Fine Focus

Technical Copyright





"God governs in the affairs of men." Benjamin Franklin

...and a star to steer her by

Business Coaching, much more than just consulting

Fine Focus is: Others have said...

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself." - Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)

"Others Have Said of the Sea..."

  • "I always say that any day when you don't see a Submarine is a day wasted." - Jon Swift

  • "'Wouldst thou' so,' the helmsman answered,
    'Know the secret of the sea? '
    Only those who brave its dangers,
    Comprehend its mystery.'" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • "I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

    "Gone where?"

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

    And that is dying." - Gone From My Sight - Henry van Dyke
  • "There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than life at sea." - Joseph Conrad

  • "But the one thing no Cape Horn sailor ever forgot was the sound of the wind, a never-ending, keening wail so loud that it hurt. At its height no one could make himself heard unless he bellowed into the other man's ear. The wind knocked men down, made them turn their backs, took their breath away. But it was its incessant scream, night and day, that got to everyone's nerves even more than the threatening sea, paralyzing cold, the clattering hail, and the sickening plunge of the ship." - ABC Whipple in "The Challenge"

  • "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile ... can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy." - John F. Kennedy

  • "In sail, one never knows..." - Captain Barker, Master, the ship TAMAR, 1919

  • "It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions and, in a sense, destiny - to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more and the simple men who have had their day." - Joseph Conrad

  • "He that would learn to pray, let him go to sea." - George Herbert

  • "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep." - Psalms 107

  • "One sight (of the area around Cape Horn ) is enough to make a landsman dream for a week about death, peril, and shipwreck." - Darwin

  • "If there is one thing that will make a man peculiarly and insufferable self-conceited, it is to have his stomach behave itself, the first day at sea, when nearly all his comrades are seasick." - Mark Twain

  • "When it's steamboat time, you steam." - Mark Twain 

  • "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in you sails." - Mark Twain 

  • "Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them." - Nelson

  • "The light we saw at sea never fades. It survives our voyaging. It shines into the mind and abides there." - H M Tomlinson

  • "The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change; The realist trims the sails." - Wm A Ward

  • "Loose lips sink ships." - WWII Poster

  • "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." - Isak Dinesen

  • "It's out there at sea that you are really yourself." - Vito Dumas

  • "No matter how long I live, no matter how many more jobs I may have, I have already been given the highest reward I'll ever receive, the privilege and responsibility of serving very proudly in the UNITED STATES NAVY." - Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (Inventor of COBOL and the term "BUG")

  • "A man who is not afraid of The Sea will soon be drowned," he said, "For he will be going out on days he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of The Sea and we do only be drowned now and again." - ARAN ISLANDS - John Millington Synge

  • "The best diplomat that I know is a fully loaded phaser bank." - LCDR Montgomery Scott (Starship ENTERPRISE)

  • "Cape Horn takes precedence over other great capes as the headland of hazard. Seamen talk of it along the waterfronts of the world. Not to have sailed around the Horn is equivalent to not being a sailor." – Captain Felix Riesenberg

  • "We who venture upon the sea, however humbly, cannot but feel that we are more fortunate than ordinary people." - Claud Worth

  • "It is best for the mariner, if he can manage it, not to think too deeply during times of stress." – Ralph Stock

  • "It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner… He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honour." – John Paul Jones

  • "I have never found Naval men at a loss. Tell them to do anything that is not impossible, and depend on it, they will do it." – the Duke of Wellington

  • "One road leads to London, One road leads to Wales, My road leads me seawards To the white dipping sails." – John Masefield

  • "And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way, To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day." – Robert Louis Stevenson

  • "Men who would soon be sitting down to supper in their own homes strained at great capstans on the dockside, warping us out into the stream. In this way, without bands, without crowds and without cheering, watched by a score of unemotional labourers, standing in the soft rain, we set off on our fifteen-thousand-mile voyage." – Eric Newby

  • "For all those that think water sailing is a strenuous game, the writer advises ice yachting as the quickest means to change their minds." – Edwin Schoettle

  • "In no other trade or calling can you discover such men who have been tempered and formed by their daily environment, the sea." – Douglas Reeman

  • "The true peace of God begins at any spot 1000 miles from the nearest land." - Joseph Conrad

  • "The Sea; ‘tis just the same as yesterday." – Joseph Chase Allen

  • "The sea is my ground and origin; I have no other point of departure." - Lincoln Colcord

  • "If you're working the boat wearing your favourite blown-out boat shoes, wondering if it's time for the third reef; drinking Coke out of the can; serving instant coffee you made yourself in sturdy plastic mugs only half filled so it won't blow into the face of the helm when you pass it up; eating Pringles out of the can surrounded by fellow Mariners who know how to sail better than you; it's quite unlikely you're aboard a SuperYacht." - Finlo MacVean

  • "The submarine is an underhand form of warfare....and a damned un-English weapon." - Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy, Rear-Admiral Wilson.

  • "Sea-Fever"

    I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. - John Masefield

  • I like the Navy.

    I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

    I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

    I like the vessels of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington , Saratoga , Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy 'tin-cans': Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy, John Paul Jones -mementos of heroes who went before us.

    I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.

    I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England , from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "shipmates."

    I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside. The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the 'all for one and one for all' philosophy of the sea is ever present.

    I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night. I like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead. And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.

    I like quiet midwatches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness. I like the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

    I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood.

    In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and messdecks. Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.

    Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,

    Reflections of a Blackshoe by Vadm Harold Koenig, USN (Ret)......

  • "Was there ever a sailor free to choose, that didn‘t settle somewhere near the sea?" – Kipling

  • "Here he lies where he long‘d to be; Home is the sailor, home from the sea..." – Robert Louis Stevenson

  • "I have been around the world ... when you see the Southern Cross for the first time, you understand now why you came this way" – Stephen Stills

  • "Sailing, Takes me away, To where I've always heard it could be, Just a dream and the wind to carry me, And soon I will be free..." - Christopher Cross

  • "Freedom lies in being bold." - Robert Frost

  • "He that will not sail until all dangers are over will never put to sea." - Thomas Fuller


"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life
that no man can sincerely try to help another without also helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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