Sailing the Seas (Yep, All Seven of Them)

Hello, friends and neighbors.

Welcome back to our shared excursion. Just seven days left to go.

So, you ever wonder where some of the sayings we use originated? You know, why do we often say things like “in one fell swoop” and “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” that sort of stuff.

Better yet, and in honor of today’s countdown hero, why don’t we use the expression “Sail the seven seas?”

In the simplest terms, maybe we can just think of it as an homage to anyone with enough nautical skill and determination to travel the world by sea.

To drill down a bit more, though, the expression also refers to what the ancient Romans called the lagoons, separated from the ocean near Venice, Italy. (Venice didn’t formerly came into existence until a few centuries later, in 421 A.D.) They became known as the “septem maria,” literally translated as the seven seas.

So, as far as the Romans were concerned, those seven unique bodies of water were:

  1. The Adriatic Sea
  2. The Black Sea
  3. The Caspian Sea
  4. The Indian Ocean
  5. The Mediterranean Sea
  6. The Persian Gulf
  7. The Red Sea

As for a more common identifier, though, historians contend that the seven seas were really just another way of referring to the seven oceans. (Yeah, all those bodies of water you learned about in junior high school geography.) Remember these?

  1. The Arctic Ocean
  2. The Indian Ocean
  3. The North Atlantic Ocean
  4. The North Pacific Ocean
  5. The South Atlantic Ocean
  6. The South Pacific Ocean
  7. The *Southern Ocean (also referred to as the *Antarctic Ocean)

To remember that last one on the list, and to distinguish South pole dwellers from some of their northern counterparts, let’s think seals, humpback whales, various seabirds and, of course, penguins.

And on the opposite pole (yep, literally!), you’ve got everything from caribou to walruses to reindeer (don’t want them to feel left out, given where we are on the calendar!) to my personal favorite, polar bears. (I happen to know one personally by the name of Cecil. Maybe we’ll talk some more about him in our final week.)

OK, gang. Hope you enjoyed our little seafaring journey. Always fun to think about the many different territories and places that are still out there for us all.

With that in mind, let’s make a plan to glide right on into Day 6.

Looking forward to it.


*As recently as 1999, a coalition comprised of 28 different countries officially renamed the earth’s coldest large body of water the Southern Ocean. The majority of the nations represented decided that the ocean surrounding Antarctica should be given a single name.

@Copyright 2023 by John L. Fischer

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