October 11, 2017
Bonnie and I are off for an overnighter on Catalina Island, 26 miles across the sea, passing by the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose, tourist mainstays of…
Off at dawn with Caleb for a birthday day in Catalina. ’04
With Bonnie for a lovely overnight. ’17
Historic Catalina Tile.
From wiki: “In 1927, William Wrigley, Jr. built a tile and brick pottery on a beach located near Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. The new pottery became Catalina Clay Products, a division of Wrigley’s Santa Catalina Island Company. The pottery used local clays from the Island. This business venture had two purposes: to produce clay building products and to provide the much needed year-round employment for Island residents.”
The guide would periodically go back outside and throw buckets of fish food into the water causing the fish to literally charge the boat.
We were on the first boat of the day so the guide said the fish would be particularly active. Wow. These submarine tours have been running for more than thirty years, as long as this has been a protected area, and have stopped in the same three places many times a day for all these years.
This is what one of the frenzies looks like.
At a quieter moment you could really pick out individual fish. We saw whole schools of Garibaldi, Opaleye, Surfperch and others but the most amazing heart stopping sight which I Failed to catch with my camera was a cormorant who dived under the sub so you could see him pass going down on one side and back up on the other. It was so quick and so amazing it took several seconds to figure out what had happened.
The giant kelp forest is also a highlight of the reserve with some species of kelp growning an inch per hour. Hey Caleb’s mom and dad, we had fun and we learned stuff too!
Caleb was quite entranced with the look of the town. He noticed that the strange vehicles, the stone streets, the village-style buildings all made you feel like you had traveled off into another country.
We met up with A&C while they ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe, Caleb got some delicious chocolate ice-cream, and then we were off to join our jeep and driver.
The Catalina Conservancy is in charge of all this back-country on Catalina and we learned some of the history of the area. If you’re interested, Click Here: Santa Catalina Island Conservancy.
See those two buffalo in the lower left corner? We just Loooved seeing them way out there and whoever among us spotted them first got a nice hand from the group and we urged the guide to please find us some closer.
The main reason to pay the big bucks for this tour is that you can’t get here otherwise except on bus tours as the Conservancy has some exclusive rights, and keys, to get you around.
Tooling along at a very modest pace we came upon this big guy.
He was standing right where we needed to go and he was not about to move. Our driver didn’t want to honk or do anything to annoy him and eventually she simply gave up waiting. Fine. She turned around, and we took an alternate route taking an extra half hour or so. Really.
Treats provided by the tour operator.
We’re now on ‘the other side’ of the island at a lovely secluded bay the vision of which caused A&C to proclaim that Nepenthe really needed to see this place.
After this we went to the cute-as-pie airport located at the top of one of the highest mountains there, then back down and goodby to our guide and our sturdy jeep.
Next A&C took us out on their zodiac to motor over to Nepenthe for a snack and a nice tour for Caleb to see a little of what it’s like to live on a sailboat. (What in the World happened to the picture of Caleb at the helm!?!)
We motored back into town and then Caleb got to choose whatever he’d like to eat. I would never have guessed. He chose chicken strips at KFC! Then back on the catamaran, and home sweet home.