America Food Friends Photography Travel Weather/Nature

Hanging off Catalina

Hanging off Catalina, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

It is only 26 miles from Long Beach to Catalina, but yet it was morning before we anchored off the lovely town of Avalon. Even moving very slowly, it could not have taken that long: Throughout the dark night, we must have circled sharply within the western waters of the blue Pacific.

At one time on Tuesday morning, as I sat on the tail section of our ship looking toward the island, I saw as many as five of the yellow boats ferrying passengers from the Paradise to the charming and very popular island. When the time came that we had agreed with our friends to go over, we found that the lines to board the yellow Catalina boats snaked a long distance through narrow hallways. As Jerry and I walked.. and walked.. to find our place at the rear of the line, we asked the people we were passing how long was the wait. Disgusted, one lady–about half way back–said she had been waiting half an hour already. We kept walking, finally coming to the conclusion that our wait would be at least an hour and a half. Not worth it, we both agreed.

We left the line, circled back and there was Elaine, motioning to us. “Come this way.” We did and within a very short time were aboard a yellow boat, and in mere minutes were standing on the dock in Catalina.

“What happened?” I asked her. “How did we get in that line?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. “We were standing in that ugly long line when someone came for us, saying, ‘Get in the line here.'”

We spent an hour touring the fabled island aboard a 4-place golf cart. It was delightful. Back at the dock we quickly boarded a boat that took us to our ship…found our way to the buffet for lunch…slept much of the afternoon…then dressed for dinner, where lobster was served on our elegant plates. I tried to figure out the silverware, but couldn’t identify the use for so much; each place setting consisted of eleven pieces!

Gold Carts Tour Catalina by you.