“On looking to windward, he beheld the green masses of water that were rolling in toward the land, with a violence that seemed irresistible, crowned with ridges of foam; and there were moments when the air appeared filled with sparkling gems, as the rays of the rising sun fell upon the spray that was swept from wave to wave. Toward the land the view was still more appalling. The cliffs, but a short half league under the lee of the schooner, were at all times, nearly hid from the eye by the pyramids of water, which the furious element, so suddenly restrained in its violence, cast high into the air, as if seeking to overlap the boundaries that Nature had fixed to its dominion. The whole coast, from the distant headland at the south to the well-known shoals that stretched far beyond their course in the opposite direction, displayed a broad belt of foam, into which it would have been certain destruction for the proudest ship that ever swam to enter.”
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851). The Pilot.
“Sailing ship in rough sea” by Anton Melbye (1818-75).