I never thought I'd leave Manhattan. I had lived there for fifteen years, quite happily, five of them with my house in Long Island, hub of my sporting activities. I'd reached the point where I had seven kayaks in Mastic, three long and four short, three windsurfers, two surf boards, a table tennis table, a mountain bike, two traction kites (of which more later), two skateboards (off-road and on), rollerblades, a discus, a javelin, a pole vaulting pole, a pair of air rifles, several tennis racquets, my original boogie board and assorted accessories. Oh yes, I also owned a nineteen foot power boat, a Monterey, originally intended for water skiing, as well as my Zodiac. In the summers, from May until September, I'd be there, contentedly working at philosophy in the mornings and doing sports in the afternoons (usually with some more work before dinner). I found this routine conducive to intellectual labour and wrote several books in Mastic Beach (The Making of a Philosopher, Mindsight, The Power of Movies, Shakespeare's Philosophy). It was a pretty agreeable life: no complaints (despite the mud and the mosquitoes). But then the summer would come to an end and I'd have to go back to the city and to teaching, with only the odd weekend to prolong my summer routine. Hardly a death sentence, to be sure, but it would be eight months before I could properly resume my athletic life. Those months could feel awfully long, and fiercely cold, and I’d find myself longing for the summer to begin. I did go on ski trips in the winter, but they only lasted a few days and anyway didn’t substitute for my aquatic enthusiasms.