Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

20/35 Year Lookback

 

December 8, 2022

Photo courtesy of the Slaights.

Al and Jean Slaight on Leyte Island in 1982. The site marks MacArthur's famous return to the Philippines during World War II.

20/35 Year Look Back

In celebration of 36 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website seeleylake.com for you to enjoy.

35 years ago...

Voyage of the Rigil Kent

by Dick Potter

Joseph Conrad, the great 19th century author of seafaring tales, would have been enchanted by Al and Jean Slaight. The Slaights, who moved to Seeley Lake last spring, share many of the attributes of Conrad's most memorable characters - love of the sea, a thirst for adventure and a readiness to turn mere dreams into reality. Before moving here, Al and Jean spent the previous seven years sailing 'round the world in their 46-foot ketch, the Rigil Kent.

The story begins in 1972. Al was a prominent lawyer in Southern California who, with Jean, had a penchant for weekend sailing. As Al says, "We thought we really knew our stuff."

Heady with romantic visions of sailing the South Seas, Al quit his job and bought a 40-foot ketch. The next couple of years were spent cruising in the Pacific, on what turned out to be the training exercise for their around-the world odyssey.

One their very first days on the high seas, Al recalls the chilling moment when, some 40 miles offshore from California, the boat started taking on water - and he realized there was no Coast Guard available. Later that night, they sailed through a pod of whales, wondering whether they might be rammed and sunk. Thus, the "weekend sailors" began their initiation into deep-sea cruising.

Eventually, Al's old firm enticed him back and from 1974 through 1979, he continued to practice law. The lure of the sea proved too strong, thought, and Al and Jean set forth in the Rigil Kent in February of 1979. Their sole companion was "Earl," their intrepid Labrador retriever. They had no agenda and no itinerary but they were the sole masters of their craft and their destiny.

Adventure in the Pacific

The first few years were spent in the Pacific: Samoa, Fiji, the Philippines, Indonesia, Tahiti and other exotic ports of call. Tahiti was a particular favorite. According to the Slaights, the Polynesians are the "most fabulous people in the world - unbelievably hospitable and generous." Until recently, it was against the law for a native to run a store in Tahiti; Tahitians have a tendency to literally give away the store....

To read the rest of this article and more from this issue, visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/1987-12-03.pdf

20 years ago...

Effort underway to raise over $25,000 to match grant for sewer study

by Mary Ann Morin

The Sewer District received $6,550 in cash and pledges to start the ball rolling on a fundraising effort to pay for a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER).

The amount was gathered at a meeting attended by more than 30 local businessmen on Nov. 20.

The group gathered at the Senior Citizen's Center to listen to Roger Johnson and Larry Marx explain the need to fund the PER being proposed by the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board.

The Board had originally planned to request citizens residing within the district to raise the funds needed to qualify for matching grants from various sources. The amount of be raised by residents would be approximately $25,000.

Johnson said the Sewer District, established in 1992, is very small and residents residing within the district should not have to bear the sole expense of the study with would examine water quality in the valley.

"Residents of Seeley Lake want to maintain good water quality," Johnson said. "We should all share in the costs of the study because it benefits all of us even if we don't live within the sewer boundaries."

To read the rest of this article and more from this issue, visit https://www.seeleylake.com/home/customer_files/article_documents/2002-11-28.pdf

 

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