Friday, December 05, 2014

The Harbor Report: Farewell to my father, my captain

The Bose Family

By Len Bose
December 5, 2014 | 1:53 p.m.

Like I wrote in my February 2013 column, "The importance of sailing stories," this week's column is more for me than for all of you.
In that story, I talked about my mother calling for assistance with my father, who needed to be taken to the hospital.
I wrote: "As we traveled south on Coast Highway, I glanced out to sea. The look of the approaching storm shook me from the inside out this time. I took a deep breath as my emotion started to rise in me like the ocean's tide.

"Over the last 16 years, my mother and I have made this trip many times, but this time felt different. The parking lot was full, and we ended up on the top level, where you can see out over the harbor. The dark clouds were coming in from Catalina, and it was only a matter of time before the forecasted downpour would be upon us."
This week's story is in the same setting, although this time, as we drove down Superior hill while overlooking the ocean and Catalina Island, the storm had just broken and the beams of sunlight shone through the clouds upon the water and glistened like diamonds off the white-capped ocean. Mom was calling to ask me to hurry home, her voice unable to complete the request. My father had passed away after his 18th year of fighting cancer.
The support from my friends and readers has been overwhelming, with many people stopping by my mother's place or calling to pay their respects. Each person would reflect on the different sea stories, from sailing Hobie Cats in the harbor to watching his grandson progress though the junior sailing programs or sailing with me in the Lido 14s and Harbor 20s.
Boating and our harbor have been a huge part of our lives and are always the easiest to talk about when feeling choked up. Dad would always tell my son, Andrew, and me to sail our own boat and "keep our heads out of the boat." He would shake his head each time I would rush through the house making my last-minute fixes to the boat on the day of the race, and quite often I had found that he had already taken care of the problem.
Nothing made him happier than knowing Andrew and I were sailing together in the upcoming race or that we were headed over to Catalina for a long weekend. Of course, I would always hear a sigh of relief in his voice each time I told him I was in contract to sell a boat.
As he approached the end of his journey through life, he told me how he wanted to update my safety and foul-weather gear for this year's holiday gift. He reminded me to stay patient with my son and to go boating with him every chance I had, even if it meant grabbing Andrew by the ear and making him go.
"I should have done that to you during the Hobie Cat years," he said with a tear running down his face.
My father introduced me to the sea when I was 5 and we lived in Hawaii. He would always encourage me to go to sea and never take it for granted.
One other thing that my dad passed on to me, and I think it came from his father: "If you are working for someone and you have completed your task for the day, pick up a broom and sweep until your day is over."
My family has to give a big shout-out to the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for helping us with the arrangements and providing us with a room for his celebration of life on Dec. 11 between noon and 3 p.m.
As always, thank you for letting me tell my story, and I hope to see you back here next week.
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

No comments: