At various points the ocean had seemed a threat, a doorway to the realm of unknown, a frontier to be tamed, a territory to be charted, and a mine to be exploited. Man’s relation with the ocean has accordingly been varied – the ocean has provided easy access, untold treasures and rainfall; and yet, the ocean brought untold miseries – from lost ships to waylaid families, from tsunami and flood to catastrophic ice age and ocean rises, and colonizers in their wake.
Yet, slowly but steadily man has got greater control over the oceans – he has crossed oceans to chart all parts of the world, devised vessels to withstand the roughest weather, built floating havens of luxury to bring thoughts of paradise, made fearsome tools of war in the form of warships, inspired heroic journeys on clever vessels…In fact, Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a parable of the journey of man in taming the sea.
Today, the ocean provides easy and cheap mode of transport for men and his materials. While waves, bad weather, and increasingly, terrorism and piracy, play their restrictive parts, the oceans remain an avenue of utilitarian transport. From survey vessels to oil tankers, from warships to freight ships, from luxury yachts to charter services, the ocean has spawned a wide array of vehicles to frolic on their surface.