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A Letter from the Publisher - Issue 105

Issue 105

By John K. Hanson, Jr.

Photo by Jeff Scher
Camden, Maine: A harbor without WI-FI, an inn without the Internet, a rowboat cruise through a waterway in an ancient land, a skinny L. Francis Herreshoff canoe yawl with Spartan accommodations—there seems to be an anti-technology theme running through this issue. Does this mean that we are against the technological gains of today, or are we for a better balance between the acoustic and the synthesized, the manufactured and the handmade? For me it’s the latter, a better balance. We need a life beyond the ring of the cell phone, whether we are in a dead zone or the phone itself is so deeply buried in the dry bag that it cannot be heard. No, we’re not Luddites. We re-launched our website, maineboats.com, a couple of years ago, and, ink-stained wretch that I am, I enjoy it thoroughly. I use it daily to look up the weather and the tides. I am fascinated by the stories, news, and resources that we have there now and by the possibilities for new content in the future. But there are times when my life benefits from being non-electric, non-motorized, handmade, and in the present. Rowing, sailing, paddling, hiking, digging in the dirt, stirring the soup—I need these ancient motions to balance out the keyboard-fingers of modern life. We are very fortunate here on the coast of Maine that active verbs are still so much a part of our lives. My family and I recently flew across the country and were briefly in the mainstream of American life with all its security checks, slow-moving lines, and loud hums of background machinery. I couldn’t wait to get back home to the rhythms of life on the shore of Penobscot Bay with its sounds: water dripping off the tips of oars, shovels clanking on rocks in the garden, and the joyous screeches of boys in full flight... Do you want to know more? Wait just a minute: I’ll send you a tweet.