Fishing With Ivan Part 5

21 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

After their retirement, Ivan and Dora tried to spend the three hottest months, each year, in a cooler part of the country.  They would pack-up their 30’ Silver Streak travel trailer and head for an RV Park somewhere near a good fishing spot.  Dora had a brother who owned an RV Park on Marrowstone Island, located in the Port Townsend Bay area, northwest of Seattle, WA.   They had visited Smitty and his wife, Waunita, several times over the years.  One year (I believe it was in 1980), I had a business trip to the San Francisco area, during the time Ivan and Dora were on their summer stay on Marrowstone Island.  When I completed my business, I took a week of vacation and joined Ivan and Dora for some relaxation time.  DiVoran had flown out from Florida to be with her parents a few weeks before I got there.


DiVoran and Dora both enjoyed painting and they found lots of subjects to use to apply paint to canvas.  When they got tired of painting they would walk down to the beach to look for special pieces of driftwood they could use in their artwork.  They also found ‘Jade’ rocks that seemed to be prevalent along that beach.  On Wednesday evenings Dora would take DiVoran to her weekly Bible Study with some of the other ladies there on the island.

Photo by Bill Lites

       Each day Ivan would take me somewhere different where there were some old pilings (at low tide) where we gathered ‘tube worms’ for the day’s fishing.  Each day, after collecting our bait, we would head for another of his ‘secret fishing spots’ (he usually had more than one) to fish for Cod and Mackerel for our dinners.  That was always great fun learning how to fish for the different types of fish.

Another day Ivan took us to the clam beds (again at low tide) to dig for Horseneck Clams.  We learned how to watch for the clams to spout water in the air; then we would rush over quickly, and dig them up before they could borrow their way back down into the sand.  What an interesting learning experience that was.  DiVoran and I learned to eat a large variety of seafood, and other things (well at least I did), during our visits with Ivan and Dora.

One day Ivan and Dora took us for a tour of Fort Flagler, located in the Fort Flagler State Park.  The fort is located at the northern tip of Marrowstone Island.  I learned that Fort Flagler (1897), along with Fort Worden (1898) and Fort Casey (1899) once guarded the Admiralty Inlet, which is the nautical entrance to Puget Sound.  Because of the many tourists that visit the park, some of the wildlife are very tame.  As luck would have it, Dora got a chance to feed a small deer the day we were there.  What a thrill that was!

Photo by DiVoran Lites

On a couple occasions, DiVoran and I made the trip to Port Townsend to do some shopping and to enjoy a bowl of the most wonderful Crab Bisque I have ever eaten.  I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant.  Ivan was an excellent cook, and he and Dora kept us well fed.  It didn’t matter, what the season was, or in what location we happened to visited them, the food was always good and plentiful.  However, I don’t believe I have ever known Ivan to cook fish any other way than pan fried.  Yummm!

I was amazed at the tide levels in the Port Townsend Bay area.  The difference between Low Tide and High Tide was over 9½ feet.  In the photo below, you can see the pilings behind us (at low tide) which will give you an idea of how much difference there is.  This amazing tidal difference gave us wonderful opportunities, during low tide activities, to participate in such interesting adventures as beach combing and digging for Horseneck clams.  It’s amazing the kind of things you will find on a beach, at low tide, especially after a storm. 

Photo by Dora Bowers

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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