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VIDEOS: Soundings’ best of 2010

In the first full year of Soundings' Dispatches e-newsletter, we've brought you video highlights of boating news, adventure and safety.

Below you can find our picks for the Top 10 of 2010.

Precious days with Cap'n Wilson

We're pretty sure about what Cap'n Wilson would have said of the Internet. The Chesapeake Bay waterman had little time for such idleness. He would leave that to those of us in our "yacht boats." But when Sea Savvy columnist Tom Neale wrote a piece about his old friend and mentor for Soundings, the accompanying video instantly became one of our favorites.

A hero's last call

The echoes of Robert Royer's mayday stayed with us long after we listened to his dramatic distress call. Staying aboard the 75-foot Northern Belle as it took on water in the Gulf of Alaska saved his three crewmembers, but it cost Royer his life. The boat sank within three minutes of the call.

His brave act, combined with the heroics of Coast Guard rescuers, made for a powerful video and a top pick of 2010.

Funniest boating dogs

In connection with our Salty Paws photo contest, we scoured YouTube for the best videos of pets on the water. The result was a video that shared the fun of bringing along your best friend as first mate.

Maine tradition meets hybrid technology

The owners of the 29-foot diesel/electric launch Zogo knew what they wanted, right down to her color. She didn't have to be fast, but she should be quiet, comfortable and efficient and leave a small environmental footprint. She should have Down East aesthetics and craftsmanship, but push the boundaries of hybrid technology. We spoke to the designer and builder at the Maine Boatbuilders Show.

'We're waiting for the oil.'

The Gulf oil spill was only two weeks old, but already multiple stories were emerging, including tales of uncertainty from commercial fishermen and the convoluted official narrative. This story tied those voices together with the wealth of information available, including stunning images of the original explosion, controlled burns and spreading oil slicks. What we know now about BP's actions before and after the explosion lend extra weight to the final words in the video from then CEO Tony Hayward, now better known for declaring, "I'd like my life back."

Meet the luckiest sailor alive

Dennis Clements, battling gale-force winds and 30-foot seas for four days, was tossed from his Cal 39, Gloria A Dios, about 250 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The only reason he's still alive is a mistake: He had placed his EPIRB backward in the bracket.

'Let the big boat go first'

Bill Brucato is a big-boat captain who has a lot to say about some of the boaters he has met on the waterways. He shared his video footage, along with safety advice for recreational boaters.

911 on the water

As part of our ongoing mission to educate as well as entertain, Soundings spoke with Sea Tow and Cobra Marine as they taught youngsters the proper way to make a mayday call. The young woman we plucked out of the crowd illustrates the importance of practicing proper mayday calls with your family.

Loran tower comes tumbling down

Alaska's tallest man-made structure became the tallest ever felled in a controlled demolition. Is there anything more entertaining than a demolition?

Not a plastic show

Phin Sprague couldn't find a boat show where the salespeople knew more about boats than he did, so he created his own. We put the people behind the Maine Boatbuilders Show in front of the camera.

More from this issue

As rough as it gets

70-foot racing vessel for sale

Racers make environmental plea

VIDEOS: USS Kittiwake scuttled
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