Down to the sea in their crazy ships
Went the sailors David knew.
There have been, and perhaps still are, many theories covering that amorphous mass of moving men who constitute the merchant service of the world. They are trained, or untrained, they serve in every sort of craft that floats; many achieve distinction, command great liners, are knighted, decorated or damned, depending upon the turn of fate. A Captain Smith goes down with the Titanic, a Captain Carey founders with the Vestris. But Rostron of the Carpathia, picking up survivors of the Titanic, became Sir Arthur, while Captain Schuyler Cumings, who saved the largest number of the Vestris victims, is forgotten. Ranging down from these heroic figures, names America has come to know, Fried, Randall, Grening, Fish, Manning, Moore, descending as it were, we enter the pages of an obscure log that seldom finds its way to print. Down the line, passengers, cargo on regular schedule, and tramps, coastwise and cross seas, the seamen become a hazy myth, mere instruments in the ocean-carrying trade. Where do they come from? Why do they go to sea?