Seal Bombs – Was It The Start Of Destruction?

Were Seal Bombs Rakestraws first start?

Were Seal Bombs Rakestraws first start?

When Kip Ives (known to his friends as Pinky) started hanging out in the Kearney Mesa Butcher Shop, he meant Joe “Smoothie” De Silva. Smoothie was a fishing legend and icon in the Portuguese community and the owner of one of the top fishing seiners that fished out of  Samoa.  With the common interest of fishing, drinking and pretty women, they both became very good friends, so much so, from that day on Pinky was invited to a lot of the Portuguese events.  At Smoothie’s funeral, he was one of the pawl bearers.

During an invite to a Portuguese fund raiser in the early 1990s  that was held at the Stardust Hotel in Mission Valley, the table next to them there was a bunch of old timers reminiscing. They were laughing, joking and drinking sharing funny stores. Pinky overheard,  “Rakestraw” and obviously his eyes perked. He asked one of his friends to translate the conversation. It went something like this:

The one old guy was the Captain of a tuna boat back then and was talking about this young kid (Rakestraw) who he had hired. The Captain said he was working fool who would do the work of 3 men.  The first day they spotted tuna, they circled the school with their nets and the speed boat was launched; they dropped seal bombs to herd the tuna into the nets.

Seal bombs being used to herd tuna into the nets

Seal bombs being used to herd tuna into the nets

When the work was competed, most of the men, beaten from the hard work of bringing tons of tuna, would stagger to their bunks. However, late night, the Captain kept hearing these loud echo thumps.  At first he thought it was something serious, like a propeller going out or the beginning warping of a shaft.

He went to the stern and there was this new deckhand (Rakestraw) dropping seal bombs in tunas, and throwing them overboard and watching the fish exploded. The captain was pissed! Ran over there and gave him the riot act that those tuna was their livelihood. He figured that Rakestraw cost them about, 300lbs of tuna, so the captain (laughing now, but at the time it was no jokingly matter) deducted the 300lbs from his shares (piece of the action).

The captain told him, if he ever caught him doing this again; he’d ram a couple down his throat and throw him overboard to the sharks. It must have put the fear of God in him, because the rest of the trip Rakestraw was a choir boy and probably the only time he was!

The captain said, when they got back to port (San Diego), Rakestraw asked the captain if he could buy some sea bombs. Again the captain started laughing, “I just gave him a case, figuring I would much rather have the kid get his kicks by blowing something up on dry land, instead of something on my boat.”

The Captain said, he never saw him again.

So now we have the third word, Destruction …

Mac Meda Editors Note: Since the launch of this website, it has jarred a lot of memories and this is one (of God-knows of how many) where at the time, you thought nothing, just another Rakestraw story. However now, they can be put in text and help build the creditability of the life and times of  Mac Meda

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