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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

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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How young is too young?

Would you allow your son or daughter to sail around the world alone at the ripe old age of 16? Would you encourage it?

I suspect that more than a few of us may be asking ourselves those questions, given the recent spate of youthful sailors who have set their sights on girdling the globe.

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A 26-foot boat and a 2,000-mile maiden voyage

Several months ago, a reader called regarding the photo of a 26-foot Duffy on the cover of our September issue, which focused on a back-to-basics theme.

He was in the market for another boat, liked what he saw and wished we'd given more information on the little Down Easter.

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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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