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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

Small boats, good cigars, the art of simple pleasures

A small boat, a good cigar, pleasant conversation with an old friend, fish on the prowl, a warm breeze - that's about as close to heaven as this old Yankee can hope to get when I leave the slip and follow the tide down the bay.
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Focus on the journey, not record-seeking

It was inevitable, I suppose. Tempt the fates too many times and eventually you're going to roll snake eyes. Mother Nature will be denied for only so long.
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Humanity and heroism: the ethic of the sea

Somewhere deep in the Southern Ocean, a sailor puts out a call for help after the keel falls off his ocean racer and the boat begins taking on water.

Miles in front, a fellow competitor riding the edge of a big ocean depression turns around in the 35- to 40-foot swells and slogs his way back upwind to rescue the stricken sailor, a move that will eventually cost the rescuer his rig.

 

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The whirl of generations and the sweep of tides

Anchored off an island in eastern Long Island Sound one afternoon late last summer, my son, who was 9 at the time, asked, "Can we build a boat, Dad?"

I was pleasantly surprised.

"Well, I think we could probably build a boat," I said. "A small one, anyway."

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Fishing for meaning amid the tides of life

More than a decade ago, Stanley Meltzoff, the master fish artist who preferred simply being called a picture maker, taught me how to "see" under water.

An avid, pioneering diver since the 1940s, Meltzoff gave me some practical tips for finding striped bass beneath the waters of Southern New England. But more importantly, he explained how the mind works to form an image of a fish when the visibility is poor based on just a few visual clues and our understanding of what we're supposed to see.

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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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