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Ever since the 1930s, Balboa has offered Catalina boat
service, and at one time two boats were in operation. By the mid 1960's, the
franchise was no longer being used so the California Public Utilities
Commission auctioned off the Certificate of Public Conveyance to the highest
bidder. Phil Tozer, owner of the Pavilion, was high bidder and the Catalina
Passenger Service was born. The first boat put into service was the "Island
Hopper," a converted 85 foot, 83 ton coast guard cutter, capable of carrying
150 passengers. Fares at this time were $7.50. By 1978, the Island Hopper
was replaced with the half million dollar, custom built, "Catalina Holiday."
This 110 foot, 90 ton boat was capable of carrying 500 passengers, and took
two and a half hours to make the crossing. Fares were $18.50. In 1988, the
3.5 million dollar "Catalina Flyer" was put into service. This 118 foot, 93
ton catamaran style high speed boat can also carry 500 passengers, but in
ultimate comfort in only one hour.
My name is Allen Petrich. My father built boats designed by Dair
Long, who moored on Balboa in the 40's and 50's. Local marine
photographer Kent Hitchkock took photos of these boats and I would
like to find the repository of Kent's photographs now. Can anyone
help me locate them? thank you. this is for serious research.
Allen Petrich, Jr.
I spent a couple of years living on Lindo Street in Balboa back in
1968. I was in the third grade, and remember fondly: free replays
on the Fun Zone nickle pinball machines, finding loose change
under the Ferris Wheel and by the bumper cars, the Balboa Pier
where I got a really bad sunburn, fishing at the Pavillion boat
rental dock, Trick-or-Treating on Lido Island where they gave out
real silver dollars!!!, and watching the RC boat races at the
Newport Yacht club, and my first job; throwing newspapers. But one
of my best memories is the frozen bananas at the little stand by
the Balboa Island Ferry. What a wonderful time I had living in
Balboa Beach California. The pictures show the changes, but the
"heart" is still the same. How sad I felt when we had to move to
Costa Mesa that summer of '69.
i am looking for information on my uncle bob - robert murphy; he
was balboa's first man of the year, owned the rondezvous ballroom
in the 40's and the bamboo room at the same time...if you could
help me out that would be great..he and my aunt jay lived at the
tip of the peninsula at the time
paige conrad boles
My grandfather worked at the newport dunes, his name was don
fischer, he worked there in the late sixties and early
seventies,is there anyone who knew him?
Hi - - Have been checking your Web page since just before
Christmas, and LOVE it even though most of it is after my time in
Balboa. Do you ever get messages from those who were around,
starting in the 30s? My family lived on the bay front about the
time the dredging started then moved to Costa Mesa in the early
I remember playing Dibble-Dabble off the float,in front of the
FunZone, and was wondering if there was anyone around that
remembers playing. In later years (40s) there was quite a bunch
of us who played pinochle, on the sand, in ront of the FunZone.
Those were very happy and memorable days, for me. Thanks much for
your look back to days in Balboa History.
Doris Conrad Kimball
For More London's Times
A Ride on the
Balboa Island Ferry
Dear Mr. Fournier:
You have a sight that can be brought up on google on Chester
Washburn (Chester the Molester). He was my brother. He had a
sever case of bipolar disorder and was schizophrenic. When he
robbed the bank, it was because he wanted to be put in jail
because he had advanced brain cancer and had no one to take care
of him - he new he would receive lodging and care in jail. He
died there less than a year after being jailed. Anyway, he was
Chester Washburn the III, after my father and grandfather. He
also had three children. Prior to the bipolar and cancer taking
over, Chester was a hardworking person. The image you paint of
him hurts me and I'm sure it would hurt his children if they came
across it, not to speak of the way it reflects on the family
name. If there is a way you could remove that sight from the web
I would be so grateful. Chester led a very sad life and fought
his mental state in every way he could. Unfortunately, they did
not have the medications and understanding of bipolar depression
that is available now. As a young man, he was talented and
beautiful - I loved him very much. Thanking you in advance. (and,
please do not use my name or address on anything public - this is
for your benefit only, and mine).
Mr. Fournier: Thank you for your reply. I know the story has
been on for years - I just didn't know what to do about it. Since
you plan on a follow up, though, you should also know Chester was
a medic in the Navy when he was young. He became a captain in the
Merchant Marines and in his civilian life, he was a nurse. He
also was an artist and craftsman.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition (if you aren't fimilar)
that progressively worsens with age if not treated. His condition
had progressed to the schizophrenia in severity and he had already
moved to that point before his incarceration. They did not come
up with medicine to treat it until about the time of his death.
Chester had the brain cancer for eight years before his death.
While in the hospital (which is where he was while in jail), he
allowed the doctors to experiment on him (hoping to help
The real story in Chester's story, if you ever do serious, is
the bipolar disorder. It is so easy to go unrecognized and does
such damage to people's lives. I did not know he was living on
the streets until after he died because he never complained. The
last time I saw him, he was still trying to take care of me - the
eternal big brother. I am in tears, again, while I write this -
and you do not need to relate everything I write. I do it for the
other bipolars because he would have wanted others to fare better
than he. He is finally at peace, God understood his torment - and
God forgive me, I didn't. I spread his ashes off the coast of
If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives,
then you will be afraid to cough.