The Words of the Bickford Family

On a Dragger

Robert Kenneth Bickford Jr.
February 1, 2012

Sun Myung Moon, Hak Ja Han, Kook Jin Moon and Hyung Jin Moon January 8, 2012

It is my deepest desire to inspire you through the experiences our Heavenly Parents have given me. I feel I've lived several lives compared to that of the 9-lives of a cat. No matter what I do, from the simplest act to the most difficult journey, there is always an adventure involved within the heart of God. The older I get, I wonder where I belong within the heart of God. Arthritis, losing my teeth, needing new body parts in order to complete the will of God. I actually have some new knees on order to be installed soon. When I see the second generation and third coming, I am in awe by their beautiful spirits, their personalities, and their purity of heart. Lookout world, the generation of righteousness, is coming forth, shedding their tears, sweat and their blood, and the blood of our God will pour forth o'er His own, making fertile the dry desert sand, and He'll gather the fruit of the seeds he has sown, trampling vintage for the marriage of the lamb.

The one thing that keeps resounding in my mind and is terribly painful, is Father saying what he has accomplished right now is only half of what he wanted to accomplish by age 47. You don't know how much this one statement hurts and torments my soul. I am so sorry Father. I am so very sorry. I wish he could have also. While Father and Mother were consoling God's heart of love, so sensitive and deep beyond our understanding, the rest of us were living and struggling each and every day to do the best we were capable of. At the end of each day we could only give of ourselves and our efforts as an offering to Heaven and begged forgiveness it couldn't be more. Work for me was minimal, therefore I prayed for help to make money to buy food and pay bills. How could I be released from the chains of bondage of just trying to survive? What was left for God? I was so busy trying to keep my head above water, I could only repent for my inadequacies. How much I wanted to be used for Heaven and by Heaven, but felt I was making no contribution whatsoever. So my offering had to be my heart. Everything I did, I brought Heavenly Father with me and talked with him all day long. It was all I had.

I went down to the docks requesting a site on a fishing boat. It was valentine's day Feb 14, 1987 or 8, I can't remember. I had talked to quite a few boat captains. One guy said you'll never get a site (a position) on any of these boats, because they kept a notebook with at least 30 or more pages filled with names of people looking for work. What he didn't know was I was a certified welder and journeyman millwright, so the very next boat captain I spoke with had me help bring groceries on board his ship from the back of his pickup truck. We talked as I helped, and come to find out, he needed an engineer to take care of everything while we were underway (headed for fishing grounds). It meant I had to work around the clock taking cat naps whenever I could, and I thought, that's a piece of cake after MFT, so I took first engineer position. I think it paid one and one half shares. Congress started to get over run with homosexuals and lesbians in legislature pushing their own agendas. In order to earn their paychecks while they were trying to legalize same sex marriages, they pushed easy bills through like safety regulations for fishing vessels, because no one would oppose them. One of the new regulations were to make the individuals responsible for their own safety equipment instead of the boat owner. In order to secure my new found employment, I now had to go and borrow $400 dollars to buy a brand new survival suit before we left at 2 am the next morning.(now they cost a small fortune).

It was incredibly stressful getting everything together before we left, but mission accomplished. We left on time. Now as I told you before, I was deemed by many people as being snake-bit, but they didn't understand Principle. In the Unification Church we call it, paying indemnity. To make this story shorter, we ended up in a blizzard, a total white-out, visibility 20-30 feet. 25 foot waves smashing on our heads and the temperature with the wind chill plummeting to -60 degrees. As soon as the sea water hit the deck, instant skating rink. We had to put out the horizontal stabilizers to keep the (90' steel hull ship) from moving port to starboard to much. there were two 1400 pound doors that dragged on the bottom of the ocean to keep the mouth of the 1/4 of a million dollar ice-cream cone shaped fishing net open, while the lead line kept the opening down with the buoy line on top to keep it open.

We would make sets of 2 hours each, dragging the net at 5 knots. Everyone could go get some shut eye while the net and ship did the work. I would go below to the engine room to take care of the listers (generators) and the main engine, while we waited for the captain to yell out," HAUL BACK! HAUL BACK! EVERYONE ON DECK, HAUL BACK!" In 25 foot waves, this is not an easy task. All of a sudden something was wrong, as the wenches smoked trying to bring the net full of fish to the surface, the stern started to go underwater. With the waves as high as they were, you had to know what you were doing so you didn't sink the ship. This was not a small boat. As the doors came up and were secured, we started wrapping the net around the spool, then came the surprise. No fish! A rock the size of a Volkswagen beetle. It ripped the net all up which had to be repaired with no gloves on in 60 below zero temperature.

We wrapped the cable around the rock and used the wench to move it to the fantail of the stern (where it sloped, so we could get rid of it.) On a downward wave, the rock started gaining momentum. Then all of a sudden it took off. The very end of the ship where the seam connects with fantail, was triple welded for protection, then a piece of 3-4 inch pipe with a piece of pie cut out of it like looking down on a pie or cake with one slice taken out, was fit and welded over that seam for protection for moments just like this one. The weight of the rock was so big and heavy, it tore the pipe and ripped a hole in the stern as we started taking on water. The gale force winds were so loud we had to scream at the top of our lungs to hear one another. The captain was standing on the rail outside of the wheelhouse trying to tell me to open up the lazerette (which was a compartment that housed all the hydraulics for the steering of the rudders). As soon as I unscrewed the hatch, the pressure of the water in that compartment blew the cover right out of my hands. It was already full and we could see water creeping up the deck heading for the first open the fishing hold that went all the way to the keel of the ship. Once the water hits there we're all dead.

60 below zero, with a survival suit, will help you stay alive maybe 21 minutes as opposed to 7 minute without. It just guarantees they'll find your body. There's no time to call mayday, there's no time to have naval jets out of Portsmouth, NH drop flares and a life raft. He yells. "Kenny! go to the engine room and hand up all the empty 50 gallon drums you can! Get 'em on the bow and fill 'em with sea water!" I don't even remember running, the next second I was headed down the ladder to the engine room! What I forgot about was the 4 inch eye-beam at forehead level, I smashed into. It was all I could do to keep from passing out. I got the barrels up the ladder with the help of other ship mates we placed on the bow and filled with sea water, which brought the stern of the ship out of the water. It took us a while, but we steamed back into Portland, Casco Bay Harbor. The moral of the story or Heavenly Father's learning curve was, It took $400 borrowed, which had to be paid back. My share of the money came to $395 dollars, which means, this whole most excellent adventure cost me $5 dollars. 

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