Harry Graham was a local surfer and fisherman. I only briefly got to know him near the end of his life.
We did a page togetherabout surfing and his close friend Tom Linker, but he also gave me a bunch of
photos of his commercial fishing days. Unfortunately, he passed away before I got much info on these.
So I asked a few friends, and got a little info, and found some info in my notes.
I think these are mostly from the early 80’s.
So here are some historic photos of some legendary characters doing their thing in an earlier time.
Harry enjoying his morning coffee and stretching out his sea legs.
Harry mentioned they were using gill nets at the time.
These are outlawed now, but he said he made a decent living using them for a while.
Here he is mending some nets, I assume. Note the pile of lobster traps behind him.
He gave me lots of photos of big hauls, proving the efficiency of those nets.
It appears he fished for lots of different types of fish. Here’s Harry with some Black Cod.
Harry labeled this shot, “Setting the Gear”.
I assume he’s referring to the nets. Looks like more Black Cod on the left.
Wow. Look at all that halibut! He said he got all these just outside San Augustine’s,
if you know where that is…
Fresh seafood dinners would be one perk of this line of work.
Harry and Jimmy Finch cleaning some of those halibut on the way back in.
How about some Ling Cod?
Harry with a beast, that has another fish hanging out of his mouth…
How about a couple Ling Cods?
Harry and Jimmy Finch, setting the net.
Another type of net? Anybody know?
Harry holding a fish that appears to have been munched on by a passing seals while caught in the net.
Jim Finch and Harry picking a crab out of the net.
Now what’s in the net? Hard to tell. Sunfish maybe?
This young man is Gary Beaudette. He’s getting ready to dive for abalone
and he’s going to show us how to get into that thick old wetsuit.
Note the white stuff on the wetsuit top he’s holding; that would be talcum powder.
That talcum powder, (or some guys used corn starch),
made it a lot easier to slip into his suit and made for a great look!
Gary and his brother Larry were both in the El Cap Surf Club and his dad was in the Santa Barbara
Motorcycle Club. His brother was killed in Vietnam, and Gary is no longer with us either.
The boat he’s on was co-owned by Gary and Jack Fonner.
Being a commercial fisherman has its perks, but it’s also a tough job. Here’s Harry leaving
the harbor at O-dark thirty, to cross the channel and get to his gear by sunrise.
The beginning of a long hard day.
Several photos of the Lady Loki, so we assume this was the boat Harry worked on.
Here’s a beast of a lobster caught by a young Bob Meyer,
who until recently was the owner of the fuel dock in SB harbor.
Check that vintage single fin mounted on the boat.
Surfing empty lineups on certain swells would be another perk of this job.
This is the legendary character Red Allen on the stern of his boat, the Vincent K.
Up in the crows nest is Johnny Zucco, an excellent spotter.
Red’s friend, Stan Tucker, tells us this boat is set up for swordfish. The guy up on the mast had
controls to run the boat and Red would go out on the plank on the bow and spear the finning fish.
Four harpoons can be seen on the left side of the boat pointing skyward.
Red was also a musician and a prolific songwriter. That’s Red on the far right with fellow
musicians Dennis Miller and Stan Tucker.
Stan, at 92, still plays lots of Red’s original songs to this day!
Meanwhile, back on the Lady Loki, Harry heads back out to check his nets.
Harry labeled this one, “Not quite the Most Dangerous Catch”.
Well, it may not be the Most Dangerous Catch, but it still looks like a bitch.
David Kuzen recognized this as the Santa Barbara Boat Yard after the big storm of 1983.
Kuzen’s uncle was the travel lift operator so he’s probably one of these guys.
What a mess.
Looks like a lot of boats got beat up!
Back to a more serene scene.
The backside of San Miguel Island on a beautiful day with somebody’s mascot.
Karl Wollert tells me this is Crooks Cove, back side of San Miguel. He thinks that boat in the
distance was owned by was Arnie Douglas, a Rancho Tajiguas resident
and one of the enforcers up at Hollister Ranch,
back in the day.
While were out at the islands, this is Johnson’s Lee on the south side of Santa Rosa Island.
The site of a World War II military post, there was also a pier. The buildings are no longer
there, removed by park service in the late 1990’s. Not sure who’s boat this is.
This looks like the islands, but not sure, and we don’t know who’s on the boat, But, check
out that board on top. Short, fat single fin? Or a knee board maybe?
These look like Thresher sharks.
We’re told they would cut the tail and fins off, gut them, and then ice them down.
But is this a Thresher? Looks pretty darn big….
This red thing hanging from the crane is a crew escape boat for an oil platform.
Why Harry had photos of this, no clue.
Looks like they were taking it out for test ride.
Speaking of stuff dangling from a crane….
A couple guys have identified this diver as Jack Fonner Jr.
His dad was an abalone and oil rig diver and helped set up the platforms off Santa Barbara.
But Jack Jr. is a bad ass in his own right. Legend has it he rode his motorcycle through the
halls of San Marcos HS on the last day of school, Another story says he almost bit his tongue
off in a dry suit blow up. It filled up with air and blasted him to the surface!
This day Jack’s working underwater with a yellow lift bag, and a little fishie friend.
We assume around the oil platform.
Karl Wollert says that silver helmet was very rare and he only knew two guys with them.
Judging by the peek of coastline, looks like a platform off the Gaviota Coast.
Definitely know where this is. Good ole Haskells pier.
Home sweet home. Before the Bacara.
Nice halibut, and it looks like he got it with a Hawaiian Sling. That would’ve been a fight…
Here’s Harry with Mike Wasliko, another El Cap surf club member and one of Harry’s best friends.
They’re admiring a classic Doug Roth board.
This looks like somebody’s Hookah Line. At the other end of this line is a diver collecting
urchins or abalone, The line feeds him air from a compressor on the boat, so he
doesn’t have to wear bulky air tanks on his back.
Somebody’s nice little boat, somewhere…!
Anybody got info?
Another intriguing photo that I have no info on. Looks like an old warship. But why?
Well, that’s about it. Thanks Harry for sharing these.
Wish we would have sat down and got the whole story before you left us, but we didn’t.
Let this page be a reminder… Life is too short.