The morning frost covered all it surveyed as the first rays of sunshine reached out from the horizon to take their place in the sky. The mission today was one of adventure and to accomplish that mission I had 3 boats in the quiver to choose from.
The MK3 Grand Raid was a nice pick but a bit bigger than I wanted and it was on a trailer with a 60hp hanging off the back. This mission required me to have a roll up, the hitch was being used for the off road trailer already.
The Bombard Commando C4 would have been perfect but it too was rigged and on a trailer with a big 40hp hanging on it. Rigging that boat by myself would have been too difficult and I only had a few days of boating to contend with.
I was feeling defeated as the warming glow started to eat the countryside. It was at the very moment of despair I remembered I had the Zodiac MK2 Heritage in a corner of the shop. Success!
I originally bought the Zodiac MK2 Heritage to have a nicer looking deluxe boat for running about with my partner and pulling some tubes or a skier once in awhile. While the boat had the dash and seats etc. without them it was about perfect for a tiller handle mission.
Me grabbing a long shaft Yamaha F25 off the rack meant I was portable again and was able to use my existing launch wheels from the Commando. (bonus points) I was still going to use my little MK2 Heritage as a date boat with seats, stereo, and a steering wheel but today I was going to test it’s mettle.
“Why hadn’t someone thought of this setup before?” I wondered as I loaded the boat and motor into the off road camping trailer. You literally get the best of both worlds and for less money too.
Bouncing along the trail to the “secret spot” gave me some time to consider my choice and purchase. It was right about noon when I came upon one of my mates stuck in the mud with a tin boat in tow. After some judicious use of muscle and mechanics we were both on our way again to meet the third member of the party. He didn’t bring his boat because it was too big to maneuver thru the lodge pole pine, nor did he bring his trailer. He was going to be lonely, cold and beach bound in his tent as the other boat was really only good for one.
After we claimed our spots and a fire was built to make the day’s meal we set about getting our individual camp sites going. This is the point of the trip where you realize you forgot something. Much to our surprise we learned some new swear words as it was discovered our buddy forgot his tent. He was boat less and tent less and hopping mad to boot. Whiskey was poured and as my mates carried on a conversation of the morning activities and if there was room in the tent for two. I set about building my boat as they chattered like children.
I was kicking air in to the MK2 Heritage as the Sun drew down to a luminous red glow in the trees. Night falls quickly in this area between peaks and so does the temperature. Ten minutes later I joined my mates and informed the more homeless of the two I had room in my trailer for him. Cheers were had all around and stories of legend were told until the wee hours.
Upon sunrise I was greeted to a hot breakfast, coffee, and some scrutiny of my boat. Pushing off the water’s edge my mate commented on how stable the little MK2 heritage was, he is not a small man so this fact was not lost on him. The little Yamaha F25 was barely audible with only the sound of water coming out of the motor at idle. The hunt was on! I couldn’t just leave him to die on the jon boat so it was grudgingly decided that he come with me. Hunting and fishing was always a solo thing for me but he’s a good sort and handy on a boat so it worked out.
Suffice it to say we were all very successful in our outings with the last day being one of the Zodiac and the Zodiac only. It’s incredible stability proved a boon to all parties and our aged bodies plus the jon boat kept getting stuck in the shallows. It was immensely gratifying to see our pal in the mud and water trying to unstick his boat as we silently cruised by with the Yamaha whispering. He would just glare and mouth words not fit to print here.
It took only a few minutes for me to strike camp, the trip was over and it was time to leave unless I didn’t want a job anymore. I almost felt guilty as I left to see those two old coots struggling with that little jon boat and trailer in my mirror. Next year will be different, next year I’ll be bringing the Mrs. and Zodiac MK2 Heritage for round two and likely so will my friends. I only hope they are smart as I was lucky when they decide on which boat and motor combo to get.
Putting game and fish into the Zodiac MK2 Heritage was so easy it felt like an unfair advantage compared to my friend’s boat. Had I known the Zodiac MK2 Heritage crossed the boundary between hardcore and upper crust luxury earlier I might have a few less boats in the barn. Thanks again IBC for making the most of my time off, the stories will live forever as legend thanks to the Zodiac MK2 Heritage.