This has been a tough year in many ways. Hurricane Irma scared the hell out of me but left me unscathed for the most part. The worst “losses” I had this past year was the loss of friends.
Just after Hurricane Irma, I received a call informing me another close friend and favorite customer had passed. Brendan, or “B” as the mates and I called him, was the easiest customer you could have. He always had a smile on his face when he showed up. Always had a great attitude and was the most relaxed fisherman I’ve ever had. It didn’t matter what we caught, as long as he was on the boat, he was having a good time.
We caught a lot of fish with him, Sailfish, Dolphin, Mutton, Grouper, Snapper, Shark and more. Many excellent days on the water, but, in truth, we had a couple of “stinkers” too. Didn’t matter to “B”. He was always a pleasure to have on the boat, with a great attitude and a great sense of humor.
The last few years, he was having a little difficulty with his mobility and the rougher days were difficult for him, so if conditions were not right for him to fish, we would cancel the trip and just go to breakfast instead. I’m not a big fan of Breakfast, usually, for me, it’s coffee and a banana, but I really enjoyed those mornings. We were the same age, but from vastly different backgrounds and it was interesting to talk about our lives and experiences, our many differences and some similarities.
The last time we spoke was just after Hurricane Irma. We were both out of town and had both been worried about our homes and my boat. We had seen the NOAA satellite photo of the lower Keys that allowed you to zoom in and check your property. It was a great sense of relief to both of us to be able to see all was well without being here. We chatted for a bit about the storm and the effect it would have on KW in the coming year, but I never expected it would be the last time I would speak to him. I would have had more to say. I would have thanked him for all the business he gave the Southbound, for the many great days fishing with him, for the breakfast conversations and for being a good friend. This has been a very difficult post to write, I guess it’s because by writing it, I have to admit to myself my friend is gone, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I was still hoping it wasn’t true. Sometimes, it’s just not fair.
Goodbye “B” Rest in peace, my friend.