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54 days of rain: A cruise through southern Chile

chileThis is what the sailing directions said for Cabo Tres Montes to Estrecho de Magallanes, Chile, including the Patagonian channels: “The prevailing wind is from the north and sometimes blows with great fury. … The principal feature in the weather here is not the strength of the wind, but the almost perpetual rain.”

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FDR and his houseboat: The log of the Larooco, 1924-1926

fdr_houseboatDuring the Roaring Twenties, a politically ambitious young man who had been crippled by polio bought a houseboat so he could cruise the warm waters of the Florida Keys and try to cure his damaged legs. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with the disease in 1921, at the age of 39, he withdrew from public life. He spent three winters aboard his houseboat, from 1924 to 1926. While on the boat, he kept a log in longhand in a three-ring binder, writing in it almost every day. Sometimes he used black ink, sometimes turquoise, pages full of playfulness.

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Waterfront homes: A secluded vacation home on a Chesapeake tributary

wf_chesapeakeWhen Arthur and Noelle Imparato gave their 1920 vacation home on Maryland’s Little Choptank River a makeover, they kept its vintage cottage look while upgrading the decor, windows, doors, appliances and climate-control system. The couple fell in love with the secluded year-round property in 2001 when they returned to the East Coast after retiring from jobs in Hollywood. (She was a film editor, he a talent manager.)

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Seascapes: On board Fall River Line Steamer Priscilla

Muller-PriscillaThe glittering steam ferry Pilgrim lights up a tranquil evening on Long Island Sound in William Muller’s oil-on-canvas On Board Fall River Line Steamer Priscilla. Priscilla, the 440-foot queen of the line, was the grandest of the “floating palaces” running up and down the sound, connecting New York and Boston during the steamers’ 19th century heyday.

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40 years of a wild idea

wooden_boatFor years I’d wanted to make the trek to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. So as I squeezed my Mini rental into a tiny spot between the cars crammed on both sides of the sloped road into town, I felt ready. Port Townsend Bay spread like a sparkling welcome mat before the brick Victorian seaport below, and the snow-capped Cascade range rose from the far horizon.

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