January 15, 2012 – At Sea aboard the “Palu” – Goodbye to Captain Gene

On a dull overcast day the Palu with three accompanying vessels embarked to a site Gene had previously selected. As we neared the site the sun broke thru the overcast and the ocean was calm, we were greeted and escorted by the largest pod of dolphins, including very small juveniles that I have ever seen in these waters. The dolphins surrounded the Palu, the juveniles hung close to the boat almost stationery in the water, a whale breached in the distance, seabirds were diving into the ocean feeding on the baitfish the dolphins had corralled, a surreal scene…

A flower laden basket containing Gene’s ashes was set adrift amongst the dolphins, the basket automatically tipped and discharged the ashes which disappeared amongst the flowers; a fishing rod was tossed overboard along with many additional flowers offered by Gene’s friends and family. A shot of Jack Daniels whisky was distributed to all, a toast was offered and the glasses were thrown overboard. A Bagpiper tune emitted from one of the accompanying vessels…

And then a few words from Manny:  “I have known Gene for many years; he was a good friend, a companion and a longtime fishing buddy. Gene was the Captain, the Deckhand, the Diver and the Chef extraordinaire on all of my many Catalina and San Clemente Fish & Squid Research Expeditions, and all them aboard this vessel, the Palu.   

As a shipmate Gene’s inexhaustible energy and tireless assistance with these research programs was invaluable.  Captain Gene pioneered the use of underwater lights to attract squid for easy harvesting; in addition he provided important new information for the Loligo Squid Data Base…

I will miss him but I know for sure we will soon reunite on our parallel universe where Gene is now outfitting a new vessel, checking out the Marinas, the Yacht Club Bars and the fishing grounds for our continuing expeditions…Amen”.

As the Palu turned and cruised back to port the three accompanying vessels remained at the site and seemed to slowly “fad away in the distance” just like the final scene in a movie…

The entire scenario was produced and directed by Gene’s beautiful wife, Kristin McNany…

Following the ceremony at sea Kristin, son Colin and daughter Bret hosted a gathering of about 150 family members and friends at their home offering a spectacular view overlooking the ocean with the ceremony site in the distance…

A very special ceremony that we all will long remember…