The Merits of Madness
It always seems that a storm rolls into Annapolis, Md., just in time for the United States Sailboat Show. Held in October, the annual exhibition is the nation’s biggest sailboat-only show. Until this year, my favorite show was in 2006, when a 40-knot gale whipped into town, and the floating docks rolled like a Nantucket whaler with her decks awash. With the wind and spray lashing the show tents, boat buyers defiantly carried on, one hand groping for a lifeline, the other grasping the checkbook. This year’s storm was of a different sort. There’s something eerily soothing about a large crowd of people ogling new boats while the world markets go into a death spiral. During the show’s opening day, five televisions in the waterfront bar Pusser’s Landing tracked the Dow’s precipitous plunge. In one fell swoop, my boys’ college fund and any hope of retiring before I’m deaf as a post were carried off in an avalanche of debt. To my surprise, the people around me seemed preoccupied with only boats.