Tag Archives: San Francisco

Fishing with Ivan Part 4D

7 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The scenery was beautiful as we continued north on CA-1 to our next stop in San Francisco, CA where we wanted to show our kids some of the sights and sounds of that fabulous city.  First we took them to Ghirardelli Square, where we checked out the shops and bought some chocolates for DiVoran.  Then we took the famous Powell & Hyde cable-car to Fisherman’s Wharf for some really wonderful seafood.  After that delightful experience, we went back to our car and drove down the famous winding Lombard Street with our camper!  I wasn’t sure we were going to make it around some of those curves.

Photo: https://www.queenanne.com/things-to-do/fisherman-s-wharf

Leaving San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and took U.S. 101 north to our halfway point for this trip, which was to visit Ivan & Dora in Ft. Bragg, CA.  See there, I told you we would eventually get to them, if you were patient with me for the first half of this road trip.  We had a great visit with Ivan and Dora.  They were a little isolated from their family, and loved seeing us and their grandchildren.  They showed us around their small fishing village of Fort Bragg (pop ~4737), and introduced us to some of their friends there.  One day Ivan took us all out in the woods, close to their house, to collect mushrooms for our dinner.  He showed us how to tell the eatable ones from the poison ones.  Dora grew a lot of the fresh vegetables they ate in her small garden.  The fresh vegetables and mushrooms sure were good with the charcoal grilled steaks we had that evening.  

Photo: https://www.phinneycenter.org/calendar/edible-and-medicinal-mushrooms-of-the-pnw/

Now for the fishing story you’ve been waiting for.  One day while we were there, in Fort Bragg, Ivan took me out on the Pacific Ocean (just the two of us) in his commercial salmon fishing boat, Husky, to show me how he fished for Chinook Salmon.  What an experience that was!    I mostly just watched, helped when I could, and steered the boat once he started letting out his fishing line.  Ivan did all the work, and had his one-man system worked out well.  You couldn’t pay me enough to do that kind of work, but Ivan seemed to love it.

       Photo by Dora Bowers – Ivan’s new fishing boat (Husky)

Ivan told me that he fished alone most of the time, and used the trout line method.  He would use his Lowrance Fish Finder to locate the schools of fish, and then he would put the boat on auto-pilot and let out his baited hooks and line.  Once the line was all the way out, he would make a very large turning circle, and head back, reeling in the line and fish with the aid of a small electric powered winch.  He would ice down the fish, and if the catch was good, he would repeat the procedure all over again.  It was a difficult task, but he seemed to manage without any problem, as long as the seas didn’t get too rough.  

Photo:  https://www.asupervip.top/products.aspx?cid=36&cname=trotlines

—–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

You’re in the Navy~Part 12

16 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites




Back in Sasebo, my two years of active service finally came to an end, and I was ready to be out of the Active Navy.  But, because the Hector had been 1extended on station, the Navy had to come up with a way to transport me back to the states.  So, I received orders to be flown from Japan to Treasure Island Naval Station in California for separation.  With everything I owned in my duffle bag, my first attempt to get to an airport was a four-hour hot and bumpy school bus ride, on some of the roughest roads I had ever traveled, to Itazuke AFB.  Since I was enlisted, which is as low as it gets in the military, when it comes to travel authorization, several officers bumped me off that flight, and I had to endure another 4-hour bus ride back to the ship.

A day or so later, it was back on the school bus, this time several hot jarring hours to Tachikawa AFB for another try.  This time I got a seat on a fully loaded Douglas C-124 Globemaster airplane, operated by the Military Air Transport Service (MATS).  Did I mention it was now the middle of the summer, there was not a breath of air from any direction that day, and inside the airplane was like being in a big aluminum can with the sun beating down on it, and no A/C to keep the air moving inside that big can?  Everyone was dripping wet by the time they had us all seated and 2accounted for.  Once they got the doors closed, we taxied to the end of the runway, the pilot did his pre-flight engine checks, and we headed down the runway at full power.  Well, full power didn’t last long, as at least one of the engines started backfiring and the pilot aborted the takeoff.  We stopped at the end of the runway, and the pilot did more engine checks.  Since there still was no wind from any direction, the pilot turned back on the runway, and headed off at full power again.  This time an engine caught on fire, and thank God the pilot had time to abort the takeoff.  We all hurriedly deplaned, dripping wet, on shaky legs, and walked back to the terminal, leaving the flight crew and fire department to deal with the smoking engine.  That episode didn’t give me a lot of confidence in any C-124 being able to get me safely back to the states.

Then, after a stay-over night, there at the airbase, for some unknown reason, I was transported, along with several other sailors, to Tokyo to wait for a “Space Available” seat on a commercial flight.  As it turned out, I 3was only bumped off one flight there, before I was given a seat on a TWA Super “G” Constellation flight headed for San Francisco.  The flight consisted of three, very long 8-hour, over water flight legs, with stops at Wake Island, then at Honolulu, Hawaii and finally to San Francisco International Airport.  Even though that flight was luxurious, compared to what the C-124 flight on MATS would have been, I was still mighty glad to be on the ground, and at the end of that trip.

I was transported to the Treasure Island Naval Station, where I spent several days being processed out of the Active Navy, and back into the 4Naval Reserve, to finish my 6-year tour of duty I had signed up for.  I spent most of my free time visiting many of the tourist spots San Francisco is best known for, such as “Alcatraz Island”, Coit Tower, the Planetarium at Golden Gate Park, and of course, Fisherman’s Wharf, where I enjoyed some of their world famous seafood more than once.

After the Navy was through with me, and that mini-vacation was over, I took the train to Los Angeles to meet DiVoran, and get reacquainted with my lovely wife.  While we were there, she looked into the requirements for obtaining her California Beautician’s license; only to find out she needed 300 more hours, than what New Mexico required, to qualify to take the California test.  That would have to wait until we came back from Albuquerque, and were settled in our new location in Inglewood, California, where I would be starting work on my Mechanical Engineering Degree education at Northrop University.  But, then that’s another story about another time for another blog.



                                                                        The End

%d bloggers like this: