When early sailors put out to sea, they had to remain close to familiar shores in order to navigate great distances. Later the compass was added to ships to aid in navigation. Now when it was night they could rely on the stars to aid them in charting their course. When the celestial guides were obscured by clouds, they could fall back to the compass. Even when those heavenly bodies shown down, they would also take bearing checks on the compass. The most dangerous time was in the dark of night, amidst the churning of the tempest. During these times they could find themselves lost for lack of a guide. Those who surrendered to the sea were often soon to find an eternal port of call in her cold embrace. Those who fought to live did so on faith. They held faith that those glimpses of the compass gave true readings. Each would cling to his duty, trusting his shipmates would perform theirs and that through the storm, the ship would survive to take them back to port. They held faith that their ship, battered though she may be, would get them through the storm.
Life at sea, no matter the century, is always full of challenges. The sea is a cruel mistress who can steal the strength of your beloved vessel faster than you believe. There are daily things that need attention to prevent this from happening. When some things get over looked or ignored, they can cut the heart out of your ship and leave you broken and torn on the shoals. The great thing about most vessels is that if the rot and damage can be found in time, it can be mended and the ship restored to full health. It might take time and attention and lots of effort but it can be done. Sadly, sometimes a ship has been neglected for too long, the damage has become to severe to be rescued. In these cases, you can only hope that the damage is found in time to allow you to safely disembark the ship and guide her to a final resting place with as much dignity and honor as possible. The time to reap the neglect will, often as not, come during a crisis. When the crew are counting on the ship holding together, things which have been weakened will fail. If the fates side with the crew or Divine intervention smiles down upon them, the damage will not be so extensive that they cannot save the ship. If their time is up then a critical failure will occur that will doom the entire crew allowing none to survive.
To me, this seems to mirror life a lot. What do you think?