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Soundings October 2020

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
docks to digital

We bought our first family cruiser at the New York Boat Show 16 years ago. My husband was working in Manhattan at the time, so he asked me to meet him at the Javits Center on 11th Avenue. I bundled up our two young children for the trip from Connecticut on a cold winter day, packed the stroller, filled the sippy cups and hit the road. Two hours later, our foursome was happily navigating the bustling halls of the exhibit space toward the Sea Ray booth. There we signed a contract for a Sundancer, rang the ship’s bell to ceremonialize the closing of the deal, and then climbed aboard the boat to take photos with friends who had met us there to celebrate what felt like a mini milestone for…

3 min

THE ALLURE OF FOG Of the many boats I wish I could own, I include the Pulsifer Hampton. The design is both simple and graceful, and the name conjures thoughts of New England waters. It was fun reading about that boat brand and its long history in Midcoast Maine in your September issue (“A Fox in the Fog”). Keep up the good work. It’s why I read Soundings. As you know, you don’t have to go to Maine to find yourself in the fog. I recall a flounder fishing trip I took many years ago on New Jersey’s Navesink River. When the fishing was done, we stowed our rods, pulled up the anchor and, surprise, looked up to see nothing but thick fog in every direction. As the boat swung on its…

6 min
the chaos is real

Steve Morlock has been working on the water for about 40 years in roles that range from harbormaster to his job of the past 12 years, running TowBoatU.S. out of Oyster Bay on New York’s Long Island. In all that time, he’s seen plenty of things go wrong for all kinds of people aboard just about every type of boat. But he’s never seen anything like summer 2020. “It’s like Fourth of July every weekend,” he says. “When I pull alongside somebody who’s in trouble, it seems like I’m hearing it every day. ‘Oh, I just bought this boat.’ Or, ‘I’ve never had a boat before.’ My head has to be on a swivel. On more than one occasion this year, I’ve had to stop and reverse and hit my horn,…

5 min
tools for forecasting

There are countless ways to monitor and predict weather online, but for some, wading through the many choices can be daunting. Are you a mariner who enjoys weather analysis and forecasting or the type who wants simple apps with colors and arrows? The key to getting concise user-friendly information is to finetune your own device to efficiently deliver the information you need. Most recreational boaters use a laptop, tablet or smartphone, relying on Wi-Fi or cellular broadband signals. Hopefully, Wi-Fi is available for planning purposes before you depart. Once you’re underway, coastwise at least, you still have a fairly good chance of accessing weather apps and forecasting sites with cellular broadband. Simple weather forecasting can be done using free apps, which offer straightforward weather research and computer forecasting models that reflect real…

2 min
what we’re reading

SOUNDS FISHY There are approximately 33,600 fish species swimming around the world in both salt and fresh waters. Some are rather ordinary looking while others appear as if they came straight out of a nightmare. From tuna to triggerfish, the world’s waters host an amazing array of finned creatures to learn about. Author Helen Scales acquaints readers with some of the more interesting fish in her book Eye of the Shoal: A Fishwatcher’s Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything. As you may infer from the title, Scales aims to tell a fish story in her own way. She cleverly reveals some of the lesser known characteristics of fish, disproving their reputation as slimy, scaled beasts, and reinvents them as emotional, singing, thoughtful creatures. The book is an underwater journey that…

1 min
what we’re listening to

U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY’S PREBLE HALL Preble Hall is a naval history podcast produced by the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland. Interviewees include historians, practitioners, military personnel and a wide variety of other experts covering naval history topics from ancient to recent. The latest episodes include The USS Kirk and the evacuation of Saigon, Navy tattoos and the National Museum of the American Sailor, the Somers Mutiny and the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Persian Empire and its Navy, and plenty more. You can catch the episodes by visiting naval-history-lyceum.simplecast.com. TRAWLER TALK New from Soundings’ sister publication PassageMaker is the Trawler Talk podcast, which focuses on a variety of briny topics. Hosted by Passage-Maker’s Editor-in-Chief Andrew Parkinson, guests include weather wizard Chris Parker, electronics guru Ben Stein and marine…