There were boats he built some time ago, boats that were made for carrying the weight of a nation’s wealth and to be the economy’s anchor in a land of trouble. He’s tried his best to make everyone happy, just in case life doesn’t work out, and he’s doing pretty well so far.
There’s no such thing as a sailor who has never sailed, but he knows many that haven’t returned. It’s made him much more careful to say goodbye.
It makes him wonder whether a voyage only counts if the trip is fully completed; whether distance only counts when a ship safely returns to land. And there’s something terribly sad about an unfinished journey, like a story that’s cut off in the middle or one that keeps going on forever so you get tired and lose sight of the goal.
The boats he built never returned, so when an ally asks to sail with him, he refuses, because he’s never ready to wave goodbye.