I was a NUKE and came aboard the Long Beach in the spring of 1977 out of ELT school at Idaho after Mare Island and then qualifying on the A1W Prototype. I was assigned to the RL Division in Engineering and worked in the lab on the aft reactor under MM1 Mac Grove.
Aboard ship most knew me as simply “Hoff”, however in RL division they often called me “Hoffers”, something that Mac started as I recalled.
My assignment was to remain aboard until separation in late 1980 but due to some family issues, I was given permission to leave ship early in 1978 and assigned to the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station where I would spend the next few months doing basically nothing – not even assigned to a duty day rotation!
As good as that sounds, it got old quickly and as a possible resolution I had asked for an assignment to either the west coast or east coast prototype but the Navy decided to simply give me an honorable discharge instead.
You could have knocked me over with a feather the day I was called into admin at Seal Beach and they showed me the order – I never saw that one coming as I had been told that were likely going to send me to west coast prototype at Idaho.
Once out, I decided to go back to school and got a degree in international business.
I ended up managing and later owning commercial testing laboratories in Southern California. Years later I would divide them up and sell, which allowed me to live and work abroad as a consultant for my former foreign lab clients in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and the Orient.
In 2001 I took on a client in Mexico and I never left, having spent the last 18 years here in Baja California, living in a small coastal fishing village called La Chorera outside of San Quintin.
FYI: Gomez is not part of my legal name but a nick given to me by my wife Cristina, who I would meet down here and marry 17 years ago.
I would like to connect back up with some of my former shipmates from the time and if any of you ever want to try your hand at some truly world class saltwater fishing, the area down here where we live is widely considered a very popular sportfishing mecca.