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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

A place where gulls outnumber people

Another season is winding down — turning over, packing up, digging in, heading south. A couple of old gaffers at the marina are hauling an old boat for winter. The helper returns to the slip and kneels to remove the dock lines. He turns and smiles, and I find myself looking into the face of an ancient Yankee fisherman-farmer already anticipating in his bones the iron cold lurking just a turn or two away on the calendar.

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Fun isn’t measured by the size of the boat

Cleaning out my boat bag a couple of weekends ago, I found some damp notes I’d written quite awhile back tucked away in one of the side pockets. The timing of the find was serendipitous, given the “less is more” theme of several of the stories in this issue, starting with Chris Landry’s piece on what you can buy new for $35K or less and finishing with Eric Sorensen’s report on Eastern and Seaway boats.

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A big man, a giant striper and a whale of a fish tale

I was jawboning with the owner of a tackle shop in Westbrook, Conn., on a quiet midweek morning when a confident voice crowing about the previous night’s catch rolled through the open door just ahead of the man who had spoken the words.

“We crushed them last night!”

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Motors and mechanics: ‘big iron’ and life at full load

The mechanic and the editor sit outside the boat shop on a hot July night, drinking iced coffee while heat lightning flashes to the north and west. They’re talking boats and doing their best to put off the job waiting inside.
The mechanic is hot and tired and grimy from fixing busted motors and systems all day. The editor is fried from spending hours squinting at a computer screen, chasing misplaced modifiers and a host of other gremlins hiding in a sea of words.

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One case where youth isn't wasted on the young

It’s not every day that I get a visit from an author, especially one who doesn’t celebrate his 17th birthday until August. But Alex Ellison is not your typical young writer — and given the five years he spent voyaging and living out of the country with his family, he’s probably not your typical teen, either, at least not in terms of life experience.

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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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