Being an adventurer is in your state of mind which is not bound by .. age .. performance .. or your place in the pack.
No words can be more true .. about my dear departed friend ..”The Seago Slat Floor”
I cant be certain on the age of the Seago.. my father bought her many years ago for a tender to access his yacht. The yacht and my father have long gone. My father left it to me in his will. My brothers agree with me .. it must be around 16 years ago ..when he bought it.
It was the cheapest of SIBs back in those days. Like many today.. cynics cried “ Cheap Chinese junk .. wont last a year .. so dont touch it with a barge pole” its pecking order in the SIB pack is the lowest of the low.
Its performance is poor..and I agree to some extent.. I could never get it on the plane..but slat floors are not designed to plane.. so perhaps I’m being unfair complaining about top speed.
She came into my possession nine years ago ..and I am ashamed to say ..I was hard on her. I dragged her sorry ass up and down a hundred barnacle covered beached. I seldom washed her..and she certainly had no UV polish protectant from me. My father was as bad.. she was left outside in the elements .. year on end ..turned upside down.. no cover .. and yet she never complained. She faithfully carried us safely across all the waters we asked.
A keen photographer.. she took me to places few others of her size saw .
My own sense of adventure ..pushed her to the limits and I had a few open sea crossings ... example on the Sound of Jura ..where many larger SIBs fear to go.
She carried me through the mighty Dorus Mor tide race into Loch Craignish. The 2.5hp engine had to go with the flow as two opposing eddy lines rubbed at her sides.. creating swirling vortex ..that drew air down several feet .. yet still the Seago kept me safe.
She floated me .. as if in a dream..around the Fairy Islands of Loch Sween
And bounced me round the Summer Isles on a fresh spring day
She has been in almost every sea loch between the dark peat coloured waters of Loch Laxford in the far north .. to the blue seas of the Solway firth in the south
And that is only touching on a few of the many adventures we had together.
Sadly..her last ever adventure was a week ago .. at Arisaig ..surrounded by the kayaks that we so often shared days with.
She didn't know it.. but I decide to retire her during that trip... old age was getting the better of her. Half way across a three mile stretch of open water.. I heard her gasp for breath.. as her starboard tube began to deflate.
It wasn’t glue failure ..chinese glue lasts forever. It was one of her many old barnacle scars .. just gave with no warning. Sadly.. I knew then..it was time to say goodbye...yet she still got me home safely. I gave her tube the kiss of life with the hand pump..as we slid silently across the Sound of Arisaig.
Today.. I confess ..I felt like a cold blooded traitor ..as I slashed her aging skin with a Stanley knife. I wanted to save parts of her for other projects. Pull as I might.. and with all my might.. her cheap Chinese glue would not give up on her vital organs. I had to cut them out. Her transom seal was as sound and as solid as the day she was glued..sixteen years ago
Sadly..its not a fitting end to such a fine friend...
Who taught me the valuable lesson that .. Those who say cheap Chinese SIBs are a waste of money .. know little about true adventures...but then ..how could they..they never knew the Seago Slat Floor
R.I.P Seago ..my old friend