Left Paradise Cove and headed across the expansive Pacific toward the island of Santa Catalina and the little town of Avalon. No wind, no waves, flat calm and warm! We have been waiting for warmth! We were just minding our own business and enjoying the warmth after crossing the massive shipping lanes into LA when we notice a freighter (700 feet long and stacked high with containers!). Behind him is a cruise ship. Can we make it across before he gets here? If not, we have to wait and go behind both of them….could add another 45 minutes to our trip. Let’s go! We started across and he sped up….yikes! OK, we’ll wait. We slow way down and he slows down. What’s up? We will just wait. All of a sudden we hear a very accented voice on the VHF radio. “White sailboat”….is this us? “White sailboat….Slow Dancer, what are your intentions?” Yep…it’s us! Ken attempts to respond, but neither of us can understand what he wants. We’re out of there. We turned around and headed back where we were and the huge freighter turns right where we were…..oh….he wanted to turn! Why didn’t you just say so! So we ended up waiting for both the freighter and the cruise ship. Then on to Catalina.
This island and town were privately owned for many years. It is now owned by the Wrigley (gum) family who leases it back to a nature conservative. It was a place, years ago, for the rich and famous to visit and spend time in the massive casino. OK, this is going to be different. You check in with the harbor patrol in his boat, pay him, give him your boat papers (all while trying not to bump into his boat or be run over by the many other boats coming and going AND bobbing up and down!) and he tells you which large white mooring ball to get. Hmmmm…..new experience for us! We motored into the sea of balls, found ours (with a little help!). Ken motors slowly, Dale runs to the bow of the boat, picks up a long spike with a buoy on it, grabs the slimy huge line and puts it around the bow cleat, then runs with the even heaver stern line to the back of the boat! We got it and got slimed in the process! Now to go ashore….pump up the dinghy!
We hiked to the top of the island (not a small feat!) and looked down on this beautiful place. Wow…it is amazing! Spent 3 nights here, met some new cruising friends, Brett & Sarah, who will be going in the same direction as us. Swam in the crystal clear water and explored. Time to head toward our last U.S. stop…..San Diego!