In our watery world, the pièce de résistance of a happy boating lifestyle is a well-built, well-maintained, safe and reliable boat.
I first met Sandy in South Florida, where I was running around like mad in squally conditions, trying to cover the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Her wind gusts and rain were no more welcome there than they were to be in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
About 24 hours before Superstorm Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey, my brother and I stooped in the drizzle and found the old mark on the front walk of the family home in southwestern Rhode Island that depicted just how far the water rose during the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. I paced it off: six good strides — roughly 18 feet — to the front steps.
The confederation of boating tribes in those parts of the country with clearly defined seasons — that means winter with snow — got together in early September for one last three-day gathering, dropping their anchors and wishing, if not for endless summer, then surely for a longer one.
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