WOA Image: "One finds no words to express..."
The sea is becoming very blue.
The emerald fades as we pass into these vast liquid fields, and the blue deepens and deepens until one finds no words to express, no simile to convey, the intensity of its burning azure. Sapphires would be pale and cold beside this sea – palpitating with wave shadows deep as violets, yet not purple, and with no touch of any color to mar its perfect hue. It flames with unspeakable, many-faceted splendor, under a sky that is wan by contrast with its profundity of tint, and the very foam that curls away from our wake is blue as the blue shadows in snow. The cutter-like prow of our ship flings up two delicate plumes of pearl, and the sunlight shining through these has wrought upon the blue floor beneath us a rainbow arch that encircles our onward path, moves with our moving, and shimmers upon the waving flood as the iris shimmers upon a peacock's breast. . . .
It is here enormously deep. The longest plummet line ever let into the sea went down here, and only found bottom at the depth of 4000 fathoms. If one should choose this place to be cured of the wound of living he could never reach the firm earth beneath. He would hang forever in these soundless, icy depths, moving scarcely at all with the slow, obscure flux of the deep-sea tides, surrounded by strange, formless, protoplasmic life, blind, senseless, and inert – the germs from which through billions of years he himself had risen – working out here in these blue solitudes of silence the mysteries of generation and upward growth. He would never perish or be devoured or reabsorbed like his fellows, but age after age would lie enclosed as in a frozen blue gem, with burial more splendid and secure than the Pharaohs.
San Francisco, United States - Japan, 1889
Source: Elizabeth Bisland, In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1891