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I will go back to the great sweet mother, Mother and lover of men, the sea.' One winter I made up my mind that it was necessary to live in some sort of vessel afloat instead of in a house on the land. This decision was the result, at last pressed on me by circumstances, of vague dreams which had held my imagination for many years. These dreams were not, I believe, peculiar to myself. The child, young or old, whose fancy is captive to water, builds for castles in Spain houseboats wherein he may spend his life floating in his element. His fancy at some time or other has played with the thought of possessing almost every type of craft for his home—a three-decker with a glorious gallery, a Thames houseboat all ready to step into, a disused schooner, a bluff-bowed old brig. He will moor her in some delectable water, and when his restlessness falls upon him he will have her removed to another place. Civilization shall never rule him.
John Black Atkins (5 November 1871