I was dreading this news. I had a feeling that your Dad would not last long. To say that he was a great man is an understatement. He was truly a Gift From God. He was a throwback to the "Lifeboat Men" that protected our waters before there was a Coat Guard. He found a way to preserve a beautiful stretch of coastline while at the same time sharing it with thousands of people every week. He shared his boating skills and love of salmon fishing (the only fish worthy of catching). Anyone that spent a few days around him learned that that gruff exterior was only a show and that the true Merle was a very caring man and had a heart of gold.
I learned many lessons from him. Don't cross the bar if it is breaking all the way across. It will be too rough to fish anyway.
Fish with a very light drag. If you need more pressure lift up with your thumb and let your nail touch the line.
A fish is not ready to boat until it has turned belly up.
Don't you dare touch a child's pole if he has hooked a fish.
If you are in your own boat you need to head home when Merle did or you would face a very wet and windy ride home.
Always run a green Apex on at least one rod.
When clamming and 80 year old man can kick the ass of a 35 year old.
If you get stuck on the bar it is better to wait it out than to face the embarrassment you will face at the boat house if you call for help.
Merle did not pass away. God just finally got him into the net. If God has a "brag board" like the landing has I am sure the Merle is the catch of the year.
Please keep us posted as far as a memorial service in California