Blogs from Santa Catalina Island, Channel Islands National Park, California, United States, North America


Charging eighty miles an hour through Los Angeles is on the norm a more than difficult task. At four AM the city transforms from bloated arteries doused by heat to empty byways and skyscraping illumination. Our group of eight met at the Ventura harbor just as the Sun was tattooing the western sky with blasts of orange and red. Stomachs full of Starbucks coffee and breakfast sandwiches we set off on an Island Packers boat towards the eastern horizon. The catamaran paused a slightly too long at a buoy barnacled by sea lions and then picked up the pace towards Santa Cruz Island. The cragged cliff face speckled with caves transformed from the haze of early morning mist. More something of a lost-to-time monster island rather than a National Park, Santa Cruz rose from the channel ... read more
Del Norte
Setting sun at Del Norte
Island Foxes

Once back on the ship from our day in Catalina we headed up to the Lido Buffet for lunch then off to see what was happening on deck. Boy, there was a lot going on both on the ship and off! On the ship, the water slide was in full use and the kids looked like they were having a great time. The hot tubs were filled to the brim with sun-worshipping cruisers. Security was working overtime enforcing the 'no kids in this hot tub ... they can only be in that hot tub' rule. And all the while, onlookers were enjoying the show ... like us! We were still anchored and Catalina proved to be a luscious backdrop for all of the afternoon's activities. Off the ship, we watched parasailers being pulled by like ... read more
Tenders to Catalina
Sea Gulls on Carnival Paradise
Carnival Paradise Slide

The ship dropped anchor at Santa Catalina Island sometime before 7:30 a.m. I know this for a fact because from where we were it sounded like we had run into something. I really don’t mind noises on the ship, in fact I actually like all the different sounds you hear. Besides, dropping anchor makes for a great wake-up call. So does ordering breakfast from room service the night before. Right around 8 a.m. we received a much-welcomed knock on the door and lo and behold *key the grand music* there was breakfast. A word of caution - every number you place by a food item on the room service order form produces a covered plate. We had seven covered plates ... most of which was fruit! I wish I had taken a photo of the breakfast ... read more
Carnival Paradise
Who's watching the road?
Casino in Catalina

On 10/15 at 0930, Ansa and Echo checked out of Marina del Rey and set sail for Avalon on Catalina Island. At first there was no wind, but then it came up to about five or six knots on the nose. I dragged the traveler over and wind in the main gave me enough power to reduce the engine rpm from 2800 to 2000 and still maintain six plus knots of speed. Still later, we changed course to more of a reach and I unfurled the jib. Still motorsailing but a lot nicer ride with less rolling. Waves were maybe two or three feet and it was warm. Its amazing how much warmer it is south of Santa Barbara. Because this is the off season, we were able to moor in Avalon harbor. The last time ... read more
Fending off in Avalon
Bonnie working on her journal
Dick taking a break

For our 7 year wedding anniversary we did an overnight trip to Santa Catalina Island. We took a ferry for about an hour and a half from Dana Point. Dana Point is a beautiful place in itself and thriving with activity during the summer. We will have to make another trip out just to experience Dana Point. On our ferry ride over to Catalina Island we were pleasantly surprised with an amazing dolphin show. We passed by several schools of dolphins and one school decided to ride the ferry wake and follow us for a little while. It was amazing and a highlight of the trip. Especially since all the times we have been out on the water, we have never seen any dolphins. Arriving in Catalina Island, it was stunning. It was our first trip ... read more
Bait Barge
Water activities in Dana Point

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