Of the last group, he says, “And by the way, they’re the scientists who, right now, have a rover that they made travel to Mars, land safely on Mars, and are now driving it around on the surface of Mars. Do you think these are scientists who might know what they’re talking about?”
Near the end of the speech he points out toward the ocean. “The Ocean Mist hangs at the edge of existence depending on these storms and that sea level rise,” he says. “So there is no one more on this fault line and on this battle line than Kevin.”
He’s talking about Kevin Finnegan, the man with flowing gray hair wearing flip flops, khaki shorts, and a Stewart Surfboards T-shirt who is also standing onstage.
Finnegan is the kind of guy who says “no worries” during conversation, but the precarious perch of his business would suggest that, yes, there are worries. Before the speeches, he ushered me out to the bar’s waterfront deck, where the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below drowned out the music.
Fifteen years ago, he said, there was a beach beyond the deck with room for a volleyball court. Now it’s just waves.
Still, he’s optimistic. “We’ve been here 25 years. I think we’ll be here another 25 years,” he says.
A moment later he tweaks that message. “I mean, Holland’s been underwater for 100 years. So I’m sure Matunuck . . . can do it.”