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Find Stories About Living the Boating Lifestyle

Forever grateful

Despite the fact that it happened 27 years ago I vividly remember the day I unknowingly launched my career in marine journalism. I was walking past my college adviser Linda Snodgrass’s office at the University of Rhode Island and noticed a sign featuring a crudely drawn picture of a sailboat on the door. It read: “Do you like boats? Are you a good writer? Inquire inside.”

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From ad sales to J/Boats

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.

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Pioneering at Soundings

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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Heart and soul

My first desk at Soundings was a few cubicles down from publisher Jack Turner’s. I didn’t know much about him when I started my job in the mid-1980s, and he didn’t seem that involved in day-to-day operations. So it took some time to fully appreciate what I had become part of.

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Out of the blue, into the mix

I climbed down from the Travelift at Brewer Dauntless Shipyard in Essex, Conn., as the engine clattered to a stop. It was the end of a long, hot day in late August 1993. I went to the employee head, washed up and changed into khakis and a short-sleeved shirt. I brushed my hair and hoped to look as presentable as possible under the circumstances: I was headed to a job interview at Soundings, “The Nation’s Boating Newspaper.”

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