Our visit to Doug Jackson and SV Seeker in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The boat the Internet built — that’s the slogan emblazoned atop the website we’ve visited the past few months watching Doug Jackson’s progress as he continues to build SV Seeker, a 74-foot steel origami hull, junk rigged, cargo, motorsailer in his front yard.

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Doug has come to the conclusion that the best way to realize his dream is to share it with everyone around the world. Readers from across the globe comment with their ideas and expertise, and Doug is willing to house and feed anyone who wants to make the trek to Tulsa, Oklahoma to work on Seeker.

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As we made our way back to Houston on a cold, rainy Sunday after spending a week visiting family, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a small detour to meet Doug and actually see SV Seeker for ourselves.

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When we arrived we met Dave Fickle from Arizona who had spent the week of Thanksgiving helping Doug with wiring the ROV and welding the propeller shroud. He began welding cable guides onto the rudder quadrant while Doug took a break to give Mary and myself the grand tour.

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After a very busy summer the pilot house and hull are mostly constructed and some of the hatches are in place.

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The cabin is also beginning to take shape as Doug continues to leak-test his keels and tanks.

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The pile of portals is growing. If you look back at the hull photos, you can see that Doug has drawn in their future locations.

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The water-tight doors to be installed in Seeker’s cabin are also a sight to behold.

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We even got to check out Doug’s dinghy design, complete with seasonal elf captain.

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The tour was great, but no trip to visit SV Seeker would be complete without doing some work. Mary took an interest in the welding.

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Doug was kind enough to explain to her how the welder worked and gave her a quick lesson.

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And suddenly, Mary, who had never welded before, was attaching a cable guide to the rudder quadrant.

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And it turns out, her welding isn’t too bad!

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Doug said he estimates at least two more years of work before Seeker is ready to hit the water, and you’re probably wondering, how will Seeker get to the water.

Tulsa is actually an inland port city, and just 15 miles away from where Seeker sits is a shipyard on the Arkansas River where she’ll eventually be launched. Then it’s just a matter of making her way through the Oklahoma lock and dam system until eventually she’ll hit the Mississippi River and then the Gulf of Mexico.

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We could have stayed all day, but with dogs sitting in the car and another eight hours of driving to do, we had to say goodbye and get back on the road.

Special thanks to Doug for his incredible hospitality. We hope to see you again on the water.

Make sure to visit Doug’s site at www.svseeker.com. There’s also an SV Seeker Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/svseeker/?fref=ts

 

Summer Garden Update: Our first squash!

Our summer garden is starting to produce now. By the time we get back from Puerto Rico everything should be in full swing.

Our first (and biggest) harvest was this Tatume Squash and one sweet pepper.

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However, I don’t remember planting any Tatume Squash. The seed packet was marked “Yellow Summer Squash,” with a picture of the small yellow squash that you normally see in the grocery store.

You can imagine my surprise when the vines grew to the size of pumpkin vines and took over the entire yard.

I spent many evenings cutting squash bores out of them, and I was worried we might lose them altogether, but they have survived.

Then this giant watermelon looking monstrosity of a squash showed up on the vine. Anyway it tastes very good, like zucchini, and just one makes several meals.

My tomato plants were slow starters but are now doing well. The peppers are at about at the same stage — lots of green, no red yet.

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The grapes are continuing to hang on the vine, taunting us as we wait on them to ripen. Thankfully we have this little lizard working to keep the bugs off of them.

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I’m growing more greens, fruits and vegetables than I thought possible in just two small raised beds in the backyard of my suburban home. If you’ve got soil and sunlight, you can do it too.