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9. Stroll the docks at a wooden boat show

Hard is the heart that can resist the sun glinting off varnished mahogany or the sparkling reflection of water in the glass above a deck compass. Old wooden yachts are magical and — be careful! — seductive.

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10. Get the kids hooked

There’s nothing quite like watching a kid’s face when the rod tip really starts thumping, and he or she realizes they’ve hooked a real live fish this time, not the bottom again.

“I’ve got one! I’ve really got one!”

That’s one of the sweet shouts of summer.

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11. Explore!

I have a friend who likes to research new places to go in his 26-foot single-diesel pilothouse boat by looking at harbors and measuring distances on Google Earth. “Then I check the charts and go. It’s a great way to find new places,” he says.

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Abundant river views grace Virginia home

“We love the water, and this house is such a fun place to live,” Nora Spradlin says of her home at the confluence of the Coan and Potomac rivers in Virginia. “We have fantastic views of the water from every room in the house (except one bath) because we’re at the end of a point.”

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In the Roaring Forties

Oil painting by Christopher Blossom

A full-rigged ship labors in heavy seas through the high latitudes of the Southern Ocean in this historic work by the noted artist Christopher Blossom. This part of the world is known to sailors as the “Roaring Forties,” the 40-degree latitudes where winds and waves sweep west to east around the globe almost uninterrupted.

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