It was a year ago. I signed the contract and finally owned part one of my dream – an elegantly shaped blue hull Sabre 38”.

The boat was in Hilton Head. Hurricane Isabel was coming. Because of a misunderstanding with the insurance company, they told me I was not insured when Isabel was going up the east coast. It was their mistake.

We made it to Annapolis and the boat was safe. As we were heading north on the Intracoastal Waterway, I kept repeating to myself that the boat was going to be a long-term love affair. Don’t get too excited, I kept saying. The number of systems that need maintenance overwhelms the first-time owner. I am lucky to keep the boat in a well run boat yard with superb service in all aspects of boat maintenance. Luke, the manager, runs a tight ship and offers great technical advice.

I go to Annapolis for a few days after I finish publishing each report. I take it easy, as I promised myself. I am slowly becoming acquainted with all the systems and the sailing capabilities of the boat.

Driving to Annapolis is also therapeutic for me. I start thinking about many things. I like driving and if you know I70/I76 you realize it is a challenge -- truck traffic, work in progress, and narrow lanes, up and down an old and busy turnpike. Certainly not like I95 from Baltimore to Rhode Island, which is a permanent parking lot.

How much money is being wasted maintaining the turnpikes. Toll fees have increased by 50%. Gas is up to $2 per gallon. And all those trucks. Very dangerous. By keeping gas prices at ridiculously low levels, we are subsidizing the transportation (Detroit) and airline industry. It just does not make any sense. Then we complain about the energy crisis.

This happens at a time when the world is going to high speed trains. The problem with this solution is that it would make the airline and car industries obsolete for distances of less than 600 miles. This is the reason we keep saying that trains have to make it on their own merit and the market has the final say. Nonsense. What about all the money we spend on turnpikes?

(This Observations appeared in the 9/20/04 issue of The Peter Dag Portfolio ).

George Dagnino, PhD Editor,
The Peter Dag Portfolio.
Since 1977
2009 Market Timer of the Year by Timer Digest
Portfolio manager

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