I have long had a fascination with nautical lore. It is one of these interests that comes as a residue from having spent much time–perhaps too much time–by the ocean as a boy, toying with sailboats and motorboats, quahogs, crabs, bluefish, and what lies beyond the surf. It is impossible for me not to be entranced by the sea; one is drawn to its primeval magnetism, and by the knowledge that it represents the origin of life on earth. Perhaps it also represents the destiny of earthly life; when H.G. Wells’s time traveler hurls himself forward hundreds of thousands of years into the future, he finds himself on a ghastly blood-red beach, accompanied by monstrous crabs and eternal silence.