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The Upside of Turbulence by Donald Sull

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2.

TIME, TIMING, AND LUCK

The Mardi Gras set forth on her maiden voyage on a Saturday in March 1972 with five hundred passengers aboard, including three hundred travel agents who received a free cruise to experience the newly founded Carnival Cruise Lines firsthand.1 As the pilot navigated the shallow channel out of Miami Harbor, the ship’s stern ran aground on a sandbar at the edge of Government Cut, within sight of the tip of Miami Beach. For most of the people involved, the grounding was a harmless bit of fun. During the twenty-four hours the Mardi Gras was stranded, tourists rubbernecked from the beach, while passengers bellied up to the open bar, many quaffing a Mardi Gras on the Rocks, a drink improvised on the spot by a creative bartender. ...

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