Painting by John Barber
It’s early morning at Capt. Johnny Ward’s dock on Jackson Creek near the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, and these two 60-foot wooden buyboats will soon be headed out into lower Chesapeake Bay for a day’s hard work.
Articles include photos from old issues of Soundings.
It began in the spring of 1963, when three intrepid dreamers launched a skinny little boating newspaper named Soundings. The first run of 10,000 eight-page tabloid newspapers were given away free at marinas and boatyards that got free classifieds for displaying the new monthly publication at their cash registers.
As 1970 began, I had been working for five years in the planning department of attack- submarine builder General Dynamics/Electric Boat Co. and lived in Stonington, Conn. In March, I was informed that if I wanted to keep my job I would have to transfer to the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Mass. The alternative was no job.
In 1967 I spent the best summer of my life in Newport, R.I., covering the America’s Cup for Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd. of Australia newspaper group and contributing a few pieces to Soundings. The first Soundings editor had departed for fame and glory at Life magazine, and in the fall Jack Turner offered me the job of editor and sole editorial employee.
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