Remember that when you lose some of your fishing gear when out at sea, you just never know where it might turn up.
The San Francisco Chronicle had a neat report earlier this week about a piece of equipment that quite a journey to the Northern California coast. Here’s longtime Chronicle outdoors reporter Tom Stienstra:
When Sorensen and Vais first sighted the piece of fishing equipment, washed up on a beach, they knew this was a one-of-a-kind moment.
“About halfway on the trip, I found an obviously handmade fishing gaff,” Sorensen said. “It was cool looking. Even though we were backpacking, I added it to the load. When I got home, I decided to try to track down the owner.”
Using the hand-carved name “Semesa Nukuse” as the clue, Sorensen said he eventually traced the item to a family in a village in the Fiji Islands.
Through Facebook, Sorensen located a relative and learned that Semesa was a fisherman who used the gaff, a large hook on a wooden handle, to land fish too large to hoist in otherwise. The relative wrote Sorensen that, during the years that the gaff hook had floated to California, Semesa had died.
After all, he said, when you consider the unlikely journey from Fiji to California — and now back — it’s the right thing to do.