Fisher Poets in Astoria


David Densmore - Fisherman Welder Poet Biker

The Fisher Poet – David Densmore

In Astoria’s East Basin, It was a pretty long hike out to where the boat was docked.  I think catamarans are always at the very end of the dock.  As I walked back and forth on the long finger, I would pass an old fishing boat named Cold Stream.  A rough looking man with long hair and a greasy work coat was busy MIG welding an aluminum bulwark onto the boat.  Since I am interested in welding, I would stop to watch, and we struck up a conversation.

In the adjacent slip lay a huge 60’ Ferro-cement ketch.  He told me he was planning to retire onto that boat and go cruising.  David told me that he had lived on boats his whole life, but always on fishing boats mainly fishing in Alaska.  He is looking forward to learning to sail and spending some time in warm water.

David is a burly man, with long hair, a loud Harley, huge hands, reddened and scarred from years of hard work.  Having a lot of sailing books on Footloose to get rid of, I shyly asked if he learned by reading or if his learning style had more to do with hands on and practical application.  Surprisingly to me, he confessed a love of books.  I brought him my load including Adelard Coles heavy weather and the cruising encyclopedia.

David surprised me by offering me one of his books of poetry in exchange.  It seems he has written several books of poetry.  He told me the poems come to him spontaneously, and he would just write them down.  I mentioned my surprise based on his appearance and he laughed, “wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that”.  You can’t judge a book by the cover.

A few days later I was leaving for Alameda and as I wheeled my luggage down the dock he told me that I should plan to attend the annual fisher poets gathering at the end of February.

In February, Lisa and I took a few days to drive back up the coast.  One of our stops was in Newport where my favorite restaurant Local Ocean Seafood was just as good as the last time I had eaten there 7 or 8 years previously.

Cold Stream - Open For Business

Cold Stream – Open For Business

David Desmore – MC

When we got to Astoria we spent a couple of days at the boat, and went to the Fisher poets’ event. It was a held over the weekend with several venues, I started with coffee on Dave’s Boat where one of the attending poets began to sing with his guitar. The event was well attended with lots of people crowding into three venues to eat, drink and listen to 90 fisher poets. Highly recommended.

Fisher Poets

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