SALLISAW, Okla. (KFOR) – She floats just offshore of Callahan’s Cove on Kerr Lake.
Other than barges that come by here at least once a day, the Seeker is the largest craft on these waters and, definitely, the most interesting.
“We’re in the galley,” smiles Doug on a short tour of his main cabin, “There’s the dining room and there’s the living room over there.”
Doug Jackson is in year 15 of a project he started while working as a computer programmer and IT specialist in Tulsa.
“It’s starting to feel like home,” he says of his small ship. “I wake up in the morning and have my routines. Do this and do that.”
His idea, build an ocean-going research vessel using the Chinese Junk as a general guide.
“We’re about 70 tons right now,” he says. “I’ve got all my ballast, a lot of fuel, and a lot of water onboard.”
His journey gained a lot of attention on social media along the way, but also a lot of help.
Jackson says, “It makes you lean on other people for their help and support.”
Seeker’s motor is an old school bus engine.
The sails are handmade.
The list of things to do never ends.
On this morning Doug is repairing the gangway he bent while learning to maneuver.
He smiles sheepishly, “I hit the dock learning to dock.”
“Dealing with the unexpected is what makes all this rich and rewarding,” said Jackson. “When something breaks and you have to figure out a way to get further down the river.”
All the problems, including being stranded at the Port of Catoosa for six months, he insists were just part of the adventure.
“I’m not that smart, but I am persistent,” he states.
The hold is still a storage unit for all his stuff.
Every day presents new obstacles and solutions, but Seeker is underway, on the water, the floating home and laboratory he thought might just work more than a decade ago.
Jackson says, “It feels fantastic. I wake up and feel the boat moving on the water. It’s nice.”
Sometime, maybe this Fall, she’ll make her way down the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers and out into the Gulf of Mexico, a project and dream come true.
For more information and photos of the Seeker’s journey to the water, visit his Facebook page or his YouTube page.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union