As far as I know
this is the only remaining pic of the 4 element YAGI that I build for
19.43mhz. The ends are bent up to accommodate the tight space. I
developed a knack for keeping it pointed in the right direction while the
ship moved. I scrounged the materials from the guys at Dong Tam, but I
don't remember any of their names. It was built from electrical conduit
and iron pipe.
The space was
tight inside too, as the shack was about 5' x 5'. I slept on the floor
diagonally, because it was much cooler than our crews quarters. I think
word traveled pretty well on the boats, because the boat crews would line
up in the hallway and stairs just outside the shack a bit before skip came
I still get a
tear to think of how the guys from the boats looked waiting outside my
door for the patches to start. Long tired faces of nearly beaten men
looking like there was no tomorrow. But, after the first patch, when that
guy stepped out after talking to his family, things lightened up quite a
As others have
said, there were wonderful times when someone got some miscommunication
straightened out, or got to hear about their new baby for the first time.
And, there were not so good times delivering bad news or listening to
relationships fall apart.
We shared a
Seattle gateway with N0EFN, (Jack & John in 1969). Our gateway was
terrific - Les Hill, N0AVD. I don't recall his ham call. He was ALWAYS
there for us, anytime of night or day, holiday or weekend. If there was a
chance of patch quality, he would be there.
Les made special
arrangements with the local telephone company, as I suppose all gateways
did. We would pass the numbers to dial before patch quality, sometimes CW.
Then when patch quality came, the telephone operator already had the other
party on the line and instructed. We were very effective at using every
minute. I'm sure I said thank you to Les many times, but although I lived
in the same town for awhile, I was too much in denial to even see him
again before he died a few years later.
I came home on
leave after my first year, and married one of those wonderful telephone
operators, then returned to the Benewah for another 5 months. As you
might imagine, she didn't have much of a chance with me, and we separated
a few years later.
I'm not so sure
I would have survived without Les, Jack, John, and that young telephone
operator I married. I hope life has treated them as well as they deserve.