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Underway Column Editorial by Editor Bill Sisson | Soundings Online Column

Whitecaps, whales and the right boat

You can learn a lot about a boat when it starts gusting up and a sea begins to build. Does the boat want to knock your fillings out? How well does she track? Are the passengers comfortable, or are their knuckles starting to turn white? Most important, is she seaworthy?



South of Block Island, reelin’ in the years

We were drifting 12 miles southeast of Block Island, R.I., in 140 feet of water in a spot called the "Gully" - six old friends in the cockpit of a 30-foot sportfisherman, chumming for shark and hauling long strings of memories out of the deep water.

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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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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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