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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

A fitting burial at sea marks the end of an era

My notion of what a proper fishing boat should look like was shaped in boyhood by the iconic eastern-rigged side trawlers that chugged through Watch Hill passage to and from the fishing grounds. 

Developed in the 1920s, these deep-draft wooden vessels had a sweeping sheer with the pilothouse positioned aft and the working deck amidships. The nets came up over the side, and a dory or two usually perched atop the pilothouse.



A bit of heaven on an island of your own

For a good many years, whenever I have found myself navigating a stretch of life’s unsettled weather, I have retreated to a little island where the fog seemingly rolls in and out at will and the smell of honeysuckle and wild rose in late June leaves me dizzy.

It is a place where the kids still cannon-ball off the town dock, where the fish are big and willing, and the currents run fast; fishing from a small boat, you pick your way carefully around shaggy boulders the size of pickup trucks.



From project to perfection: finding the right used boat

One of the nice things about our watery world is there is a project boat for every budget, every taste, every dream. Large or small, classic or contemporary, in wood, glass or metal, the old and the not so old, there are an endless number of ways to get out on the water.



A sea of change over these last 50 years

After 50 years and somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 issues, what do you do for an encore? If you’re in the publishing business, you’re conditioned to look ahead to the next issue, the next set of deadlines, tomorrow’s blog, story or e-newsletter.



Century-old lessons from the 'bottom of the world'

"I called to the other men that the sky was clearing, and then a moment later realized that what I had seen was not a rift in the clouds but the white crest of an enormous wave. During 26 years experience of the ocean in all its moods I had not encountered a wave so gigantic.

“It was a mighty upheaval of ocean, a thing quite apart from the big white-capped seas that had been our tireless enemies for many days. I shouted, ‘For God’s sakes, hold on! It’s got us!’ ”

— Sir Ernest Shackleton, “South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage”



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