Our heroine, Penny McKenna, explains her unusual career path.

"I inherited my father’s fiery temper and my mother’s bat-like hearing. I swear she could hear me opening a candy wrapper a mile away. My freckles and red hair came from Nana, as well as her calm ability to listen and observe without being noticed. That got me into trouble more than once as a kid - but hey, if you don’t eavesdrop you don’t learn the best stuff.

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Sailing and writing - what more is there to life?

Although I've always loved the water, I didn't learn how to sail until I was an adult. When we moved to Rhode Island my husband insisted we needed a sailboat, as if it were a requirement to live here.  (I don’t get the logic either, but there you have it.) We started with a J-22 named Equilibrium,and I found that on board I did find a sense of balance and escape from the rat race as we zipped across Narragansett Bay. I was hooked.

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