|Shindig in Avalon Harbor with Casino in background|
Just around the corner from our fishing coves, we arrived in Avalon, on Santa Catalina Island. The harbor patrol escorted us to a mooring ball, about three boats away from the iconic Casino building, designed in the early 1900’s by the Wrigley executive who owned the island at that time, and wanted a gathering place and dance hall for his guests. The Jazz Trax festival was underway, and we were treated to live “smooth jazz” during the afternoon. Sun was shining, boats gleaming, ferries and helicopters were zipping in and out of the harbor. We quickly got our dinghy ready and zipped into shore to blend in with the happy tourists enjoying a beautiful day.
We spent two days and two nights on the Island. I’d describe Avalon as a bit of Key West, with some upcountry Maui town thrown in, and a pinch of New Orleans. Rob and I hiked around the streets, marveled at the beach rental prices, and just enjoyed the picturesque harbor and people watching. One night we invited new sailing friends over for happy hour on our boat, and enjoyed comparing stories and experiences. Found the locals taco shop further away from the main streets, (Thanks Scottie!) and enjoyed $1 tacos with some other new Baja Ha Ha friends.
The 2nd day Rob finally got me into my snorkel and mask, and we snorkeled in a protected dive spot right beside the Casino. There were lots of fish hiding in the kelp beds, and the clarity was superb. The water depth went to about 75 feet quickly, but with his shorty wetsuit and the salt water to keep me buoyant, I floated on the top without any effort. The bright orange colored Garibaldi, the California state fish, remains my favorite. I look forward to even warmer waters and more fish as we make our way south to Mexico.