Cold, cramped and bored out of my mind, those are the feelings that return to me when I think back to my old man’s first lesson on how to change the oil of the family’s 33-foot Egg Harbor. It was early on a weekend morning (It was probably 8 o’clock but on a Saturday when you’re 10 years old that might as well be midnight) and I was paying more attention to my fatiguing flashlight-holding arm than how to change an oil filter. It would take two hands to hold the light by the time we left to go home for lunch. I wish I could say that during my high-school years I really started absorbing the nautical knowledge my dad tried passing on to me, but that would be lying. Nope, at 17, I was wise in the ways of the world. I had my first job at a local boat yard, and though I was only bottom painting boats with a pair of probably illegal immigrants, in my teenage mind, I was an industry expert. It was not until recently, after purchasing what would become the Karen Marie and staring her diesel heart that I began to think to myself, “maybe I should have spent more time listening to those mechanical messages and less time wondering if we were going to get bagels for lunch.” Luckily for me, my old man is for a lack or better word, a persistent parent. Sitting in my first boat’s cabin with me the other weekend he showed me how to tighten the engines belt, replace the fuel filters and swap out the water pump impeller. No flashlight was needed for these projects but if I think about it, I guess they never were. I’m thankful for the lessons and advice, nautical and otherwise that he has given me recently. (As I write this I got an email from him that reads, “you might want to grease your mast track before it goes up, I’d hate to see Karen have to climb the mast to do it later.”) It scares me to think about what the Karen Marie would look like today without his help. Thanks Dad, happy father’s day.