In Reply to: Following Seas posted by Tony Segura on June 15, 2009 at 11:02:
: "...Following Seas" discussion. The fuller quote is: "Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw". It's a Navy benediction recently brought out into the current daylight by a TV series, NCSI, in which the actor, Mark Harmon, offers this appropriate valediction to another naval officer. This is probably the dead end of the search. The quote's origin has likely snapped off in history.
Lest anylone find the typo, NCSI, confusing, the name of the series is "NCIS" (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). "Fair wind and following seas" is one of several mottos or slogans injected by producer/writer Donald Belisario to . . . what? To remind us that the NCIS is a naval outfit? To curry favaor with SecNav? The series if full of authentic service abbreviations as well as other insiders' lingo. The Marines, as part of the Navy, get all their own slogans and lingo as well. We hear Semper Fi (perhaps related to Semper Fidelis, which you never hear uttered), as well as plenty of Oo-rahs.
The ostentatious chauvinism towards the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly the Navy, which was also evident in Belisario's "JAG," pays off big, as the Navy appears to put its ships to a remarkable extent in the service of the show. But Belisario comes by his worshipful attitude honestly, as he is a Navy veteran himself. He has had to give up writing for the show because of a sort of cast mutiny. They were not getting their scripts on time.
It will not have escaped your attention that the name Belisario is the Italian version of Belisarius, the greatest general the Byzantine Empire ever had, who served Emperor Justinian I ably during the 6th century.