All my life, the men in my family have spent their lives on the ocean, my father, uncles and later my cousins and, eventually even myself. The ocean has always been an integral part of our lives. My dad was a navigator for as long as I can remember and he always taught me to respect the ocean since I was a little boy. I’ve always had a passion for pictures of the tuna fleet because of all the memories of watching the men leave and then return after many months away. Many family members anxiously awaited the return of their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, so their arrival was always treated like a holiday.
When I was young, there was nothing better than to skip school and go down to the boat when my dad was in town, whether it was working on the nets at the Embarcadero and filling the needles as they sewed the nets, or riding on the boat as we moved it from one dock to another while cruising the bay. I also enjoyed the trips to San Pedro with the other guys to unload the boat. It may have only been a six hour trip but when you’re a little boy in the middle of the ocean, your mind starts to wander you begin to understand how Dad might have felt being a fisherman, because it was at those moments that I felt like a fisherman too, and all of those stories my dad had shared with me began to make sense. I also remember the torpedo sandwiches we’d have for lunch or fishing off the side of the boat. But most of all, it was the memories of hanging out with my Dad because when the boats were away, they would be gone for weeks or months at a time.
On our way to San Pedro on the Proud Heritage..