We lost a friend during the last voyage; a man whose friendship we valued for the individual he was. What I remember the most about Ernie Adams was his tremendous generosity of thought for others, for us on Royal Star. Though I am certain we were far from the center of his life Ernie would regularly call to catch up and almost always had something he wanted to share; something he thought might be able to help us in the operation of Royal Star - handling many a large tuna was made easier with old, used rope Ernie provided for us at the beginning of his numerous Royal Star voyages.
Since 1996 Ernie and his Uncle Dan have made so many voyages with us that our relationship far transcended business. We were friends. And to lose such a friend at the height of what connected us – our common love for fishing - was a blow that struck on two fronts. It was tragic that one of his favorite past times is where and when his time on this earth came to an end, but it was also a blessing in light of the fact that we all must meet our inevitable fate.
We lost Ernie while he was doing what he loved. He was fishing at Alijos rocks among good friends, had just enjoyed a fantastic lunch and classic friendly banter between Drew and Jeff, landed a big beautiful yellowtail that put a genuine smile on his face, and shortly thereafter went down. The result was final and immediate. He was gone. The void created can only be imagined. The shock and agonizing grief weighed heavy, but we had to go on.
Ernie’s friends and Uncle Dan in particular demonstrated extraordinary strength. They knew that Ernie, through previous conversations referencing this exact, highly unlikely scenario, would want the fishing to continue. And continue it did in tribute to the man who loved life, family, and fishing. Ernie’s first love for family was obvious and overwhelming today when we brought him home; his love for fishing was obvious in the results of our voyage following his passing. We were shepherded into the main vein and first real catching of big offshore bluefin in many, many seasons. Luck, coincidence, skill, or Providence it doesn’t matter. I choose to believe that in it was Ernie’s hand. And I will always believe such, and remember the gracious man.
Ernie should not have been taken so vivacious and young, that is where I, and far more poignantly, his surviving family feel robbed. He was one of the good guys – one of those guys that the world was far better served with him a part. But it was, it so obviously is, not up to us. God’s unknowable designs placed this burden on Ernie’s family using Royal Star as a vehicle.
Perhaps it was because in the face of such incredibly challenging circumstances strength was required. To forge a positive outcome from such a saddening, profound event was the result of amazing fortitude demonstrated by Ernie’s Uncle Dan and friends. We were simply back up allowing the example of strength and manhood to advance. I am certain had the situation been reversed that Ernie would have shown equal, compassionate resolve.
But no speculating is worth a moment now. Final is final, and for this, because of this, we are most heartfelt, sincerely sorry for the tremendous loss to Ernie’s wife and family. Our deepest sympathy and condolences are offered.
On our end we will maintain a positive memory of Ernie and all the good times we shared together on Royal Star. For my part I know I will be reminded of Ernie and all the good he represented every time I return to Alijos Rocks. His memory is indelibly printed on that mysteriously beautiful, never to be tamed, wild corner of this earth. Farewell my friend. Farewell.