Carl Oreskovich and his wife, Merrilee Lindaman, live a true farm-to-table, forest-to-table and lake-to-table lifestyle — the latter with the help of their Boston Whaler 170 Dauntless. “We are serious fresh foodies,” Carl says. “And part of having a boat is the ability to get fresh fish.”
The couple lives on a small farm in Spokane, Washington, where they enjoy planting and harvesting a large garden. The fruits of their labor ﬁnd their way into home-cooked meals and into dishes oﬀered at Merrilee’s restaurant, Lindaman’s. Both Carl and Merrilee also enjoy hunting in the surrounding forests, and they have quick access to a variety of rivers and lakes in the region to satisfy their appetites for ﬁsh and on-water adventure.
“We trailer it,” Carl says of the Dauntless. “I like to take it all over the place.” They ply Lake Roosevelt for trout and walleye, and the Columbia River for salmon. “I grew up in Montana and was a trout ﬁsherman,” Carl explains, “and then I discovered I had a love of ﬁshing and a love of boats, and they just went hand-in-hand.”
Carl bought his ﬁrst Whaler, a 13-footer, after a friend took him out on one. “I thought it was a neat little boat,” he says. “I bought one and then got two-foot-itis.” He was familiar with the brand and its status as the “Unsinkable Legend,” and he wanted something that could handle a variety of conditions, since he and Merrilee like to head up wild river channels and across large lakes like Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene.
“Everyone knows the Boston Whaler name,” Carl says, and since that ﬁrst boat proved its mettle, he didn’t hesitate to trade up for the 170 Dauntless — practically on a whim. “I took the small boat in to have a ﬁsh ﬁnder put on it, and I came out with the bigger boat,” he says with a laugh.
Once again, he’s satisﬁed with the purchase because the boat and its quiet, reliable 90-hp Mercury® FourStroke engine increase his confidence, no matter the journey. “I feel really safe in this boat — just the way it feels,” he explains. “I’ve been in lots of other boats duck hunting in the early mornings, wondering if I’m going to make it back! The Whaler feels like it can handle anything. Plus it has beautiful lines.”
He bought the 170 Dauntless from Trudeau’s Marine in Spokane. “They are really a remarkable dealership,” he raves. “It was an easy transaction. They never pressured me, and they were pleasant and accommodating. Plus, they are really proud of their Boston Whalers.”
Carl admits that he’d better stay out of Trudeau’s showroom for a while, or else he might ﬁnd himself coveting another trade-up. “I’ve been thinking of getting a bigger boat since the day I bought this one,” he says with a chuckle. “I was actually looking at a 21-foot Whaler recently, another Dauntless.”
Carl favors the Dauntless family’s versatility and wide-open layout. “Tach loves it,” he says of one of the couple’s Labrador retrievers. Before owning their first Whaler, Carl and Merrilee had a larger boat of a diﬀerent brand with a cabin, but as day-trippers they found the below space unnecessary. They prefer being in the open air, where they can see and experience nature fully, and they like the compact size of the Whaler for its go-anywhere ability.
One of the couple’s favorite journeys involves taking the 170 Dauntless up the St. Joe, a tributary of Lake Coeur d’Alene. “I feel like a character in a novel,” Carl says. “There is a lumber mill on the river and there are wild rice fields, and so it’s a journey through a lot of different spaces and activities.”
They enjoy the mix of traveling through areas of complete wilderness — where they might see black bear, deer or moose — and then heading into communities like St. Maries, a quaint logging town.
Part of any boating adventure for Carl and Merrilee is anchoring out and having a nice meal along with some wine. Often they catch fish and grill it right onboard, pairing it with a side dish they’ve pre-made and brought along. “We both love cooking,” Carl says. “We try to take all the things we harvest and make good dishes out of them.”
Every summer, Merrilee grows at least a hundred heirloom tomato plants and harvests the tomatoes for use at her restaurant, which she’s had for more than three decades. Lindaman’s strives to use locally sourced and sustainable ingredients and serves made-from-scratch gourmet dine-in and carry-out meals.
Carl has a taste for game meat, so when he’s not out on the Whaler, he’s often on the hunt for whatever’s in season — deer, quail, duck, geese and more. In the late fall and early winter, he heads to the high mountains to seek out elk. “Elk are rugged, cunning animals,” he says, “so everything about it is a challenge. Getting there is a challenge.”
Merrilee has gotten into the sport, as well, and enjoys the hiking and tracking aspects of it, so it’s another adventure they get to enjoy together. “It’s just fun and it’s exciting,” Carl says. “You see all kinds of things that you wouldn’t see just sitting in your house.”
While he prefers the lakes, rivers, forests, garden and the kitchen, Carl is also at home in the courtroom as a criminal defense attorney. The Boston Whaler helps balance the work-play scale. “There’s something about a boat that is liberating, from the very moment you put it on the water,” he says. “It’s exciting to get up on plane and glide down the lake, and there’s always something new to see.”
And, of course, to catch and eat.