -- has the appearance of a settled permanence. Stand anywhere beside it, and stare across its swells toward the distant horizon, and you are swiftly lulled into the belief that it has been there forever. All who like the sea -- and surely there can be precious few who do not -- have a favored place in which to stand and stare...."
My favored place, and perhaps yours as well, is right here on Ocracoke.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.