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Soundings July 2019

Soundings is the news and feature publication for recreational boaters. Award-winning coverage of the people, issues, events -- and the fun -- of recreational boating. Check out our generous boats-for-sale section and our gunkholing destinations.

United States
Active Interest Media
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
raising sails and spirits

Acrowd is gathered in the handsome barroom of the Essex Yacht Club in Essex, Connecticut. Heavy rain falls outside, but spirits are high, warmed by a fire on a late afternoon in early spring. I’m seated at one of the wood tables, along with tuckered-out sailors who nurse beers as the regatta awards presentation begins. Everyone applauds when Ruth Emblin stands at the front of the room. Emblin is co-chair of this year’s Con necticut Leukemia Cup, one of many races organized at venues throughout the United States that benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Connecticut regatta has been underway for 17 years, and while there’s always been solid support, organizers need to get creative to keep competitive racers engaged. Emblin—a sailor who loves to spend time aboard her 1980…

1 min

BRIAN NEVINS This New Hampshire native and photographer with passions for hiking, riding and surfing calls himself an adventure junkie with one goal: to share the moment. WENDY MITMAN CLARKE Her career in marine journalism began at Soundings as the mid-Atlantic bureau chief. She twice won the Pat Nielsen Poetry Prize for her environmental poetry. DAVE WADDELL The photographer lives in midcoast Maine with his wife, children and their Newfoundland, Stella. He enjoys using a camera to connect with new people. DANIEL S. PARROTT A professor of marine transportation at Maine Maritime Academy, Parrott holds a USCG license, Master of Oceans 1,600 tons, as well as 2nd Mate Unlimited.…

2 min

Torn Both Ways I enjoyed your report on the coalition of environmental groups and commercial fishermen that has filed a lawsuit against the feds for issuing seismic blasting permits to five energy companies (“Resisting the Rigs,” March). However, I find it ironic that one of the photos used to illustrate the story showed a couple of fossil-fuel-burning commercial boats. As an avid powerboater I wrestle with this issue. It’s hard to consider myself an environmentalist when I am often at the fuel dock filling up my tanks with 250 gallons of diesel. At the same time, I understand why these groups are protesting the possibility of seeing oil rigs in our backyard. It’s a dilemma that I struggle with each season, but I am hooked on powerboats nevertheless. I try to…

1 min
pocket yacht

Ocean Alexander’s Divergence 45 is smaller than any of its megayachts, but the builder’s first mid-sized dayboat has that custom-quality finish found on its larger siblings. And it’s designed to do it all, from fishing and diving to family cruising. As for performance, with four Mercury Verado 350-hp four-stroke outboards, this 45-footer hits its stride in the mid-40-knot range. The cockpit is one of the most impressive areas on this boat. It’s equipped with a disappearing dining table and an extendable Sure-Shade, plus two facing sofas that can be converted when you need room to fish or dive, or to create a small theater around a pop-up TV. One of the most innovative features is contained in the gunwales, which fold down to expand the cockpit’s beam from 13 feet 9…

7 min
lessons from a sinking

Kyle Haskins remembers heading belowdecks and climbing into his berth around 11 p.m., thinking everything was fine. The 29-year-old commercial fisherman was the youngest member of a three-man crew alongside 58-year-old Capt. Terry Britton and 43-year-old mate Patrick Leoni. They were on day five of a two-week hunt for grouper, nearly 100 miles offshore from the docks where Haskins grew up in Madeira Beach, Florida. It was only their second time out on the 32-foot Thompson, which the owner had purchased used. Despite the fact that the boat had ended its first trip for the new owner with a blown transmission, everything on this second trip seemed fine. None of them knew, until it was too late, that the boat lacked a high-water alarm and a bilge pump. “I laid down,…

2 min
vacuuming the sea

According to UNESCO, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than 100,000 marine mammals per year. Dead whales have been found with tens of pounds of plastic in their stomachs, and a Ghent University study found microplastics in oysters and mussels. A Rhode Island-based nonprofit organization, Clean Ocean Access, is one of countless groups worldwide trying to find solutions to the problem of ocean plastics. In 2016, it created the Southeast New England Marina Trash Skimmer program, which puts trash skimmers in harbors and marinas to collect plastic and other trash before it enters the ocean. Teaming up with cities, local businesses and other organizations, Clean Ocean Access has placed marine trash skimmers in Providence, Newport and Portsmouth, Rhode Island; and in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Additional skimmers are planned for Fall River,…