Capt. Kjell Braathen passed away June 15, 2011. He was born at Hemnes Norway on July 2, 1933.
Capt. Braathen had a long career as a Mate, Chief Mate and Captain on board on Norwegian Ships, including the M/V Stowe Transport and the Belocean, sailing all around the world. Among his other qualities, he was a seaman, a gardener and a gentleman, disciplined, and caring for his crew, family and friends.
I had the luck of meeting him, working with him, fishing with him, and meeting his family. This was in Sechelt BC, Canada, from 82 to 92, where he lived with his wife Nena, his two sons Juhl and Kristian.
I had not seen Kjell in 20 years, but happened to be in Sechelt when the family and friends had a Celebration of Life for Kjell on the 10th. of August, and was honored to be able to attend.
It was really nice for me to meet his family and friends, after all these years, and enjoy god speeches, god food and drinks, and a few tears.
Thank you Kjell for the few moments we had together.
Especially a trip through the Skookumchuck one dark night, after a long trip with my 29 foot boat, from Campbell River. We had worked together there for a week or two, and both of us wanted to get home to wife and families. We had a very rough ride from Campbell River, against the wind, heavy seas, slow going. Crossed over to Powell River to get the lee inside Texeda Island, it was just as bad.
When we finally got to the Skookumchuck, it was around midnight, the tide running full force against us. We looked at each others, and knew that we would try, and we did, and we made it. Skookumchuck is one of the wildest tidal currents in the world, something to take serious anytime.
The boat I had was not suited for tidal current runs, it was semi displacement with a full keel. Everything had to be tied down on deck, and everything that was not secured or stored properly, was broken, we saved the whiskey, and needed it to calm down after all the excitement.
We made it home safely, but I still remember that trip. Kjell had so many sea experiences, that for him this was probably just another one.