Thursday, July 14, 2011

The 1st Memorial Fishing Trip

As many of my regular readers are aware, today is the first anniversary of the death of my father. While it is a sad milestone, it is also one that I feel I need to remember in a special way. My father lived a life of no regrets- he was a consummate adventurer with a passion for machinery, motorcycles and the sea. In fact, I've often credited my own substantial wanderlust to his DNA as well as general fondness for things that generate torque and recoil. Undeterred by what others saw as limitation- my father pursued all sorts of things- never with the reckless abandon that marks the irresponsible man but rather a calculated risk taking meant to broaden his horizon and yield more experience from this life. I could tell all kinds of things about him- race cars, motorcycles, private pilot, mechanical genius, travels abroad, but this story is about the sea.

As a young man frustrated by college studies he signed up for the Navy, left the hills of East Tennessee and headed out to sea. Some of my favorite photographs of my father are from his Navy days- many years before I was born. They show a much younger man- exploring new places, showing off a new tattoo, fishing from the aft end of a Naval destroyer, swimming in the deep water while anchored in the middle of the Atlantic. His Navy days were something of a carefree life-  full of adventure, a BSA 650 Lightning motorcycle, Mediterrean ports and my Mom if the picture albums do an adequate job of storytelling.

As a child, family vacations  frequently took place near the ocean- Virginia Beach, Kure' Beach, Hilton Head, Destin, Hawaii, Puerto Valerta. If a vacation didn't involve the sea as far as my Dad was concerned- it was a waste of time. He frequently took deep sea fishing trips with coworkers and later as a company owner sponsored many fishing charters for his employees despite being located hours from the ocean. I also remember one rather humorous adventure that nearly involved my family relocating to Florida- I was only spared that horror by unusually low local wages and a monstrous hurricane that had my Mom packed in the car with my sister and I and a statement that it was leaving in five minutes whether he was in it or not!

So to honor my Dad's love of the sea and adventure, I've decided that on the anniversary of his passing I would mark the occasion by travelling to Valdez, where several companions and I have arranged to pursue some of the most exciting big game fishing Alaska has to offer- the Salmon Shark. By the time this is posted, we will have boarded the Swifty and will be venturing out into Prince William Sound after these wonderful creatures. I think my father would approve.

Photo from Wikipedia Commons

Wish us luck- story and photos to (hopefully) follow!


Unknown said...

Good luck and I look forward to the next post!!

hodgeman said...

Back from the trip...posting coming soon when I get some much needed sleep!