Soundings - - Mail Boat -

Ien­joyed the "Clas­sics" ar­ti­cle on the Sun­fish [March]. I am told that when I was 2 weeks old, my dad took me sail­ing on our Sail­fish. that when I was 2 weeks old, my dad took me sail­ing on our Sail­fish. I later learned to sail on the same boat. It was a wooden, flat-topped boat. I be­lieve that the name Sun­fish first ap­peared with the fiber­glass model that had a small cock­pit. Thanks for the mem­o­ries. Henry Hale Ox­ford, Mary­land


Pag­ing through my April Sound­ings on the way in from the mail­box, my eyes stopped on Page 43 — the piece about the schooners Luther Lit­tle and Hes­per. I think the more fa­mous as­pect of these two ves­sels was missed and should be shared with read­ers.

Once they were no longer needed, Luther Lit­tle and Hes­per were beached in Wis­cas­set, Maine, on the Sheep­scot River. Count­less pic­tures were taken, and post­cards pic­tur­ing the pair sent, over the years. A sight I grew up with, as did many. To most they sym­bol­ized Wis­cas­set. C.L. Rankie Eliot, Maine


So­ci­ety has be­come all about gad­gets. Whether kids or adults, there is usu­ally a smart­phone, tablet or other de­vice that gets more at­ten­tion than the peo­ple sit­ting next to them.

I’d watched my kids do this while we’re boat­ing, never look­ing up to see what’s around them. It both­ered me enough that three years ago I sold my Hat­teras and bought a 16-foot skiff with a 40-hp out­board. I pur­chased a recre­ational lob­ster­ing li­cense, pots, line, and buoys, and de­cided to do a lit­tle lob­ster­ing. I wanted my chil­dren to get out of boat­ing what I get out of boat­ing. I wanted them to run the boat, learn the Rules of the Road, be aware of what’s around them.

As ex­pected, they were ner­vous at first, es­pe­cially boat­ing out of Point Ju­dith, Rhode Is­land, where there is a lot of cur­rent and traf­fic. Within two weeks they started to no­tice not what was on their phones, but the tide, other boats, the weather. Most im­por­tant, they com­mu­ni­cated and asked ques­tions.

They mas­tered the chart plot­ter and recorded ev­ery pot lo­ca­tion. They noted which pots were catch­ing and which bait was not. The al­lure of what might be in the pots as they came over the rail brought us back week af­ter week — lob­ster, crabs, scup, sea bass, scal­lops, starfish and an oc­ca­sional con­ger eel. To watch their self-con­fi­dence and re­spect for the wa­ter grow has been amaz­ing.

My girls are now 11 and 17 and have put more than 2,500 miles on the skiff — and they’re ready for an­other sea­son. I am so proud of how much they have learned by get­ting their heads out of their phones. I’m pretty sure there’s no app for that! Joe Fortin via email


Pol­i­tics has got­ten so di­vi­sive and the cul­ture so coarse that many of us just have to es­cape. One of the ways I do this is spend­ing time on the wa­ter and delv­ing into all things nau­ti­cal, in­clud­ing Sound­ings, my fa­vorite.

So it is dis­con­cert­ing when it starts creep­ing into Sound­ings. In the April is­sue, the trib­ute to pho­tog­ra­pher Bob Grieser [“His Bark And His Bite Were Equally Friendly”] was marred by swipes at two pres­i­dents, and the “Fish­ing” ar­ti­cle by Wil­liam Sis­son has pro­fan­ity [“Tum­bling Dice”]. This is the stuff many of us try to es­cape. Please do not let Sound­ings go down this path. Jan Mil­li­gan Braden­ton, Florida

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