44 Short Sea Quotes and Sayings

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Quotes about the sea can be very powerful and these short quotes pack a lot of meaning into just a few words.

Short, simplistic quotes are easy to remember and can provide inspirational mantras for us to live by. These short quotes are also great to use as captions for Instagram posts or slogans to add to items such as t-shirts.

sea quotes short

If you’d like more quotes about the sea which are particularly relevant to 2021, you should also look at this list of rough sea quotes and this list of calm sea quotes.

I also find a lot of inspiration in quotes about the beach. I’ve found a great list of beach quotes here and some more beach quotes here.

Now, let’s dive into this list of the best short sea quotes and sayings…

The best short quotes about the sea

Life is like the ocean, it goes up and down

– Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis is a French singer, model and actress. She became a pop star at the age of 14, married Johnny Depp and is now a fashion icon and a spokeswoman for Chanel. This quote is attributed to her, although the context behind it is unknown.


“I need vitamin sea.”

– Unknown

It’s not known who came up with this clever play on words. But time spent by the ocean certainly has a similar effect on our health as Vitamin C.


“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th Century Americal lecturer, philosopher and poet. This famous line is from his poem ‘Merlin’s Song‘.


“The sea does not like to be restrained.”

– Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

‘The Lightning Thief’ is a fantasy-adventure novel written by Rick Riordan. This quote comes from the main character, Percy Jackson, who embarks upon a quest to travel across the United States and reach the gates of the Underworld.


Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

– Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Ryunosuke Akutagawa was a Japanese poet and writer from the 1920s. He is regarded as the ‘Father of the Japanese short story’ and his works have been translated into many languages.


“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”

– Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen is a pen name of Karen Blixen, a Danish author who is best known for the book ‘Out of Africa’. This quote is an excerpt from her short story, “The Deluge at Norderney“. In this story, the character is considering curing depression by throwing themselves into the ocean.


“Let the waves carry you where the light can not”

– Mohit Kaushik

Mohit Kaushik is an Indian actor. The origins of this short quote about the sea are unknown.


“Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction”

– Unknown

This is a quote that is very relevant to a lot of people in 2020 and 2021. Just as the tide changes, other things in our life can change too, and this can push us towards the path that we were destined to follow.


“Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly”

– Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter. This quote is a line from the song ‘Brand New Day’ which featured on his 1970 album ‘Moondance’.


“Let the sea set you free”

– Unknown

This is a nice short sea quote which you’ll commonly see printed on cushions, wall art and coasters. It’s meaning is open to interpretation as the ways in which the sea can set you free will be unique to each person’s circumstances.


“A rising tide lifts all boats”

– Sean Lemass

This aphorism was originally coined by Irish politician Sean Lemass and made famous by John F. Kennedy, who used it often. It means that when an economy is performing well, everyone will benefit from it.


“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

– Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau was a French explorer and pioneer of marine conservation. This famous quote means that once you begin to explore the sea, you will be so mesmerized by its wonders that you’ll always want to learn more.


“A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it.”

– Jacques Cousteau

This quote by Jacques Cousteau demonstrates how his attitude towards marine conservation was different to so many others at the time.


“How foolish to believe we are more powerful than the sea or the sky.”

– Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is a bestselling writer of historical fiction. This quote is a from her novel, Salt to the Sea.


“The ocean is calling and I must go”

– Unknown

This short ocean quote is adapted from a similar quote – ‘The mountains are calling and I must go’. The original quote is by John Muir, a Scottish-American naturalist who was known as ‘John of the Mountains’.


“The sea is a desert of waves, A wilderness of water.”

– Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was an American poet. This sea quote is a line from one of his poems – Long Trip.


“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean.”

– Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke was an English science-fiction write, undersea explorer and futurist. This quote about the sea refers to the fact that the ocean covers around 71% of the planet’s surface.


“Darling, it’s better, down where it’s wetter. Take it from me!”

– Sebastian The Crab

This is a line from the song ‘Under the Sea’ from the 1989 movie ‘The Little Mermaid’.


“The sea is as near as we come to another world.”

– Anne Stevenson

Anne Stevenson was an American-British poet and writer. This line from one of her poems can be found at the entrance to Hull’s aquarium, The Deep. There’s no denying that some ocean creatures are so remarkable that they could indeed be from another planet.


“The ocean is a mighty harmonist”

– William Wordsworth

This is a line from the poem ‘On the Power of Sound‘ by 16th Century English poet, William Wordsworth. It highlights how vital the ocean is to life on planet Earth.


“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.”

– William Stafford

William Stafford was an American poet and pacifist. This quote is a line from his poem, Climbing Along the River. It means that you should believe in something, even if you have no proof that it exists.


“Eternity begins and ends with the ocean’s tides.”

– Unknown

This quote about the ocean refers to the role that the tides play in life on Earth. Without the ocean’s tides to churn up material in the ocean, there would be no ecosystems and life as we know it would not exist.


“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

This is a famous quote by the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The meaning behind the quote is that we need to be challenged in order to develop and improve. It can be applied to many aspects of life including work and relationships.


A rough day at sea is better than any day in the office.

– Unknown

Whether you apply this to cruising or not, it’s certainly a quote that ocean-lovers will attest to. Even a bad day at sea is better than a good day spent working on land, because a) you’re at sea, and b) you aren’t working. So take the time to get out of the office every now and then.


Family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life.

– J.K. Rowling

Taken from the hugely popular third Harry Potter book, Prisoner of Azkaban, this short and snappy quote beautifully sums up how our family can look after us even when times are rough.


Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.

– Unknown

The origin of this quote isn’t known but that doesn’t make it any less profound. We only know how strong we are when we face our toughest challenges, just as an anchor is only really tested in the roughest of seas.


Great sea captains are made in rough waters and deep seas.

– Kathryn Kuhlman

Kathryn Kuhlman was an evangelist in America, and so it is no surprise she came up with this quote about enduring life’s challenges, a message that is consistent with some parables and lessons from religion. We are better people for the hard times that we overcome.


No matter how rough the sea, I refuse to sink.

– Unknown

Another unknown origin quote and another that inspires – the lesson is to always carry on fighting even when times get their hardest. It’s a fantastic quote to live your life by.


Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.

– Bill Hybels

Another quote with a similar meaning to those above, this from American author Bill Hybels demonstrates how we become better and stronger through the challenges rougher seas and storms may bring us.


In a calm sea, every man is a pilot.

– John Ray

This wonderful quote from naturalist John Ray may have been given in the 17th Century but it’s very profound for modern society including the online world – everyone feels confident offering advice when there’s no real risk, but when times are harder it may be harder to come by.


At night, time becomes a calm sea. It goes on for ever.

– Francoise Sagan

If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, you’ll be able to sympathise with this quote from French playwrite Sagan. Time seems to go on forever, just like a calm sea does. However you probably didn’t feel calm when trying to finally nod off.


One’s ships come in over a calm sea.

– Florence Scovel Shinn

This quote from a 19th Century artist and spiritual teacher is one worth remembering. If you can find peace and happiness in what you have, then the happiness and goals you had in mind will follow.


The sound and smell of the sea cleanses my soul.”

– Unknown

It’s not known who said this, but it’s certainly something any cruise fan will agree with. There’s a wonderful feeling of being refreshed down to your very soul when you set sail on a cruise ship.


“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”

– Robin Lee Graham

Robin Lee Graham was a sailor who set out to sail around the world while just a teenager in the 1960s. This magnificent quote shows how life at sea strips back all the needs and wants of the modern world. Even if cruise ships keep adding more features to cater for those who do want their home comforts.


“The sea lives in every one of us.”

– Robert Wyland

A famous artist and conservationist, American Robert Wyland uses the oceans in much of his work, and this quote shows that inherently we really do have a calling that ties us to the waters.


“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul.”

– Robert Wyland

Another quote from Wyland, this shows just how important the seas were to him. It’s certainly easy to feel inspired when you’re stood on the deck looking out to the ocean, and few people take a cruise without feeling overwhelming joy.


I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.”

– Alain Gerbeault

Has any quote ever summed up the feeling of a first cruise holiday better than French sailor (and tennis player) Alain Gerbeault? The passion for sailing is perfectly captured in this short statement.


“We dream in colors borrowed from the sea.”

– Unknown

A popular theme in sea-related quotes is how we as humans have a natural affinity for all things oceanic. This quote links that natural love of the seas with the worlds we bring to life in our happiest dreams at night.


That the sea is one of the most beautiful and magnificent sights in Nature, all admit.”

– John Joly

John Joly was a 19th Century Irish physicist who also studied geology, including looking at how oceans dated the world. That amongst his studies he made such a powerful quote about the sea shows how much of an effect it had on him in his work.


Dear ocean, thank you for making us feel tiny, humble, inspired, and salty…all at once.”

– Unknown

This fun quote shows that the ocean can trigger a number of feelings in you, and that it is hard not to feel your place in the world when faced with an expansive ocean. Whether they meant salty literally, or as in annoyed (because of rough seas?) we won’t ever know.


The oceans roar is music to the soul.”

– Unknown

Another common theme that people share with the sea is how it can cleanse them of stress and worry. This quote reflects that – the roar of the ocean, the sound of the waves, can heal all kinds of negative feelings.


A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.”

– Webb Chiles

This quote may sound quite profound already, but when you realise that Webb Chiles is a sailor himself who has circumnavigated the world four times, you really feel his passion for the ocean and nature shining through.


The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective.”

– Beyonce Knowles

This quote was given by modern singing legend Beyonce as part of a documentary. When a global superstar says they feel small, you realise just how grand the ocean is, and how it makes equals of us all.


“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

– Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay is an American poet known for her spoken word, and she does a wonderful job of summarising the amazing allure of the sea through her charming use of metaphor.

Final thoughts

Do you have a favourite short quote about the ocean that’s not here? I’d love for you to add it in the comments below.

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1 thought on “44 Short Sea Quotes and Sayings”

  1. very cool :p

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