Is it a bright, cold day in April? Hang in there. The days are lengthening, and the tepid sunshine of winter’s fraudulent orange orb will soon be replaced by real warmth. Spring is almost here, and we eagerly scout the frozen tundra for a glimpse of its first tiny soldiers: brave crocus and hyacinth, unfurled flags of golden forsythia, battalions of bright tulips.
Spring has always seemed to me like much more than the next regularly scheduled season. It is also the annual retreat of a defeated and villainous winter. I know — Ecclesiastes 3:1: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. But winter, like bed rest and bitter medicine, seems designed more for our endurance than our pleasure. Well, we made it. Any moment now, we’ll exchange the impersonal paper gown for our favorite clothes, walk down a fluorescent-lit hallway and throw wide the double doors to the future! Fresh air, sunshine, bird calls, even a car’s honking horn is a song of welcome. So what if the parking lot is littered with orphaned mounds of dirt-capped snow? It’s all moving in the right direction. In other words, call the yard: It’s time to schedule your commissioning and launch.
To celebrate, we have our own spring changes. Waterfront, our monthly focus on a coastal property for sale, is moving online. Local Knowledge takes its place in the magazine: It’s an introduction to visiting a great coastal town by boat, penned by a salty insider. The first is from Jeff Bolster (Page 104), our resident guide to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It made me realize I am way overdue for a course change and exploratory tie-up the next time I’m underway to Maine.
Also new this month is Sketchbook, by Sam Devlin, who is well known to most of our readers for his beautiful stitch-and-glue designs. Sketchbook (Page 70) gives us a designer’s perspective on the creative process as Devlin introduces his work and other noteworthy designs. His column will alternate with our regular Design column, which will continue to focus on exciting new designs from around the boating industry. If you’re familiar with Devlin, you’ll appreciate what a thrill it is for us to add him to the Soundings masthead!
Last but not least, we’re excited to introduce Tales From The Captain’s Table, by Capt. Lou Boudreau (Page 64). In the November 2016 issue we ran a story on the schooner Yankee, most associated with Irving and Exy Johnson. Boudreau’s parents bought the first Yankee from the Johnsons and established one of the earliest charter operations in the Caribbean. He and his siblings grew up aboard a series of schooners before the West Indies were developed for tourism, and his memories of those times are enchanting. There will be a little lagniappe (as they say in New Orleans) to try out in the galley, too.
We hope the new additions to the magazine give you more of what you already love about Soundings: a deep connection to the sea and our varied ways of getting out on it; an insatiable curiosity about its traditions and lore; and a hunger for knowing what’s next in our quest to enjoy it. Or to put it more eloquently: boats, things that have to do with boats and more boats.
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue.