Monday, November 8, 2010

Catalina Island

Bison Buffalo - Catalina Harbor, North End of Island
It is hard to believe we have been away from the dock for only a week – already I find myself losing track of the days.  The biggest inconvenience, so far, is not having regular internet access, which may actually improve once we are in Mexico.

We spent two nights in Catalina Harbor on the north end of the island – the second night I was up watching the anchor as we had to move from where we were the night before because the anchor was not holding.  When I remembered we had been told that raccoons are a problem and that they can swim to your boat, I went down below.  What’s worse – an anchor not staying anchored or an encounter with an uninvited raccoon in the middle of the night? 

Wednesday we motored around the island to Avalon.  On our way down the back side of the island we were joined by many dolphins around our boat.  At one point there were six dolphins all swimming under the bow of the boat, most of the time there were three or four dolphins swimming and jumping at the bow.  This all went on for about 45 minutes.  There are not any marinas or slips on Catalina Island, so we are tied to a mooring buoy.  We are happy just to be hanging out after so much rushing around to get away from the dock and have found time to stow some things and fix some things.

We have been studying our cruising guides – Charlie’s and Pacific Mexico and I found a Baja fishing book at the Avalon Friends of the Library sale on Saturday.  Gosh, there is sure a lot of information to know.  I am beginning to understand why no one is bored when cruising.

Some interesting facts about Catalina Island – In 1915 (or some say 1919) William Wrigley, Jr. purchased the Island and personally developed it into a one of a kind resort.  From 1921 to 1951, the Island was the spring training site for the Chicago Cubs (which Wrigley also owned).

It is thought that bison were brought to the Island in 1924 for filming of The Vanishing American, Zane Grey’s classic novel.  It doesn’t look like any of the scenes from the Island appear in the film, but the buffalo still roam freely.

The movie theatre in the Casino building was the first theatre built for talking movies.

Key things we have seen on the Island are the Wrigley Memorial and The Casino where we saw a movie and enjoyed a pre-movie concert performed on an historical pipe organ.

Wednesday, November 10, we plan to depart for Newport Beach.

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