Last winter I acquired an inflatable kayak to car-top and paddle about the Florida Keys, but long spells of cold weather limited my on-water activities there. I brought it home on Amtrak's Auto Train to try it out this summer as a Bay cruising dinghy tagging along behind my Sailmaster 22.
An advisory for bored retired folks: buy an older boat and refurbish it.
As participatory sports go, such a maritime project will keep you far more occupied than golf, for example, where activity among seniors ends at the 18th hole and the clubhouse but returns with seemingly endless tournaments on television.
Forty years ago this summer, I recruited three newspaper buddies to help sail my older, newly purchased and painted sloop from Washington, D.C., to Annapolis, Md., on my introductory long-distance cruise of Chesapeake Bay.
Two of those proud fellows, John McKelway and Dave Braaten, were never to set foot aboard a sailboat again after what they said was a "hell trip."
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Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.