The best things in life are free

The author at the helm of Praxis. Photo courtesy Ali Wisch

March/April 2022

By Ali Wisch

When the first issue of Points East was published, I was probably sitting at my desk, in a classroom at GW middle school in Ridgewood, New Jersey. An awkward 13-year-old who feared big waves, and thought the best thing about my grandparent’s boat, Praxis, an O’day 30 was inviting my friends for a sleepover birthday party on it – at the dock. My grandfather, the captain, is no longer with us, but I like to think he instilled in me a love for sailing – and a desire to get off the dock, that I began to realize about a decade later.

Little did I know that while I was sitting in class, dissecting a frog or learning basic algebra (I have no idea what they’re teaching in school when you’re 13, to be honest), that Sandy and Bernie were sitting in an office somewhere or talking over the phone – the exact location isn’t certain, as Sandy describes in his Guest Perspective on page 15 – coming up with the idea for this magazine. An idea that would change my life and enrich the lives of so many others.

As my love for sailing and career in writing converged, I had no idea where that path would lead me. I’ve always believed you should do work that you love, live a life that makes you happy and write what you know. As a liveaboard sailor working as an editor for a boating magazine, I am proud to say I was able to accomplish that. However, it was quite a journey to get here and ending up at Points East was such a blessing in disguise.

I say blessing in disguise because I didn’t, really, know what I was getting myself into. This magazine is so much more than another boating publication. It is a community. A community of writers, readers, sales reps, sailors, fishermen and women, power boaters, pleasure cruisers and so many more.

I love to think that as this magazine was “growing up,” so was I, and we met when the time was right. If you were to study the links between the editors of Points East, you would find a distinct space between the previous editors and myself. I came into the Points East family as an outsider. Whether it’s in work or in your personal life, being new somewhere is usually hard, and imposter syndrome should have taken its toll, but everyone that Sandy and Bernie brought into this amazing organization is as lovely in real life as they are on paper. Whether they are writing it, putting it together or helping it stay afloat.

In this world where everything is related to money, I feel so much pride and gratitude to be a part of something that you can’t put a dollar sign on. Points East really is a magazine for everyone. People say the best things in life are free. Amen to that.