Last year, the state of Texas passed a new Safe Boating Act. According to the law, anyone born after September 1, 1993, is required to attend a safe boating course, offered by the state, and show proof of completion along with proper ID anytime they hit the water (except in the smallest of craft – see ‘Southeast News’ for details).
I grew up around the water. The first time I stood up on water skis was the summer after my fifth birthday, on a river only a mile from my house. My cousin Ashley, four months my junior, managed the feat first, which did not sit well with me. That same day I gave it a go, thanks to the little psychological nudge by a younger family member. My sister Kate and Ashley’s older brother Blake rounded out our river gang. We spent nearly every day of our summers at the river, the four of us, right on up through high school. Our parents even grew up on the same three-mile stretch of water. It was always the water that our families were drawn to.
I learned to drive the ski boat, an old Ski Nautique, before I was a teenager. As a kid, I was dismayed when our state passed it’s own safe boating laws in the early 1990s. We all had to go to class to learn things we thought we already knew, and suddenly could not drive the boat without an adult on standby. I understand how the kids in Texas who grew up boating, but now need to meet state requirements, must feel now. In reality the laws are long overdue (I was stunned to hear Texas only passed it’s safe boating law last year). And the laws are for the better. But as a kid, they are tough to swallow.
And still I’m drawn to the water, though mostly as a sailor in my adult life. But it’s memories like those of my childhood that remind me of the diversity on the waterways and coastlines we share. On busy weekends at the river us kids would get annoyed at the fisherman and paddlers who took up our skiing space. Or at the motorboaters who did not understand that a slalom skier needs that glassy calm water for a really good ride. And yet it’s precisely this diversity that makes waterside life unique. Something for everyone.
So here I am now, enthusiastically announcing the launch of a new outlet for all of us boaters in the Southeast. A new outlet to share stories from our past while looking towards a future in which kids now can make similar memories of their own. Where everyone who shares the water has a voice – hence the magazine’s title.
Going forward, it truly is the local voices that will come to define All at Sea SOUTHEAST. Chris Goodier’s story on resurrecting Blackbeard the Pirate in Beaufort, NC is exciting stuff, a slice of history emerging from the depths of the Atlantic. Terry Boram’s piece about Savannah is both dark and enlightening, as she unearths a city steeped in history and reveals the unique character of some of its locals. Glenn Hayes, one of our technical voices for the magazine, asks the question ‘Two strokes or four?’ in part one of his outboard engine roundup. We also have onboard Donald Street and Cap’n Fatty Goodlander, two sailor-writers I have come to admire in my adult life who have intriguing histories in our part of the world. In this, our inaugural issue, you’ll discover the type of grassroots journalism that we hope will make the magazine special.
With that, I will introduce All at Sea SOUTHEAST – not a sailing rag, not a fishing magazine, not a motorboating journal, but a voice for the people, the places and the events that make coastal life in the Southeast interesting and unique. If you want to comment on a story within, pitch a new story to us, or in any way contribute, please contact us at the email address below. Thanks for reading.
Andy Schell, Editor [email protected]