Life according to Dodge

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He defies convention in sailing, business and love

By Douglas A. Campbell

Senior Writer

Here is something troubling, if not unfathomable, about Dodge Morgan’s life. He seems to be having way more fun than most 75-year-olds. The icing on his cake is that, according to mutual friends, both of his ex-wives still love him.

Teams of psychologists have tried to figure the guy out. They’ve written one book about him, and some have made a career of Morgan, who 21 years ago sailed into St. George, Bermuda, after smashing the record for a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation, the first such voyage by an American sailor. As if performing an autopsy of his soul, the shrinks have peeled back the amazing flesh of his life, searching for an inner truth. Maybe they should have looked no further than the 1949 New England Junior Tennis Tournament.

Morgan, then 17, had advanced to the semifinals. The memory of what happened next hasn’t faded in 58 years. “I played a guy, a tall, lanky guy with glasses. I was afraid of him,” says Morgan. “I went into that game with one racket and with a string that was fraying. This was not purposeful, but in retrospect I knew that that string was going to break.”

It happened on one of Morgan’s powerful serves. At the top of its arc, his racket slammed into the tennis ball, and the string exploded. Game, set, match. He lost.

“I had gone into that match with an excuse to lose,” Morgan recalls. “I said to myself then, I will never, ever go into a circumstance of challenge carrying a reason not to succeed.”

By almost any measure, Dodge Morgan’s life is a continuing chain of successes. His incredible voyage on the 60-foot American Promise, circling the globe in 150 days when conventional wisdom warned him it would take 100 days more, was but one link, an almost predictable achievement based on his track record to that point. Before the voyage, he had already become a multimillionaire industrialist, converting a series of challenging situations, some apparently hopeless, into victories. And at most points along the way, there were — and still are — sailboats: the love of his life.

 

The evidence suggests that the most satisfactory “women” in his life were his boats.

— William Nasby and Nancy W. Read, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

“He’s an exhibitionist, but he’s also a recluse,” says Lael Morgan, the first wife.

“He still is a loner,” says second wife Manny Morgan, “still likes to do things his way.”

Exhibit A for Manny Morgan’s claim is Snow Island, 30 acres in the center of Quahog Bay, a slit of water between the long granite fingers that reach from the coast of Maine out through Casco Bay toward the Atlantic. Morgan lives alone on Snow Island, where eight years ago he had a home built to his own detailed specifications.

“Snow Island is a perfect personal solution,” says Morgan. “It’s similar to sailing. Here I am — I’m the only person on this perfect paradise of place — and it’s sort of appropriate in the way I have interpreted life.”

In Morgan’s case, romance, or the story of the hero and his quest, provides an appropriate structural framework for the life history of the man. … Morgan’s life story attests to his casting of life events into the form of adventures.

— Nasby and Read

There you have it from the experts. Dodge Morgan has interpreted life as a series of adventures. Viewed from the perspective of others, some of the adventures may seem a bit compulsive. There is the story about the cannon, which will follow. Lael Morgan’s story of the first Morgan marriage fits in this class as well, although Dodge Morgan remembers otherwise.

Other adventures are clearly obsessive. The circumnavigation on American Promise falls into this category. Another example might be his annual voyage to the Caribbean — begun after the circumnavigation — with some friends he calls the “body bag crew.” And throughout Morgan’s life, despite his reclusive nature, there has been fun for those he thinks of as friends.

“We just had a lot of fun, and I mean that literally, in our conversations,” says Robert McCray, the businessman who mentored Morgan and set him on a course toward his millions. “A lot of laughter, a lot of joking. A very unusual relationship.”

The business with the cannon certainly was supposed to be funny, at least in Morgan’s adolescent mind. It provides a good place to jump into the adventures. It happens in the spring of his sophomore year at the University of New Hampshire. His father, a pharmacist who died when Morgan was 2, had attended the same school. That fact, and his athletic ability, had brought Morgan to UNH, where sports mattered more to him than

 

academics. He and a friend wanted to gain acceptance in a fraternity and they believed that a sufficiently audacious prank would help their cause.

“I can’t remember who first suggested it was a good idea. But it wasn’t,” Morgan laughs. His friend, whom he chooses even now not to name, had a broken foot and “wasn’t much help.” They were both living in the fraternity house, where they acquired an extension ladder and the cannon, which fired 10-gauge shotgun blanks and was used at football games to celebrate touchdowns. Together, the conspirators crossed the campus in the dark of night and raised the ladder to the second story bedroom window of the dean of women, who was single. Morgan climbed the ladder with the cannon and opened the window. He pointed the cannon into the window and pulled its chain.

“It was deafening,” he recalls. He then descended the ladder and began running with it and the cannon back to the fraternity house, only to be accosted along the way by a campus policeman. When questioned, Morgan failed to mention his friend, who had disappeared during flight. “I could see no help in having two people suffer,” he says. “It wouldn’t lighten the load on me.”

The next day, Morgan was expelled by the dean of men. Faced with going home and explaining his arrival to his mother, he chose another course. “I never really sat down and told her about my common experiences,” he recalls. “When we did have our talks, it was about where things were going.” He describes his mother as “not a physically affectionate-type person” but adds that “there was never any doubt in my mind on her love. Never, ever.”

Rather than engage his parent in the expulsion, Morgan decided to visit an Air Force recruiting office. Asked there what he would like to do in the service, he replied: “This is the Air Force. I want to fly.” Soon he was stationed on Cape Cod, Mass., flying jet fighters. “I loved it,” he says. “Beer was food, and we were omniscient.”

 

There is the tale, related by a Morgan acquaintance, of a time when he and a fellow pilot, in order to impress some dates, told the women to stand under one of the two bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal. They went to Otis Air Force Base and took off in their jets, their goal being to fly under the bridge. But they hadn’t mentioned which bridge, so they flew the length of the canal, passing beneath both bridges, says the acquaintance.

It was a great five years, two months and seven days that Morgan spent serving his nation, much happier than his father’s service in World War I. He was gassed, causing injuries that led to his death in 1934, during the Great Depression. Morgan’s widowed mother took a job in a New Hampshire shipyard.

“[The Depression] left scars, upon both the physical environment and the mental landscapes of the men, women and children who endured it,” (Parrish, 1992, Page 413). During this time of unrest, Morgan’s mother not only had to work, but was reported to have shoveled coal in a shipyard.

— Nasby and Read

Morgan laughs joyfully. He displays only modest respect for shrinks. In this case, he says, they got the story wrong. “Our home was heated by coal, and so my mother was pretty good at shoveling coal. But she didn’t shovel coal at the job. She was in the office.”

Morgan’s optimism has been to some extent a choice; he may have constructed his optimistic story as a counterforce to his early experiences.

— Nasby and Read

Though he stayed with neighbors and friends while Mother was at work, Morgan says of his childhood, “I was a happy little fart.”

Says Manny Morgan: “Everything that other people would consider bad fortune, Dodge turns it in his mind to make it a positive. The fact that his father died when he was young made him strong,” she says.

***

Once out of the Air Force, Morgan enrolled at Boston University. He graduated with a degree in journalism and, he says, a 3.57 grade point average. He had grown up. One night during his junior year, he was studying in the library when he noticed a young woman nearby. “What I noticed when she was walking away from me was she had an absolutely gorgeous little fanny,” he recalls.

“I’d seen him in my classes at BU, but he’s the kind of man I didn’t like,” says Lael Morgan. “He’s tall and blond.”

Dodge Morgan caught sight of that derriere and, impulsively, struck up a conversation. “We started talking, and three hours later he took me home and we had agreed to get married. I’d never met anybody like him.” Three months later, she says, they weremarried.

“He had this dream about buying a boat and sailing around the world,” Lael says. “I didn’t have any specific dreams. He gave me the biggest gift anybody could give.” She was from “bedrock New England” stock, raised with a conventional view of labor and reward.

“He thought you could work like the dickens three or four years and take a year off,” she says. “This was the Eisenhower years. People didn’t think that way. He made it sound so doable, which it was. It was really kind of original thinking.”

***

Morgan discovered his love of sailing when, as a teenager, he worked at a boatyard on Cape Cod owned by an uncle. There he worked with his grandfather and Russ, his brother who was 14 years his senior.

Morgan’s heroic imago is definitively, insistently male … larger than life [and is connected with his] grandfather’s words, the terse phrases of the American hero: “Whiskey drinking’s a man’s duty, getting drunk is his damnation. … My father taught me how to work, not to like it. … The four most beautiful things in the world are a ship under sail, a full bottle of rum, a woman’s body, and a field of wheat.”

— Nasby and Read

To these of grandpop’s phrases, Morgan adds,“ ‘All you need to know about money: If you have 10 bucks, if what you want costs $9, you’re wealthy. If it costs $11, you’re broke.’ He was a bastard. But in spite of [his harshness] … we had a lot of time together, and I learned a lot. He was skillful physically, manually in all kinds of things.” Grandpop died at age 93, and Morgan notes, “He drank, and he smoked, and he [chased skirts] the whole time I knew him. He sort of puts into question the healthy whatever lifestyle that we’re all supposed to have.”

At the boatyard, Morgan worked on boats but did not sail them. “It was grunt work, and I was at the lowest rung on the ladder. You paint boats, you scrape boats, you shovel sand. You do whatever you’re told to do.” He was 16 and a rising tennis talent, but when he looked at the sailboats coming and going, he found his passion. “I thought to myself, That looks like fun,” he says.

“I was taking my pay from the boatyard and … I would rent this catboat from a guy named Frothingham, on Bass River, and just basically taught myself,” Morgan says. “The only advice I got from Frothingham was, ‘Here, kid, this will teach you patience.’ ”

Morgan’s life story includes his boyhood wish for a boat of his own. He wrote: “What I loved most about sailing was to go alone beyond the tether.”

— Nasby and Read

Lael Morgan had bought into the plan when she and her husband graduated from BU and headed to Alaska, looking for opportunities. He got a job at the Anchorage Daily News as sports editor. Lael got a job in public relations. But Dodge saw an opportunity outside the paper. Big oil companies had started sniffing around Alaska, but they had no representative. So after a year in journalism Morgan quit the paper, started a public relations and advertising agency, and got contracts with Standard Oil of California and Atlantic Richfield. He looked for other work, too.

“My favorite account was a guy came in with a garbage company, picking up garbage in Anchorage,” Morgan says. “He had two trucks. I said, ‘How much money you got to spend?’ I think he said $400. I said, ‘Come back tomorrow.’ He came back, and I said, ‘Here’s what I think you can do. Paint on one side of your truck: Service guaranteed or double your garbage back. And on the other side: All you can eat for a buck. And then just drive around where you want to get customers.’ He got his truck on both newspapers and on television. He paid the painter. I didn’t do anything but come up with the idea,” and didn’t get paid, Morgan laughs.

“In order to save money, we moved to a dump in the woods with no running water,” says Lael, who recalls the place as “a charming cabin.” They showered at the Anchorage airport. “We woke up one morning at 20 below. The oil had run out,” she says. “I told him ‘King Oil’ was dead.”

But they did save money, and in three years they bought the schooner Coaster, the first design by Murray G. Peterson. “She was a true joy to row up to,” says Morgan. “I was 30 and she was 31. It was a double-hernia rig. Thank God I was 30.”

The Morgans bought Coaster on Cape Cod and sailed her to Maine where, Lael remembers, “Ninety percent of everybody said, ‘You’re crazy.’ They couldn’t understand.” Then they headed south, and over the course of more than two years Coaster took its crew through the Panama Canal, on to Hawaii and then the Pacific islands. Lael returned to Alaska early with medical problems. Morgan followed in Coaster. When he finally reached her, they decided to part ways. He saw nothing for himself in Alaska, but Lael wanted to stay.

***

In the course of his journeys, Morgan had made a decision — one that would become his obsession. “I wanted to take a significant solo sail in a boat that was appropriate,” he says. “It was a promise to myself.”

Promises are important to Morgan. “[People] can be nutty as a fruitcake, and that’s wonderful,” he says. “But I can’t handle people who aren’t honest with themselves, and making a promise and keeping it is one way of measuring that.”

Morgan left Alaska and returned to Massachusetts. At this point, he had worked for someone else exactly one year as an adult. “It was not easy to get a job, because my resume stunk,” he says. “At one [employment] agency in Boston, there was a list of companies they thought not ready for [their help] but that [soon] would be. One was Worcester [Mass.] Controls.” Morgan began researching that company until he knew its line of products, the background of the company president, and the names of the board members. Then he went to Worcester.

Camping out in Robert McCray’s outer office, he says, he spent days lobbying for a job interview. “I was a presence. That’s about it,” he recalls. “I made it impossible for the president not to hire me.”

Says McCray of his pupil: “He was bright and inquisitive. He forced me to answer questions that I hadn’t figured out answers to previously.” Moreover, Morgan — who sold himself to McCray as the company’s “marketing services manager,” a title he concocted — proved to be innovative in his approach to marketing, so much so that he reduced the company’s cost of making sales pitches “down to a ridiculously low figure,” McCray recalls.

Morgan stayed with McCray for three years and then, for pennies on the dollar, bought a subsidiary business from his boss that wasn’t making money. The product was a voice scrambler that could be used by police and federal agencies. It might be a loser for Worcester Controls, but Morgan bet he could turn a profit.

“My focus was marketing, but my real love is in the engineering of solutions,” Morgan says. He created a new company, Controlonics Corp., and decided it should have a different culture than other firms. “Our mission described a lot of philosophical matters other than financial,” he says. “Nobody was allowed to be jealous of their information. Engineers had 10 percent of their time to work on their own proposals. We accepted a wide range of lifestyles.”

Here’s an example of the Morgan business philosophy. Controlonics had missed its profit goals, Morgan says, and one of his managers suggested it was time to lay off hourly workers. Morgan recalls telling his managers, “Instead of letting anybody go on the hourly [side], each month we’re not profitable, management will cut our salaries 10 percent per month until our income is the average of all the people in the company.” Profits returned, he says, in two months.

In five years the company had $1 million in annual sales. In 1984, when Morgan sold it, Controlonics was worth $39 million. Morgan had the resources to build the aptly named American Promise. He also had a second wife and two young children.

Morgan had a powerful disposition toward control and dominance that became a barrier to intimacy.

— Nasby and Read

“He’s a wonderful man,” says Manny Morgan. “It’s just very hard to be married to him.”

This wasn’t a secret Dodge ever kept from Manny. “We met at a New Year’s party given by our parents. It was an instantaneous bond for me, because I loved to sail and loved to travel. I didn’t realize that Dodge doesn’t like to travel. He just likes to sail,” Manny says. “It was talking about our adventures abroad that attracted me to him. He’s funny, and my mother loved him. He tells some terribly dirty jokes, but he gets away with it because he has this little dimple.”

It’s a Robert Redford dimple, and the creases in his face today are much like those of that aging heartthrob. There is also a clarity in his eyes when he talks with you. It had to have been there when he said, as Manny recalls, “You know I’m too selfish. I’m too focused on my own needs. I shouldn’t get married.”

“You know, in the end, he was right,” Manny admits. “But I don’t regret it. We have two wonderful kids and a great relationship. It was hard. He doesn’t compromise and meet you halfway.”

“You have to be decisive and polar in your decisions,” Dodge Morgan says. “At the same time, you have to understand how goddamn wrong you can be. I’ve got to go in convinced I’m right in order to make any progress, or to test somebody else’s opinion. I love to listen to other people’s ideas. I don’t lack my own ideas or my belief in them, but it sure is a thrill to see someone else come up with an elegant solution.”

Morgan began looking for a designer for American Promise in 1983, armed with what he called a “planning document.” In the 20-page package, he described the circumnavigation he planned, his own capabilities, and the minimum specifications he wanted in the boat. “This boat — well-done and well-sailed — will make history,” he predicted.

After considering several designers, Morgan settled on Ted Hood, a man known for having his own ideas and for his uncompromising nature. It must have seemed like an eruption of volcanic proportions in the making. But Morgan hired a friend to serve as a go-between. And then he took an apartment in Marblehead, Mass., to be near Hood’s yard.

“I was taken by his logic,” Morgan says. “From an engineering point of view, there was always a very sensible set of waypoints from a problem to a solution. When a decision was made, it was clear how he reached that conclusion. So that was a wonderful experience working with him.”

In Morgan’s planning document were these final words: “Here is the schedule to be met. Departure around the world October 1985. Launching party June 1985.”

American Promise was launched a month early. Morgan began his circumnavigation in October from Portland, Maine, but had put in at Bermuda with mechanical problems. He restarted the voyage Nov. 12. The record for a non-stop solo circumnavigation was 292 days. The “experts” told Morgan it would take him at least 250 days. “So I put 220 on the sails as a target,” he says.

Manny had been unhappy with Morgan’s plans and didn’t get involved until 1984, when she found a job for herself planning for the meals and medical supplies aboard American Promise. She also persuaded her husband to subject himself to a psychological study.

“She said, ‘Well, if you’re going to do this you should try and find some justification other than your own self,’ ” he recalls. Manny went to Boston College, where she intrigued some psychologists with her proposal, and the testing began. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll be a white rat,’ ” Morgan chuckles.

“What I really resented, I guess, was his leaving the children,” Manny says. “Kimberly [the Morgans’ daughter, now 30; son, Hoyt, is 33] at the time was very sick. She had hepatitis. He just said, ‘I’m 53, and I’m in good health. If I don’t go now, I wouldn’t be able to.’ I had to say, ‘You gotta do it, you gotta do it.’ That was hard, because I was very worried about Kim. It was an inconvenient time for him to leave home.”

In some ways his absence was nothing new in the Morgan marriage. “For those years we were married, I did everything his way,” Manny says. “I was either doing things his way or, most of all, I was doing them by myself. If I went to the opera, I went by myself. I went to Italy, I went by myself. It’s much more fun if you have a man who does [things] with you.”

Morgan completed his record-breaking voyage in Bermuda to hugs from the kids and Manny, but also to a crumbling marriage. “In a way, he’s even more a loner [than before the circumnavigation],” Manny says. “On the other hand, I think he’s much more generous and thinks about his kids a lot and some ways puts them before himself more than he ever showed signs of.”

Three years following the voyage, Morgan described having lost control of his actions for a long time, facing life reactively while being “carried along in the popular public current.”

— Nasby and Read

After the circumnavigation, Morgan donated American Promise to the U.S. Naval Academy, where, refitted for a crew of 10 midshipmen, she is the queen of the fleet. Early in the Academy’s ownership, Promise struck a barge on Chesapeake Bay and sank. She was salvaged, but Morgan has never visited her. “Would you like to see the woman you first made love to 40 years and 200 midshipmen later?” he asks.

In the last 21 years, his time has only partially involved conventional work. He owned and either sold or gave away two newspapers. He bought The Maine Times, an alternative newspaper born in the foment of the Vietnam War, before the voyage. “I virtually gave it to the editorial staff 12 or 13 years later,” he says. “It died. Its time had passed.” Morgan also owned the Casco Bay Weekly, another alternative paper, from 1995 until 2000. But he was an absentee landlord. “At one point, I thought, Wouldn’t it be great spending the rest of my life running a weekly newspaper?” he says. But it turned out that wasn’t really what he wanted.

Now Morgan owns part of VXI Corp., a voice and data products manufacturer that he co-founded in Southern New Hampshire. He has served as its board chairman. “I spend my time and effort now with product planning, strategic planning and marketing matters,” he says.

He’s also in various stages of writing three manuscripts. One, “A Streetfighter’s Guide to Business,” has a publisher. There is another examining the nature of solitude, though he hasn’t really gotten that moving. The third is an update of his 1989 book about the circumnavigation, “The Voyage of American Promise.” In general terms, he says he is trying to “focus on family and those friends that are close to me and planning to grow old in an interesting manner and die in an interesting way.”

All of this he does from his home perched on the high ground of Snow Island. Like Promise, this home resulted from a set of guidelines Morgan presented to the architect and builder. It has a steel frame, similar to post-and-beam construction. The exterior comprises panels a foot thick, insulated against Maine winters and hung outside the frame. Inside, the half of the house facing the nearest water is open to the roof. Walls of windows let the light — filtered through evergreens — into the dining area and living room, where the grand piano awaits his impulse to play.

Sailing up Quahog Bay, you don’t see the house, hidden in the spruce trees of the island. You see a summer cottage near the tip of a craggy peninsula, the backdrop a collection of moored vessels. The smallest is a daysailer, followed by Alice P. Hoyt, a traditional, white one-lung power launch with a finely curved coaming around the cockpit. Then there’s Eagle, a 91-year-old 30-foot Murray Peterson schooner with a black hull. “I sail her to show off,” Morgan states. Wingnut is the Down East powerboat with which Morgan commutes to shore. Wings of Time is a Ted Hood-designed Little Harbor 52 that Morgan bought new in 1996 and that he inevitably sails to the West Indies in late autumn and back in May. Originally, he made many of the trips single-handed. Now, he is accompanied by the Body Bag Crew, so-named because of the advanced ages of some members.

“The trips … are very relaxing,” says Merle Hallet, owner of Handy Boatyard in Maine. Hallet calls Morgan his “best friend.”

“We stand one-man watches, four on in the day and three at night,” he says. “We eat well, and we read well, and it’s a great unwinding situation. You don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to.”

“Dodge doesn’t like cooking,” says Tony Siese, a Bermudian who first encountered Morgan when, as a ham radio operator, he relayed messages to American Promise during the circumnavigation. Now, Siese says, “I consider that I am one of his close friends.”

On board Wings of Time, Siese says, “Give him a peanut butter sandwich … and he’s happy. When I go on board, I quite enjoy cooking. We’ve had all sorts of things. What I tend to do now is to cook this stuff ahead of time and freeze it. Spaghetti Bolognaise one night and a lamb stew.”

John Mitchell’s father, Mike, was an original member of the Body Bag Crew. His father died, and now John is invited aboard Wings. “The last trip I did with him, I was scattering my father’s ashes as we went along,” he says.

“Dodge, as much of a high-tech guy as he is, he’s more at home with cleats and ropes,” says Mitchell. “His basic seamanship is outstanding. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t say much at sea. If things are going bad, he doesn’t raise his voice. He’ll be staring at the waves for hours. When he talks to people, he likes to talk one-on-one … about a specific topic.” He says Morgan is “fascinated” by the concept of time. “He’ll lose track of what day it is. He doesn’t wear a watch. At sea he just goes with the rhythm of the watch system and the rise and fall of the sun.”

Mitchell says Morgan is the “kind of guy, when you get to a place, he has a hole in the back of his pants. He doesn’t want to talk about his trip around the world. He wants to talk about the kind of snow tires you have on your car,” he says.

Perhaps this is a good place to introduce Morgan’s everyday vocabulary. Don Friend, who oversaw the construction of the Snow Island house and who now spends some time most days on the island with Morgan, will help with a story. Morgan was invited to speak to the Joshua Slocum Society, recalls Friend, who was in attendance. It was an “elderly” audience says Friend, who is 70. “They were all dressed up,” he says. You will probably never meet anyone quicker to use the F-word, and this occasion wasn’t out of character. In the course of his talk, Morgan used the -ing form. The ladies in the audience blanched, Friend remembers. Morgan waited a couple of beats and, says Friend, added, “That’s not a four-letter word.” Slowly, the ladies almost smiled.

“Some people are upset with it [my language,] but then I can use it and get away with it [when] other people can’t,” says Morgan, who notes that “it’s not something to be proud of.”

Morgan has his own measure for profanity. “I think racing sailing is wonderful, but it sure can be carried too far,” he says. “I think obscene is the macho, arrogant racing sailor who will do anything to win. I think anybody that speaks loudly or yells on a sailboat is obscene.”

Morgan belongs to the Storm Trysail Club but has never attended a meeting. “I can’t see any advantage to belonging to a yacht club,” he says. “It’s a social institution, and I’m not really into social institutions.”

The exception would be a social institution of his own making. On the first weekend of August last summer, about 100 friends and loved ones descended on Snow Island for the annual Bang and Go Back. All wanted to be with Dodge, and Dodge was obviously thrilled to welcome them. Some arrived on their own boats; others were picked up on Wingnut. At a given time, they assembled on the water near the island. There were sailboats, kayaks, canoes and even one couple in a blue bathtub. A cannon fired, and everyone headed south. After a while the cannon fired again, the signal for everyone to go back to the starting line, where the “race” ended.

“It’s an excuse for people to get together and eat lobster and get on their boats,” says Manny Morgan, who was there, as were daughter and son Kimberly and Hoyt. Lael Morgan was there, too. “They have to get on a boat, whether it’s a barge or a rubber boat or a canoe or a kayak.” At the end, Morgan awards prizes: first to finish, best finish, a race well-sailed, multigeneration boat, and the Nitwit Cup, which could be won by a capsize. Last year, no one flipped, so the prize went to a funny guy who Morgan knew would make a joke.

“[Morgan] enjoys having people around for the parties we have on the island. But he also likes to be alone,” says Don Friend, his helper on Snow Island.

Solitude and the sea are, for Morgan, security. “I feel very safe and unencumbered when I’m [alone] offshore,” he says.