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Year after Year, the Pain is Still Worth the Gain by Dick Cooper I was crouched under the stern of my boat, scraping remnants of last year’s barnacles from the propeller, when the thought first crossed my mind. This is the 40th spring in a row that I have mucked about under boats getting them ready for sailing season. Actually, the thought came when I stood in an attempt to straighten the ache out of my back. That thought was quickly followed by the realization that the aches take much longer to pass than they used to when I was 28 and my boat was only 16 feet long. Spring boat work is a labor of love I look forward to all winter. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you pull off the last piece of masking tape and your vessel looks bright and crisp, and ready to sail around the world; or, in my case, across the Chesapeake Bay and back. It is a sure sign that another season on the water is beginning. Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories of summer vacations include being near, in and on water. My home state of Michigan is surrounded by and filled with lakes, from the ocean-like Great Lakes

The prop is now all nice and shiny. to inland ponds. In places where lakes did not exist, early developers dammed up rivers and created them so they could surround them with cottages for sale or rent. And where there is water, there are boats. Our first family outings on the water were in 12-foot rowboats that came w ith the lakeside cottages that my parents and grandparents 33

June 2015 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2015

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