Sunday, August 5, 2007

Catalina Island!

Eric and I recently returned from a 4-day trip to Catalina Island--just the two of us! It was an awesome trip and a wonderful time of recreation (free diving) and relaxation (sleeping 10 hours each night). This was my fourth trip to Catalina, and I've decided that when the girls are older (teens) I want us to live in Avalon for a year. Eric likes the idea, too. It's just such a neat, little island. It has two newspapers--believe it or not-- that could use some good writers. And I'm sure all of those golf cars need repairs once in a while. We met a family there last week who vacation each year in Avalon. They have three teen-age daughters. The parents said they give their girls $20 each day and let them roam the island until supper-time while they sit on the beach and read books all day! The husband said, laughing, "They can't get into too much trouble. And there's no freeway, so where can they go?" So, that got me thinking about moving there for a year. It would take the first six months just to get used to the island (like where you can and can't park your golf car), and the next six months to just enjoy being there. Anyway, here's a few highlights of our trip:

* We spent several hours each day free diving (no tanks) and spearfishing. We dove at Ship Rock, Church Rock and Frog Rock. We drove by Seal Rock and Bird Rock (which is about 8,000 square feet and for sale for only $3 million).

* I "speared" my first yellowtail. Yes, there's a catch...Eric speared it, and barely got it. It was "hanging by a thread" and thrashing all over the place. So, he called me over and asked me to also spear it. I did, and I "stoned it" which means I speared it in a part of its spine that instantly killed it. And that's not easy to do. (I hope there are no fish-lover, animal rights activists reading this right now.) I was excited to have a part in landing that fish! It was, however, the only fish I speared. Eric speared a calico bass and five yellowtail, weighing 18 to 27 pounds.

* On one dive, I jumped in the water before Eric did. I looked below me through my mask and saw two 6 1/2-foot long sharks circling me (this is not a joke). I yelled at Eric, "Get me on the boat. Get me on the boat RIGHT NOW!!!!!" He hoisted me up on the boat in two seconds. I knew they weren't great white sharks, but I still didn't know what they were. Eric jumped in the water to check them out. They were soupfin sharks that only eat fish. So, I jumped back in the water and took some pictures of them with my underwater camera. Eric touched one, too! It was so cool!

* We slept on our little boat in Avalon Harbor each night. After diving each day, we went onto the island each afternoon for shopping and dinner and the best ice cream at Big Olafs!

* We played miniature golf at what is perhaps the hardest mini golf course I have ever played on. I won by 1 point (or stroke or whatever you call it). We saw "Ratatouille" one night in an old, Phantom of the Opera-style theatre. It was the neatest theatre I've ever been in, with painted walls and ceilings and a beautiful, plush lobby. I got my eyebrows waxed one afternoon at a spa.

* While we were diving one day, we saw a boat approach us and a guy waving at us. We were intrigued, and then discovered that it was our boat partner. What are the odds that our boat partner from Camarillo would be on his friend's boat diving at Catalina the same week we were, and that we'd run into him?

* We are blessed to have Catalina Island practically in our back yard. I just love the ocean and all of the sea creatures that God created. God is so creative. I am so glad He chose to share His creation with us. Thanks for letting me share this with you.

P.S. Our daughters had a blast with Eric's parents while we were gone, too. They went to the water park, took the trolley into town to go to the library, went on walks and picked neighbor's plums and made applesauce from scratch with apples from Papa's tree!


Kari Rodems said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Great stories and pictures. Thanks for the B-day card... it was the first one I have recieved :) We should do coffee again soon. My schedule is packed the next couple of weeks,but hope to see you soon - Kari

ATSmith said...

Thanks for the recap. What a fun trip you guys had!

IslandHopperGirl said...

Wow! I wish I could catch fish like that! lol. I'm glad you had a lot of fun. I luv the pics.

Melanie said...

What an awesome trip! I can't wait to go sometime!