Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Blast Again

While watching Matt Cain's perfect game with the San Francisco Giants the other night, I wished my Dad was still here to watch it too...he would have eaten it up! I miss him, especially when it comes to our team, the San Francisco Giants.

Last year, my Father's Day Blast said it all:

Father's Day Blast
I'm not a father, I'm still a son, though my Dad's been gone for a few years now.

It's mid morning on Father's Day and I'm just now writing today's blog. On the docket for today are some To-Do List items that totally are Dad-Centric.

I'm still working on Dad's Roses. Fighting Rose Black Spot Fungus, and installing automated irrigation. Dad didn't really grow his green thumb until I was out of the house and making my own way. I always get a chuckle at how soon after I moved out Dad began to eliminate the lawns around the Ancestral Digs. Back when my precious "free time" was spent mowing those lawns, and I wasn't smart enough to suggest that the lawns be downsized. Who knew teenagers didn't know everything?

After lunch I have to call back to the Port of Sonoma Bait Shop for some intel on the new boat ramp we want to launch the FV SturgeUrge from Monday. The San Pablo Bay sturgeon are on the chew, and we'd like to get in on that action. Then I'll put all the pieces together on the extra fuel tank for the FV SturgeUrge. After lunch, I'll watch game three of the Bay Bridge Series with my SF Giants vs the Oakland A's

All these thing I owe to love of fishing and baseball, my handyman talents, green thumbs...all of it. Though our paths through these passions were totally divergent, at the times when I'm lucky enough to indulge these passions, I know it's with my Dad's blessings and nurturing that I'm out there pursuing happiness via these things he gave me.

You know, SturgeUrge and I are a little slow on the uptake this season San Francisco Bay Fishing-wise. When we do get on the Bay to chase the tasty California Halibut, the waters we ply in search of our tasty quarry are the very same waters that my Dad spent many afternoons deck-handing on a commercial salmon fishing boat.

Back in the late 30's Dad would ditch high school after lunch and crew for a salmon long liner on San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. His job was to cut up big sardines for bait, hook the chunks, and feed the baited hooks over the side as the skipper slowly motored north from the Tiburon Peninsula up into San Pablo Bay off China Camp. When the whole mile or so of long line was set, the two of them would eat lunch and then motor back to the beginning of the line and retrieve it with any salmon who fell for their ruse. I guess they made two sets before they called it a day.

Seventy years later Dad's son is out fishing on the same waters, though I've yet to hook a salmon in those waters! Commercial salmon fishing is outlawed inside the Bay now, and has been my whole life. Halibut are still fished commercially by a few die hard trollers on the Bay.

Sport fishing is still alive and well on the Bay thankfully, and every time I'm out there I marvel on how successful our cleanup of the Bay has been. When I was a kid, fishing off the Berkeley Pier with my Dad and SisterSweetly, the Bay was an open sewer...literally...we never kept a fish for the it's called "Catch and Release", back in the day it was "Good Hygiene"

Today after 40+ years of environmentally sound stewardship, San Francisco Bay is a lot more like a Wildlife Reserve than a cesspool. I'm always amazed by the sweet smell and the abundance of life. In the past few years, Harbor Porpoises have been returning to the bay waters in numbers large enough to study.

In his way my Dad helped clean up the Bay. Dad was a civil engineer. His company designed many of the sewage treatment plants around San Francisco Bay that cleaned up the sewage that used to flow untreated into the Bay.

Thanks Dad! Happy Father's Day!

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