down Matawan Creek while wondering
how a shark ever made it that far. Kim put
limits on our journeys, but we always went
a bit farther. She was just being careful.
She liked the boat only when she was sure
she could swim to shore.
Life is a circle
One summer night that changed.
Suddenly, there was this new person on
the boat list. We were cruising across
Raritan Bay and a tugboat came up on our
port. My wife looked up at the tower and
waved at the captain. Then she looked at
me and said, “You should be doing that.
You should get your captain’s license.”
It was a eureka moment for me. That
October, I enrolled in captain school, did
well, and earned my OUPV and Master
licenses with a towing endorsement.
These days, I no longer build engines
or flip boats, but I do have a nice shop
setup in my garage with everything I
could want to work on my boat. I also
own Captain Jack’s Boating School,
which teaches the New Jersey/New York
Boating Safety Certificate Course in 13
locations. The school also offers captain’s-
license classes and Red Cross First Aid,
CPR, and AED training at multiple loca-
the tri-state area.
As I sit here looking out the window
at my little cabin cruiser all wrapped up
and covered in snow in the backyard, I
think back on my unlikely boating life.
I think how often I tried to move into
more “serious” professions over the years,
but boating always drew me back. Then I
think of all boating has given me – most
important, a closeness with my family
that I never would have had otherwise.
My plotted course certainly hasn’t been
straight, but it’s been scenic. I realize,
finally, that I am living my dream after
all. Coincidentally, I discovered it where it
has always been – right under my boat.
Far left: Bass fishing
at Round Valley
Reservoir. Left: “No,
really. We’re having
fun and like the
Jake and Kayla, the
fourth generation of