I grew up by a lake (or two, if you count the cottage) and while the Great Lakes are big enough, they're fresh water and have an occasionally visible other side to them. The shock and distaste of encountering salt water, which for me was the Sea of Japan, is still vivid in my mind. You float in it. That's unnatural.
I like my water contained and domestic. Baths are good. Pools are bearable. Canals like Amsterdam's are great: water in the middle of the city, pleasant and civil. Canals like Venice's are too much: the water should not overwhelm the sidewalk. Rivers I can stand though I hear they do things to a climate. Things get soggy by the Sumida. Also rivers mean bridges and I don't do bridges unless they're the civil Amsterdam ones over the canals. Lakes are bearable- there in the distance, nice to visit, not encroaching their excess wateriness on my bicycling existence. Too close- the cottage again- and their incessant roar annoys, but generally they tend to keep to themselves, there at the bottom (or top) of the city.
But oceans. Sheesh. All that water. And it keeps on moving. And it has tides, that strike me as vaguely unnatural and yin- well, dependent on the moon, even if I don't know how.
I'm a forest and trees person: places you can walk in, places that shelter you, full of mammals, the most alien creatures being the birds that also keep their distance. But oceans aren't made for people, and only the strangest sorts of mammals. There are no trees or flowers or things that grow the way we understand plant growth. They're unfixed. They're cold. They have fish in them, and fish are fantoddy. The farther down you go in an ocean the fantddier things become, till you get to the ocean floor that's covered with stuff you're better off not looking at too closely. (I think I was traumatized by The Five Chinese Brothers as a kid, and the one who drank up the sea. Feh.)
That's the element my kings belong to. I can understand western dragons more easily: fire and air, even if I'm not a fire and air sign at all. But all the givens of an earth-dwelling species go by the board with a water-dwelling one. Even the natural metaphors one uses in poetry don't apply half the time. Mountains, pines, peonies, stars: what can those matter to people who live underwater?