The morning set was off Osborne Bank, partway between Catalina Island and Santa Barbara Island, both of which were barely visible though the haze. We hadn't quite arrived yet, and dolphins were passing the ship - the chief scientist declared, "Mammals? Not supposed to be mammals here - supposed to be shark country!" As we were baiting and setting we were treated to a gorgeous hot pink sunrise below the cloud layer. We could see the sun coming up over an unknown landmass, otherwise not visible, which I later realized must have been the mainland because it was east of Catalina. The sun ascended about five degrees, making a trail in the water, and then disappeared into the clouds, leaving behind a pink stripe along the horizon, not to be seen again until the end of the haul as the clouds burned off. Tagged a few sharks in the morning and the chief scientist decided we deserved an afternoon off and we set off for Avalon.
We took the long way around though; for some reason we went clear around the back side of the island. I didn't mind though, it was a scenic trip, and I watched the island pass, trying to put names of landmarks the fishermen have given to actual places on the island - Slide, Church Rock, Ben Weston's, Quarry (although that one's pretty obvious - the east end of the island has an enormous chunk out of it that went to make all the jetties, breakwaters and groins of Los Angeles Harbor.
pulled up outside Avalon Harbor and we were treated to the spectacle of someone getting a parasailing ride - that looks like fun! Then it was on with the life jackets and several of us at once piling into a Zodiac to get a ride to pier, where we were deposited. As we made our way to the Avalon waterfront, people headed off to do whatever they were interested in doing - me, I just wanted a walk and to phone home. I headed at a brisk pace to the Casino on the point but was passed halfway there by several of our party heading out the the little reserve there to go snorkeling - which I would've love to have done, given the heat, but neglected to bring a swimsuit. I did see several garibaldi in the water along the edges of the harbor, though, without benefit of snorkel. I took pictures of the Tuna Club, which Zane Grey was a member of, and the yacht club, with its tiny non-functional lighthouse, but my main objective was the Art Deco murals at the front of the Casino - most of them are painted, but the centerpiece, a mermaid over the box office, is done in tile - she's just awesome. Although it's always been called The Casino, it was always a ballroom (no gambling involved) and while still used for that purpose it serves as Avalon's movie theater as well.
As I headed back to the pier, I gave Beth a call - ooh, I want to take one of her relatives and give her a good shaking. Avalon was supposed to go out and visit her grandniece for a few days while I was gone and Beth had to cancel because the situation is so bad. Grrr.
Arrived back at the Marlin Club where a few of our group were tipping back a few (no alcohol is allowed on the ship), but stayed outside, as I only had $15 dollars with me and I wanted to save it for a Jordan t-shirt. Those of us outside on the curb laughed about the island rocking - I actually felt if I drank anything I'd be on the ground. A few of us decided that since we had an hour or so before heading back to the ship, another walk was in order. This time we climbed the steps above the waterfront, wove through a neighborhood, and up a road to the chime tower on the hill above the town; unfortunately it was all fenced off. It looked like it might have been condemned, although it was still chiming the hours. Great view of the harbor from up there.
It took us about half the time to come down as it did to go up; and then we waited at the foot of the pier for other folks to show up. There were enough of us waiting to go back Victor had to make two trips, and we amused ourselves waiting by watching the fish under the pier - several people are from the East Coast, so I got to point out particular fish to them - garibaldi, blacksmith, kelp bass, opaleye. The zodiac finally came back, we put on our lifejackets, piled back on and once outside the moored boats in the harbor, went at full speed back to the Jordan
, bumping up and down over the swells.
Watched the sunset and the clouds creep over the tops of the hills, and finally came inside for a bite and more reading. The Discovery Channel has been playing, appropriately enough, Shark Week, all week. Mike Rowe was doing all kinds of shark Dirty Jobs - who knew?
| Morning set :|