Columns/Blogs Under Way

Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

Anchors aweigh, at last!

About a month ago, I closed the sale on my Cape Dory FB 28 and moved her from Maryland to Connecticut. I brought along the family: two old Jack Russell terriers and a wonderful first mate, who is invaluable for moral support but otherwise inexperienced at sea.

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Why a boat?

12_mary-southYesterday — between writing a feature and closing pages of the August issue of Soundings, which you now hold in your hands — I dashed to the town hall to get paperwork notarized and sent it off to the documentation agent by FedEx. This morning I wired the closing money into an escrow account. As soon as the owner countersigns, I’ll be the happy owner of a 1988 Cape Dory 28 Flybridge.

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A perfect match

12_mary-southOne thing I’ve noticed as I age is acceleration in the passage of time — not day-to-day so much as year-to-year. 2015 is rushing by so fast that I sometimes feel captive in a speeding vehicle, watching the scenery whoooosh by: snow, snow, snow, mud, forsythia, tree buds, lilacs, leafy canopies, heat waves shimmering on the horizon … STOP!

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In this boat together

By the time you read our July issue, I will have a boat in the water. It’s a bold goal, but Parkinson’s Law — “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” — is ricocheting around my brain, a pinball fired by budding trees, light evenings, the return of birdsong. And once spring is well and truly here, it is chased by an admittedly irrational sense that summer will soon be half over.

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The heart wants what it wants

I don’t think I ever left the dock, in the many years I have owned Bossanova, when I didn’t feel a visceral thrill, a small flutter near my solar plexus. Few things have ever made me happier than clearing the jetties, locking open the port and starboard pilothouse doors and switching the VHF to 16. When the pan-pans and securities grew repetitive, I’d change to channel 2 for the strangely soothing patter of the National Weather Service’s robo-voice.

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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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