When I first saw the lovely photo of the little diesel-powered Down Easter that graces our cover this month, I thought, I’ve got to run this in the magazine.
The boat is simple and clean, the image evocative. Put me in that scene, please.
As proof I point to the strange case of the Arctic Sea, the freighter that disappeared for almost a month this summer as it steamed with a Russian crew from Finland to Algeria carrying what was supposedly a load of timber.
As the ebb waned on a warm afternoon in mid-August, we spread the ashes of a colorful dragger captain who had been our friend since boyhood in a passage through the reefs off the Watch Hill Lighthouse in Rhode Island.
It was a fitting tribute for Capt. Bruce “Buck” Ladd, one of those true originals who come along about as often as a blue lobster.
With boats, as with many things in life, keeping it simple is the hard part.
It’s always easier to make something more complicated than it needs to be. Than it should be.
I was catching up the other day with Capt. Jim Nunes, a fishing guide out of Cuttyhunk, Mass., whom I’ve known for a number of years.The fishing of late had been good, he told me, with a couple of 40-plus-pound stripers coming over the side of his small charter boat. We exchanged small talk about the approaching season on this westernmost island in the Elizabeth chain. And then we got to important matters.
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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.