Water Lessons is the tale of Jim Scoresby, who survives Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on his grandfather’s rooftop in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans, and then relocates to New England.
From New Hampshire, to Boston’s historic neighborhoods, to Maine and Cape Cod, Jim must find himself. One afternoon, Jim meets charismatic retired Navy Commodore Walter Henretty, who soon becomes his mentor and friend. Jim soon falls in love with Walter’s daughter Maureen. He becomes a top-performing investments broker in Walter’s firm. Soon the old man enlists Jim, who is not accustomed to completing tasks, in two missions. First, he must restore a historic tri-masted Herreshoff schooner, managing a team of Cape Cod boat mechanics.
Secondly, Jim must mentor a group of struggling African-American and Irish-American youths (among them a Katrina refugee) and teach them sailing and teamwork. All along, Walter imparts valuable lessons. Jim throws himself into New England life, while learning the significance of his New Orleans heritage and identity.
On one fateful morning, Jim is unexpectedly confronted with the second great catastrophe of his life, and his courage, intelligence, and leadership skills are subjected to the ultimate test.