fishing (108)

Wednesday Morning Fish Fry

I seem to be in a period of dicking around with extracurricular pursuits. I’ve been playing the jug and my box bass today along with a CD of The Memphis Jug Band, recorded in the 1920s. These guys preceded Robert Johnson. Jug, kazoo, harmonica, vocals. It’s all there, blues in rudimentary form; I play the jug with sliding notes, like Jab Jones does here:

Usually I play the jug like the Mills brothers did with their voices, with a plucking sound.…hey, listen to the next one, Blues in the Bottle by the Jim Kweskin Jug band.…My friend Louie got me started with a blowgun he made; I bought some darts and have been practicing with a target outside the office.…The little book we just did, Driftwood Shacks, opens up a whole new octave for me with books; I don’t think they’re very saleable, but they are fun to produce, and can be done at a reasonable cost. I love giving books away, not having to sweat marketing, etc. If we can keep the machinery rolling here, I think I can do a couple of these little books each year.…I am looking forward to doing one on my 12 years exploring Baja California Sur…

Been gathering seaweed, drying it, grinding it into powder/flakes, and putting it on just about everything…Am starting to go clamming seriously, both for littleneck clams (cockles), and the deep-in-the-mud horseneck clams; clam broth, steamed clams, clam pasta, and (with the white meat of horsenecks), clam cakes…I’m working on a garden chair made out of old split fence posts…Also fiddling around making abalone shell neck pendants; dust from the cutting, grinding, and polishing of abalone shell is a serious lung problem, so I’ve got a dust collector that attaches to my shop vac, and just got a grinding wheel with a water trough from Grizzly Tools…Our homestead is working pretty well; we’ve been on this half-acre for 47 years now; new batch of baby chicks coming in a couple of weeks; this time, Rhode Island Reds and Auracanas, both heavy layers; I’ve had enough of the beautiful, but not-so-productive birds. Will however probably keep the little Silver Seabrights, they are so beautiful…Taking off tomorrow for the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa Friday, Feb. 23rd., for people rebuilding after the fires…Over and out…

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Friday Night Fish Fry

Last (rainy) Friday night, 5 of us (Dipsea running friends) went over the bridge to San Francisco and had dinner at the R&G Lounge (specializing in deep fried fresh Dungeness crab). then to Vesuvio’s bar next to City Lights, which has had like 70 years of good vibes; Patrons that night looked like good people. Pic below is of a little tableau on the wall with miniature figures, maybe 26″ wide by 16″ tall (can you see the ghostly image at top left?) (Photo by Jakub)

I’m sort of taking a month to get reorganized with my work and at the same time reintegrating myself with the physical world, after a couple of years of being injured, then recovering from shoulder surgery — let me tell you the details — just kidding. Suffice to say I’m hiking more, clamming (tuning up my 12′ Klamath boat with vintage 15 HP Evinrude outboard for saltwater exploration and fishing, trying to remember to stretch. It’s so easy to get sucked into sedentary pursuits, like sitting in front of screens and neglecting the body in which the mind is, after all, housed.

I’ve done very little blogging in recent years about what’s going on my life, partly due to Instagram and partly because after 5000+ blog posts, I realized it wasn’t bringing in any income — so I slacked off on blogging.

I’ll be spelling out my future plans, including a new blog — my take on the ’60s –in my forthcoming GIMME SHELTER email newsletter, something I send out every few months to about 600 people. If you want to be on the mailing list, send me your address at lloyd@shelterpub.com.

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Seaweed Nutrition

Big waves at beach yesterday, negative ion perfume in air. Gathered these bull kelp blades, which I dry, grind up, and sprinkle on omelette, meat, fish, potatoes, salads—just about anything. Homemade vitamin supplement, high in protein and minerals. I pickle the bull kelp bulbs. About to leave now for clamming and mussels. I have a 12′ Klamath aluminum boat, with 15 HP 2-stroke vintage Evinrude outboard motor, which I’m working the kinks out of.

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Fishing Shack in Italy


In 2003, after the Frankfurt Book Fair, I took a RyanAir cheapo flight from Frankfurt to Pescara on the Adriatic coast of Italy. From there I took a train south, then a ferry to Isole Tremiti, an archipelago of islands. I came back to the mainland and drove along the coast and spotted this shack, called a trabucco. Said to have been invented by the Phoenicians, trabucci allowed fishermen to cast nets without being tossed around in boats in rough weather. (Just ran across this in going through old photos.)

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Jack O’Neill, 1923-2017

Photo by Dave McGuire: Martinis at Jack O’Neill’s cliffside home in Santa Cruz in 2013. L-R, Betty Van Dyke, Richard Novak, Jack, Lloyd

I graduated from high school in San Francisco in 1952. I had to make up some grades in order to get admitted to Stanford, so I took some morning classes at a private high school and worked as an office boy at an insurance company in the afternoons. Each day I had a couple of hours off, so I started going to the beach.

Kelly’s Cove is the beach right next to the Cliff House at Ocean Beach, and I met a bunch of guys who were starting to bodysurf there. Cliff Kamaka, a Hawaiian who was a lifeguard at the nearby Fleishacker Pool* had taught the boys the art of bodysurfing. Charley Grimm, Rod Lundquist, John Stonum, Jim Fisher, Bill Hickey — and Jack O’Neill — were some of the gang.

The water averaged in the low ’50s, so you had to really be motivated to endure the cold. They’d build a big fire on the beach to warm up after getting out of the water, and had constructed driftwood windbreaks that you could get inside to lay in the sun.

Jack was working for a company that sold firefighting equipment. He and his wife Marge and their 6 kids lived in an apartment on Sloat Blvd., across from the zoo, a few blocks from the beach. His first attempt at staying warm was a “dry suit,” as used by divers. It was thin rubber. Jack bought one He showed it to me and he was wearing long woolen underwear underneath it. Where it might have worked for diving in calm water, it didn’t work at all in the turbulent ocean. Water would come in at the sleeves, legs, and neck.

Jack didn’t invent the wetsuit. According to Wikipedia, “Hugh Bradner, a University of California, Berkeley physicist invented the modern wetsuit in 1952…” The US Navy then developed wetsuits for their divers and the first ones were being sold in stores. The wetsuit was neoprene and allowed the water to get next to your body, but kept it warm. Before they started lining them with nylon (maybe Jack’s invention), they were difficult to get on, so we had to coat our skin with corn starch so they would slide on.

I may be the only person in the world who knows this, but one day Jack went to Roos Brothers, the big department store on Market at Powell in San Francisco, and bought a wetsuit in their sporting goods department. He took it home, took the measurements off it, and returned it the next day. Voilá, he had the pattern for his first wetsuit. I know this because I stopped by to see him the day he brought it home. Like Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but perfected it and made it available to millions, so it was with Jack and wetsuits.

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Hunting, Foraging, Gardening, Cooking Wild Foods – Hank Shaw via Kirk Lombard

I found this great website via Kirk Lombard, the Sea Forager:

HI THERE!

My name is Hank Shaw.

“I write. I cook. I fish, dig earth, forage, ferment things, brew beer, raise plants, live for food and chase God’s creatures. I drink Scotch or Bud, eat burgers or dine on caviar, depending on my mood or what day of the week it happens to be. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows. This is my story.”

https://honest-food.net/

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Monterey Clipper with Christmas Lights

My brother Bob’s Monterey Schooner, docked in Tiburon, Calif.

Description of these boats on Wikipedia:

“The Monterey Clipper has long been considered part of the local fishing fleet to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Monterey Bay Area and east to the Sacramento delta. The original hull design was introduced into the area by Italians in the late 1860s. The design came from Genoese lateen-rigged sailboats, known as silenas, then later referred to as San Francisco feluccas.

The feluccas were at first used to gather shrimp in the SF bay, but when this fishery was abandoned to the Chinese, they gillnetted for local bay fish, trolled for ocean fish, and pulled up the famous Dungeness crabs. During this period, they made up about two-thirds of the 85 or so fishing boats that served the city. Later, as the fleet grew, about 50 boats serviced just the crab fisheries.By 1890, there were about 1000 feluccas in the wharf.

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