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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

Quitting is never easy when lives are on the line

When do you stop searching for someone lost at sea? How much time is enough time?

In some cases, the determination is more straightforward than in others. A boat sinks quickly in horrendous conditions. The water is cold, the crew inexperienced, there is no life raft or survival suits, the last known position is vague.

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Daring rescue raises questions about sailing offshore with kids

When Charlotte Kaufman pushed the button on Rebel Heart’s EPIRB, summoning help for her sick 1-year-old daughter, neither she nor her husband, Eric, anticipated the storm of controversy that would accompany the rescuers as they rushed to the family’s sailboat 900 miles off Mexico.

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Soundings at 51: What will the next half-century hold?

It’s been a good year for looking back and visiting with old friends and colleagues, for remembering the early days when both life and boats moved a bit slower. With this issue, we wrap up our yearlong celebration of our 50th anniversary. I tip my hat and bid adieu, at least for a while, to the stories of Jack Turner, our iconic founder, who was one of those bright, complicated, busting-at-the seams characters you want to work with at least once in your career.

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To the Stream, a crude raft, desperate dreams

We were just a few miles into a 23-mile run to the Gulf Stream for a night of swordfishing when we spotted something to starboard bobbing in the sloppy 2- to 3-foot seas. A good-size piece of flotsam, we thought. A perfect fish attractor.

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Here’s my idea of the perfect boat. What’s yours?

Someone told me a long time ago that the formula for a long, happy life in boats is to buy the smallest boat that will comfortably get the job done, rather than the biggest boat you can afford. That could mean a 15-footer — or a 50-footer.

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William Sisson, Editor

A 1981 Phi Beta Kappa journalism graduate, Bill has been writing about boats for more than two decades. His boating travels have taken him from the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea, and always back home to Little Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. As editor, Bill is responsible for planning and executing the publication's boating coverage each month, and his Under Way column starts each issue. Bill has been with Soundings for 20 years and in 1997 won the Moulton H. "Monk" Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary.


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