Stories | Add a story

Memories of Sesekinika

by: Don Sampson

I probably first visited Sesekinika around 1946, at age 7, shortly after I was adopted and brought to Kirkland Lake by Bill and Bessie Sampson, my adoptive parents.


Our family had a cottage (OSOKOZIE) (Oh, so cosy!) on Island A-1, across from the (then) Crippled Children's Camp, and a 16' Cedar strip boat powered by a noisy, silver-coloured 9.8 hp Johnson outboard with an "external", tubular gas tank hanging off the back of it, along with a separate "pull-cord" for starting. This was the motorboat I first learned to drive. Dad, (Bill Sampson), had a 3 horsepower inboard "putt-putt" that was pointed at both ends and steered by ropes running through pulleys to the rudder at the "back". It had a top speed equaled by its cruising speed, of approximately 3.5 miles per hour! He and Oliver Blais (and another gentleman I can't remember), used to rendezvous regularly and tour the lake "in formation" in their regal crafts.


One summer, I built a tiny "raft" that would hold only one person, lying down, so I followed our toy sailboat out behind a nice breeze on a sunny day. I fell asleep on it and when I woke up, I could hardly move, burnt to a crisp, all covered in water blisters on my back and legs...didn't sleep for nearly three days! (Never tried that again, either!)


I eventually got (courtesy of my wonderful Dad), a 10' Paceship Plycraft (moulded plywood), open-cockpit boat with no decks and a 10 horsepower Johnson motor, complete with brass "speed" prop. I painted shark's teeth on the front and called it "Shark". It would do 26 mph and could actually pull up 3 water-skiers at once! I built my first "surfboard" out of "ship-lap" wood (a flat board attached to the tow-boat by a rope, and a rope "handhold" attached to the board), and my friends and I were probably the first to ever "surfboard", or perhaps even to water ski on Lake Sesekinika. How many hours we roared around the lake, creating "walls" of water everywhere we went!


Shark won almost every race it entered in the Sesekinika "regattas", which were held every year on the lake.


Later, I had another Plycraft boat, called a Mahone, with a beautiful front deck and a split centre deck, with a 35 hp Johnson motor that would go 36 miles per hour, which did even more water-skiing and racing. It too, rarely, if ever, lost a race. It was called Shark II.


I'll never forget the time that another Sesekinika "speed-demon", wild Bill Wiggins, drove his big Paceship 14-footer with a 25 hp Johnson on it, right over the back of my little "Shark" at the start of a regatta race, while "jockeying for position"...! think it was Shark I with the 10-horse motor, and, if I recall, I still won that race!


Our family spent many, many, wonderful weekends and holidays at OSOKOZIE, until approximately the early eighties, when I sold it and moved to Crystal Lake, where I now reside permanently.


  Powered by BrickHost