The editor’s page

Ali Wisch

Ali Wisch began her career as a professional writing major at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. Since then, she has most notably worked as a columnist for Sports Illustrated, managing editor of SAIL Magazine and a blogger for the Huffington Post. Her work has been translated into over five languages and featured in more than 30 publications. Ali has been a liveaboard for ten years, and when she isn’t behind a keyboard, you can probably find her at the bottom of a lazarette or with an orbital sander in hand. She currently splits her time between Boston Harbor and France.

Ali became Points Editor in 2021

We made it!

December 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre 2023 is just around the corner. It’s Everyone’s a winnertime to set intentions for the new year, reflect on the year behind us and figure out how to keep busy when going for a putt about in the harbor, ...
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Don’t let fall pass you by

October/November 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre It is hard to beat fall in New England. Changes that affect all your senses happen quickly but subtly. You may not even notice until they’ve already passed. The deep oranges and reds that seeped out of summer sunsets ...
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You can take the girl out of the boat, but . . .

September 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre Packing for a trip can be tough. Packing to move across an ocean – tougher. Putting my entire life into packing cubes has proven to be an eye-opening experience. Believe it or not, I’ve actually surprised myself by some ...
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Times… they are a changin’

August 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre “There is nothing permanent except change.” -Heraclitus As I write this, I’m sitting in my favorite giant palm tree towel. My hair, in a messy natural bun atop my head, smells like coconuts. In the distance, I hear a ...
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Becoming a real sailor, again

July 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre I’m sure many of you have heard the expression, “You’re not a real sailor unless you’ve run aground.” If that saying is true, I’ve been a real sailor from my very first delivery. And in case you were wondering ...
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Reflections

June 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre As I was doing my due diligence, sifting through last year’s copies of Points East, reflecting on what I’d been reflecting on at the time, I grabbed our June 2021 issue and realized, to my surprise, that I hadn’t ...
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Coming out of hibernation

May 2022 By Ali Wisch Fabre It’s that time of year again finally; when the sky is providing us with more sun than snow, people are removing their shrinkwrap, and like my neighbor, Larry, exclaimed to me yesterday – “she feels like a boat again!” ...
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The best things in life are free

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 ...
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Practice what you preach

January/February 2022 By Ali Wisch In an effort to be completely transparent, I feel the need to disclose something that’s been hanging over my head since our last issue came out. Considering my editorial was titled “Winter Warriors,” one might assume, or it may appear ...
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Winter warriors

December 2021 By Ali Wisch For Points East “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” – Kin Hubbard In the northeast, we are no strangers to the weather changing, nor are we ...
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Welcoming winter

October 2021 By Ali Wisch It’s that time of year again in New England when people are taking their final voyages, starting to think about shrink wrap, winterizing, and maybe even buying antifreeze in bulk from Costco. While ignorance can be bliss – it’s hard ...
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Never underestimate the underdog

September 2021 By Ali Wisch When I “entered” the 2021 Flip Flop Regatta, it was more like I invited myself to join my friend Isaac’s boat. Okay – that is, precisely, what it was. We’d sailed together a few times, bringing his Pearson 33, Seabiscuit, ...
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Taking safety seriously with a compassionate heart

August 2021 By Ali Wisch On July 17, eight people boarded a boat in Boston Harbor, and seven people returned. The body that was recovered wasn’t just a body, but an amazing woman with a huge heart and a beautiful soul that we lost way ...
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New beginnings

July 2021 By Ali Wisch A few years ago, my friends’ boat sank. It was New England, in the middle of winter, and late at night – of course- (in my experience, not all, but most, boating catastrophes happen sometime after dark). Not only did ...
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Bob Muggleston

Bob Muggleston is a resident of Deep River, Conn., where he and his wife are raising two kids. His love of being on the water began in the late ’70s, at Pettipaug Sailing Academy in Essex, Conn. In the late ’80s he was a member of the Providence College sailing team and in summers was bowman aboard the S2 9.1 Pursuit, raced out of Groton Long Point, Conn. In 1990 Bob was a deckhand aboard the Bering Sea longliner Golden Chalice. A veteran of several Marion-Bermuda and Newport-Bermuda races, today he’s mostly a cruiser. When time allows, he enjoys exploring Long Island Sound and its tributaries.

Bob was Points East Editor from 2018 to 2021

Bring back Dodge Morgan!

May 2021 By Bob Muggleston In 2014, and new to the magazine, I was manning the booth at a boat show when a gentleman strolling by with a beer called good-naturedly over his shoulder, “Bring back Dodge Morgan!” He didn’t stop to elaborate. I turned ...
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RAS – Reluctant Acceptance Syndrome

March/April 2021 By Bob Muggleston One aspect of getting older, I’ve noticed, is the tendency to downplay or dismiss things that have been touted as “new and improved.” Especially when the thing being “improved” has been just fine for years, possibly even decades. Take the ...
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A scan of the 2021 horizon

Midwinter 2021 By Bob Muggleston “I can’t wait to go sailing again.” Nim Marsh, Points East’s former editor, recently said this to me, and I couldn’t agree more. The events of the last nine months have been distracting in so many ways, mostly, of course, ...
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A moment of clarity

By Bob Muggleston On Halloween, which thankfully this year was on a Saturday, my son and I went tautog fishing with my neighbor Kevin. The idea was born that Friday night, over a few glasses of wine. Kevin always closes out his fishing season by ...
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On microbursts and mayhem

Years ago I was at a dock in Connecticut when friends of mine returned from a trip to Block Island aboard their 36-footer. They practically kissed the ground once their lines were thrown, and, to a man, were visibly shaken. The hours-old experience they described? ...
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In the wake of Isaias

The surreal aspect of Aug. 4 didn’t begin until 3 p.m. This was the Tuesday that Tropical Storm Isaias rolled through New England, and I was listening to the radio, one eye on my computer screen and the other on the wildly cavorting trees outside ...
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It’s small-boat adventure time

Over the years, as the owner of two full-displacement keelboats, I’ve often fantasized about going smaller. Don’t get me wrong: Big boats are fun, but sometimes, with all their inherent expenses and hassles, it just seems like there’s got to be a better way. The ...
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Caveat venditor – let the seller beware

Over the years, I’ve sold lots of stuff on the internet. Everything from Swedish cars to antique rototillers and, for the most part, the transactions have been fairly straightforward. Goodbye baby bike trailer – don’t let the door hit you on the way out – ...
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The curious effect of COVID-19

In the 2015 film “The Martian,” Matt Damon is an astronaut who’s unwittingly left behind on Mars, and realizes that if he’s to be rescued – most likely in four years, when another ship will be close enough to do so – he’s got to ...
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Weathering the storm

By Bob Muggleston The good news? The lights are on, there’s still plenty of food and the internet works. All those house projects and Netflix series’ you would tackle if you just had the time? There’s time now. The bad news is that, as a ...
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Moby Dick? She’s alive and well

By Bob Muggleston For Points East Here’s a scenario I’ve thought about quite a bit lately: The year is 1939, and you’re aboard a boat tooling around Block Island Sound. Fog has rolled in, making visibility difficult. Horns sound. Suddenly, to starboard, something emerges from ...
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To each his own

This summer a commercial airline pilot friend of mine, Travis, spent a lot of time researching sailboats. He did so because: 1) He’s interested in upgrading his current platform, a MacGregor 24 trailer sailer he inherited from his father-in-law; and 2) he’s vaguely interested in ...
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Boating and a big slice of humble pie

Many years ago, in the late ’90s, I had an old Star that I loved in a way that was inversely proportional to the aggravation it caused me. One of my top-five epic sails was aboard this boat, as was one of my top-five epic ...
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Well done, Carl!

  Frequent readers of this magazine know I bought my “big” boat, a 1966 Pearson Commander, four years ago for $750. They also know, thanks to this space, that most of the sailing I do is here in Essex Harbor on the Connecticut River, where ...
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After the boys (and girls) of summer have gone

The title of this piece is obviously a riff on the signature line from Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer,” a song that doesn’t get too much airplay anymore, but that all these years later (it was originally released in 1984) still affects me when ...
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The marine hardware guy next door

One of the many compelling things about the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport, which this year took place June 28-30, is the number of interesting personalities you encounter while walking around there. The boats are beautiful, of course, but the men and women who build ...
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Beer, its extended family, and boating

Beer is definitely having a moment. I don’t think it’s going too far out on a limb to say that it was once the least-sophisticated member of the booze family, the matriarch of which is wine and its patriarch, spirits. Never snooty or considered much ...
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My old nemesis, the mast step

Frequent readers may recall that my 1966 Pearson Commander, Good Buddy, was a bargain bin craigslist find; that I dragged her 60 miles to my home in Connecticut from Long Island. Because of the considerable distance between me and the boat (nearly 2 ½ hours ...
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A small (boat) lesson in humility

Several years ago I stumbled across the flyer for an intriguing small-boat race, and the kicker was that it was practically in my own back yard. Called the Connecticut River Dinghy Distance Race, the event, which always took place in early May, was sort of ...
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The young guns of the Mayflower II

It’s always neat when what you assume about a given situation is wrong, but in a way that leaves you hopeful about the current state of things. Take last fall, for example, when I checked in on the progress being made on the Mayflower II, ...
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Bridging the gap

Without a doubt, there are many distractions to help bridge the gap between boating seasons these days, a lot of them thanks to technology. I’m thinking specifically of online classifieds (a personal favorite; see the trouble it got me into), YouTube and Vimeo, sailing vlogs, ...
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Boat Hoarder 101

I hate to admit this, especially since my wife has been saying it for years, but I think I’ve got a problem. The problem is that I have too many boats. While this may be true, I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Many ...
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Staying local

For the last three summers, since buying my latest “big” boat, I’ve had the same three goals: 1) Hunt down Points East columnist David Buckman while he’s cruising in Maine. Me aboard my Good Buddy and David aboard his Leight, we’d go find a few ...
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A ‘deeply satisfying’ sail

If you’re a sailor, chances are you’ve thought about what it would be like to circumnavigate. The idea of a continuous voyage that lasts years, and involves exotic destinations – it’s heady stuff for the coaster, and there’s no shortage of literature on the topic, ...
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The return is always worse

In the early 2000s I was lucky enough to race to Bermuda not once, but twice, with Jim Mertz, the “Iron Man of the Onion Patch,” who participated in 30 Newport Bermuda Races between 1936 and 2004 – a record that probably won’t be topped ...
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‘Welcome to our world’

The first personal account of a trip on the Maine Island Trail I ever read was Steve Callahan’s 2002 article “Reflections at the Water’s Edge,” which documented a trip he and his wife Kathy did on a section of the trail in the pages of ...
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Passing the CG torch, one boat at a time

For cadets between their second and third years at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, June is a special month. Classes are over, the grass on their hillside campus overlooking the Thames River is green again, and afternoon southwesterlies – warm, and ...
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Iceland in the house

If an award existed for the greatest distance traveled to exhibit at this year’s Maine Boat Builders Show in Portland, Maine (March 23-25), it would have gone to Iceland’s Björn Jónsson, who travelled over 2,300 miles. Remarkably, this was only 400 miles farther than an ...
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Our friend Nim

I hope you’ll indulge me. In the last issue of this magazine, long-time editor Nim Marsh announced that, effective immediately, he was stepping down. He did so halfway through one of his finest editorials, and no doubt some of you choked on your coffee and ...
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