By T. F. Sayles
This magazine, to put it in the vernacular of the day, totally rocks. That's not an idle boast; it's the official, if not verbatim, sentiment of Boating Writers International. BWI, you may recall from my previous crowing in this space, is the group that gives out annual cash prizes and hearty pats on the back for what it considers the year's best maritime writing. CBM writers have always done well in the BWI awards--very well, in fact. But this year they've outdone even themselves, earning us more kudos than any other magazine. Only two other publications came anywhere close to our total of 11 awards--Soundings, with nine, and Offshore, our sister magazine in Massachusetts, with eight.
The CBM honorees for 2006 were (deep breath): Jan Adkins, for his essay on sailing superstitions ("Luck Be a Lady," December); Karl Blankenship, for his contribution to our October "State of Our Bay" report ("All Eyes on the Eelgrass"); Paul Clancy, for his story on Kinsale, Va. ("Luck of the Irish," August); Wendy Mitman Clarke, for her monthly Off the Charts column, and for her feature on Chesapeake City, Md. ("Canal Town," July); Marty LeGrand, for her report on water-access issues ("Watertight," April); Jane Meneely, for her piece on the Blackbeard Festival ("In the Company of Pirates," May); Diana Prentice, for her feature on the lower Choptank River and environs ("Choptank Circle," February); senior editor John V. Reistrup, for his Good Boatkeeping article on ethanol-laced gasoline ("Keep Your Gasoline Dry," June) and his feature on ship-piloting ("View from the Bridge," November); and, finally, John Page Williams, for his feature story on Volvo Penta's new IPS engine and drive ("Full Speed Ahead," January).
I can't begin to express how proud I am of all these gifted and hardworking people. I'm even proud of myself, for having the good sense to surround myself with so much talent. Thank you and congratulations, my good friends! And, while I'm at it, three cheers to our, ahem, peeps at Offshore!
On a different subject altogether, I'd like to once again put out a call for members of our Reader E-Panel. Two years ago I invited you to join the panel--a sort of e-mail focus group that I go to for feedback on all manner of important questions, from editorial content to web publishing strategies. Ninety of you signed up, and I wouldn't mind having ninety more. It's been not only a valuable tool but also just plain fun. When I ask a question, the panelists never fail to enlighten and amuse me with their answers.
If you'd like to be part of the E-Panel, just say so in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please include your full name, your zip code and the type of boat you have. As I said the last time, rest assured that your e-mail address and personal information will not be shared with anyone else, and we will not bombard you with frivolous questions or anything remotely mercantile. And of course if you change your mind, just say so and we'll take you off the mailing list. I hope you'll join us.
Did I mention that we totally rock?