Salter Last Gasp, Hessel Style.

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Salter at the helm of his stunning 25 Sportsman

Thanks to Woody Boaters Alex and Salter Watson for sending in this wonderful father son last gasp from one of our favorite places, Hessel Michigan in one of our favorite boats. Take it away Mr Watson.

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Salter work’n it

My last gasp this year was a happy time. It was a three day weekend — just Salter and I. The first day was a sunny evening boat ride to Cedarville for pizza in Marion E. The second day, a Sunday, was a final cruise in Marion E at a Mayer-esque speed (slow ahead) on glassy calm, moody water. He and I took photos.

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Photo Salter Watson

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Photo Salter Watson

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I’d never seen flat light so beautiful. (There was a potter in Hessel who captured that local light perfectly in his work. He died about 30 years ago and prices for his works have since soared. I think people see the soul he captured in it.)

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The third day, Monday, was where I taught Salty the importance of blowing off school to bask in the magic of a Fall day about 20 degrees above normal.

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I told him taking days like this is important for the soul, and that the goodness lingers. That morning, we spent in the Whaler. He navigated through Chase’s Cut, which is not much wider than Marion E, with rocks on both sides.

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He did it perfectly. We then headed out on the open water. He’s going to be a fine boatsman.

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Salter after a fun three day gasp!

30 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Thanks Alex and Salter for such a wonderful last gasp story.

    We like to call those “Mental Health Days”. In September 2008 when Sam was a junior in high school we were launching Yorktown after 12 years on the hard. Instead of turning into the school parking lot she escorted me to the lake where more of the family joined us for a wonderful day of hooky.

    I have never asked Sam, but I know it is a day I will never forget.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Alex, that was truly a wonderful last gasp. I vote for you and Salter. I hope Matt has a t-shirt in a kid’s size!

  3. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Alex, that was a truly wonderful last gasp. I vote for you and Salter. I hope Matt has a T-shirt in a kid’s size!

  4. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    Salter can drive my boat any day! He learned more that will stay with on that day then he would have at school.

  5. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    and a great photo from Troy as well! Great post these last few rainy Virginia days…uplifting.

    John in Va.

  6. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    That’s just Fabulous!! My folks used to take us out of school for the two weeks of Deer Season. We’d go to U.P. (Upper Peninsula of MI) and we’d do our “Last Gasping” on Townline Lake as my Grandpa would shut down the “Camp” (Cabin) for the winter!

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      I always wondered about that word “camp”. I remember the first time my family was invited to weekend a neighbors “camp” in upstate New York. I went expecting
      to spend the weekend in a brown canvas boy or girl scout tent. What a surprise to find a five bedromoom house.

  7. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    A three day last gasp with Salter & Alex is magical! Bravo for letting him skip school. Certainly the best of all last gasps.

  8. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Alex’s posts are always the best, hands down, because they’re about the soul of this hobby, not the hardware.

  9. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Great photos, Salter! Look out, Texx & Woody Boater will be looking to you to drive the photo boat AND take the photos next year. Treasure these special memories with dad (Alex) as you get older. They are priceless.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Great father & son story today Alex & Salter.

      Salters unique love for the water and boating is always fun to experience first hand when we visit Hessel, and having his own camera will further unleash his curiosity and imagination.

      Al – Maybe next we should try to get Salter up in a helicopter for some premium classic boating photos? Now that’s a fun experience. – Texx

  10. Jim Phelps
    Jim Phelps says:

    Great idea and story Alex. An exceptional captions and pictures from what we read and see now days. Spring can’t come to soon. Salter your the man!

  11. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    The reason Mayer is so slow is because he skipped all those days of school. I’m calling the truant officer, I pay my taxes so little Alex, Jr does not have to chauffeur non-working Americans around in their upper 1% toys in a forsaken wilderness that barely has cable TV. I just hope Jr. Learns his ABC,s while doing his time for the crime. Here comes the school bus, I gotta catch it. Bye.

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      …unless its woodyboating with your grandkid. Those are 3 fabulous days that Salter will remember the rest of his life. Wish I had been given more of those opportunities back in the day.

  12. Jeff Rogers
    Jeff Rogers says:

    Alex – you’ve captured the essence of the hobby: vintage boats, scenic water, time with family, and mentoring the next generation. Well done.

  13. Jeff Rogers
    Jeff Rogers says:

    And speaking of Les Cheneaux, here’s a memory from Government Bay a few summers back – of a grandfather and his grandson, headed toward Scammons Harbor. It doesn’t get any better…

  14. Eric
    Eric says:

    Thanks for the great article and pictures! So many memories and familiar sights!!
    The potter referred to was my uncle. He’s the reason we spend as much time in Hessel and the Les Cheneaux Islands as we can! His love and passion for the area definitely rubbed off on us. Pictured is my brother and I leaving camp in early October; “Chase’s Cut” is in the upper left of the photo.

    • Suzanne Slick
      Suzanne Slick says:

      Gordon Goehring? I remember him and have a couple of beautiful Northwind pieces from our summer visits to Les Cheneaux. I loved hearing him talk about digging the clay nearby to make his art.

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