Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Catalina Island Trip

It's been almost a week since Eric and I returned from our vacation to Catalina Island and I'm just now sitting down to the computer to blog about it. When we returned, I hit the ground running with unpacking, laundry, housework, getting ready to homeschool and just spending time with my girls. Then I got a cold and that set me back further. So finally, here's some highlights of our trip...

Just The Two Of Us:
August 4-8, Eric and I got to go to Catalina Island on our 22-foot boat. This is the second year we've been able to do this by ourselves. This year, our daughters were watched by Eric's parents for 2 1/2 days and our friends, The Pedersons, for 2 1/2 days. We left Monday morning, trailering the boat to Los Angeles and launching it out of Cabrillo Harbor. It's only an hour boat ride to Catalina from there. We stayed there until Friday morning when we returned to L.A. and back to Ojai.

Eat, Sleep & Spearfish:
We lived on the boat while at Catalina, tied to a mooring buoy in Avalon Harbor. Each morning we woke up around 7:30, ate breakfast on the boat (yogurt & granola), drove the boat to a dive spot near the island, suited up and jumped in the water with our spear guns, no scuba tanks. We free-dived for a few hours, ate lunch on the boat (sandwiches) and dove a bit more before getting out of our wet suits and into regular clothes. After changing clothes, we'd pull the anchor and drive the boat back to the harbor, grab our backpack and hop into the little avon inflatable boat and Eric would row us on over to the dingy dock where we'd tie up and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in Avalon. We'd shop, eat ice cream at Big Olafs, read a book at the park and go out for a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant on the island, The Landing. We ate there almost every night.

Entertainment On The Island:
The first night we saw the new Mummy movie at the one-room theatre they have on Avalon. It was a good, entertaining movie. I like Brendan Fraser because he's not a big hot-shot movie star. He's funny. We also played miniature golf twice at the run-down but challenging course on the island. Eric won both times. (I recall winning last year, though, but who's keeping track?) It was so funny when we arrived at the golf course the second day to play another game and were right behind the same mother and daughter (Trish & Sierra) that we were behind the day before. They were such nice people and we practically played both games with them. It was fun to connect with strangers that way.

It's a Small World on Avalon:
We weren't on the island more than a few minutes the first day when we ran into the Dalto family, friends of ours from Ojai. Which Dalto, you may be asking? The entire family: Andy, Aaron, Brian, Tony, etc., etc. Tony told us that his grandparents have been coming to Avalon the first week in August every year for 100 years! Tony and his family have been coming for more than 25 years. The reunion includes 100 to 200 people each year! We ran into one or more of the Daltos every day we were on the island. We also saw our friends, Bob & Patty Howell. And in the harbor, we saw Eric's dive buddy from Santa Barbara, Brian Coreak. The world just kept getting smaller and smaller. We also saw former L.A. Lakers' star Vlade Divac. A few people were asking for his autograph as he walked around Avalon. Man is he tall!

We'll Deal With That Later:
One night, as Eric was rowing us back to the boat, one of the oars broke on the inflatable. A nice, but somewhat crabby man, in a much larger inflatable with a motor offered to tow us back to our boat. Here's the funny story: He sees us in our little boat by the dingy dock and asks, "Are you coming or going" because he wanted to tie up at the dock. I said, "We're going, but our oar broke." He said, "Come on, don't say that." I said, "It's true." He said, "Here, I'll take you back to your boat," and he starts to rig up an elaborate way to tie our lines together. Eric says, "Our boat is not that far away, I'll just hang on to your boat with my hands." So the man starts taking us to our boat. But we can tell he's in a hurry and he starts to drive his boat faster and our boat starts to fill with water. Eric says to him, "Sir, our boat is filling with water." With a wave of his hand, the man says, "We'll deal with that later." Eric thought, "Like when we're at the bottom of the ocean!" and he let go of the guy's boat. The man finally caught a clue and slowed down, and we arrived safely--and wet--at our boat!

The Ones That Got Away--And Didn't:
From the boat, we saw flying fish, a marlin, seals and dolphins. While diving we saw many different fish and Eric saw a black sea bass. In the end, Eric shot two yellowtail and I missed two yellowtail! Eric said it was a big deal that I even got a shot off, but I was pretty disappointed to not land anything. Oh well, there's always next year. I did have a great time with my sweetheart and a relaxing, rejuvenating week.

(Where are the pictures? Eric's camera broke before we even took one picture!)


Kari said...

Welcome home! Sounds like a great time :) xo
P.S. If I stumble upon any of my old homeschooling stuff I'll send it your way. Enjoy your school year, I look forward to reading updates :)

vgow said...

It sounds like you had a great time. It reminds me of the times Dad & I had a chance to get away on the motorcycle, it only holds 2.
we saw great things and had a wonderful time.