The nautical model
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It is time now to round up the salient elements of the nautical theme in Star Trek. The literature in English on seafaring goes a long way back. As we have already explained, there is a difference between setting a human drama against a flat and passive backdrop of the sea (or land, or space for that matter) and engaging actively with the changing force of the marine element. Jonathan Raban’s collection on the sea105 gives some interesting and amusing examples of writers in whose work the sea figures – but only to be studiously ignored. Hakluyt’s account of colonial travels construes the sea simply as a road to a destination, with only limited glimpses of the water beneath the ship. Celia Fiennes’s journeys around England in the seventeenth century took her often to the sea but she neither saw it nor wrote about it. It was a blank – ‘a vacancy on which she wasted no words’.106