Fun and Sun

Fun and Sun

Sorry I missed you yesterday! I am recovering from a very brief vacation off the west coast of California, on Santa Catalina Island, about 25 miles west of Los Angeles. It was hot, but nothing like Las Vegas, although I have to say, in Las Vegas, it’s a dry heat or no heat.

Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island, California 

Star watching is pretty good if you can get away from the main city, Avalon, Catalina Island, which is home to about 4000 people, including formerly  Zane Grey  who wrote more than 100 novels selling more than 40 million copies. I can see how his imagination would have been inspired by the beautiful views, perfect weather, and isolation of an island, this island in particular. If you’ve never heard of it, think of Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Gum, and the Catalina Casino with world’s largest circular ballroom.

I tried snorkeling. Now mind you, I’ve done this before, 18 years ago, wearing a Personal Flotation Device, about 20 feet from the shore. I also can’t swim (not that anyone hasn’t tried to teach me). I will remind you, I am nothing like the fearless leader Captain Thomas Jackson of my novels. I am more like an anonymous stone that won’t even skip across a stream, immediately plunging into water and heading for the bottom never to be seen again. But I did try to be a good sport.


A 20 foot outboard motor boat with a happy senior at the helm took my son, husband, and me a good four or five miles north from the beautiful Avalon harbor perhaps 1000 feet away from shore where the water was clear and the Garibaldi (California State Marine Fish) schooled with kelp beds and striped bass. There I sat, in my wet suit, flippers on my feet, and a snorkel and mask facing the bottomless ocean with no PDF. my husband (a fish, I swear it!) had been the first to leap, my son, 15, followed. They waited for me. It was sink or swim time.

And sink it was. Ha! They said my wet suit would help me float; not me, I am rock. I managed to tread water, briefly, but trying to do so while attaching the snorkeling stuff was, in one word, multitasking, something I’m not terribly efficient at. As soon as I put on the mask, I couldn’t see or breathe, which trumped the treading water business by 100 fold. Then, I’d sink. I was promptly rescued, but once I got the suffocation – blindness device on and could tread water, I realized I also had to become a mouth breather, not terribly different the from fauna I intended on observing on this little outing.

I saw one fish, got water in my snorkel, and I was done. I wanted out of that water and into the boat and I didn’t care how embarrassed I was. I could only think of being hospitalized with a another stroke (which just happened 8 weeks ago), my heart pulsing little sticky platelets into my brain at incredible speed and pressure as panic triggered an adrenaline boost. The snorkel and mask went into the boat, then the mermaid flippers, then someone pushed and someone pulled and I flopped into the boat like a giant tuna.

Sea Turtle

I didn’t leave the boat again until we docked. in the meantime, my son and husband saw not only huge schools of striped bass and vivid orange Garibaldi, but, of all things, a sea turtle as big as a bed pillow.
These particular creatures are not native to the area, and this individual had probably come in with the most recent storm off the coast of Mexico. Yes, a living, swimming, gentle sea turtle. I did see its head when it came up for air. Yippee.

Outside of this near death experience, our little vacation rolled peaceably along until we arrived back on the mainland. I always enjoy the big catamaran that sails us out there and back at 30 knots per hour and serves snacks and drinks, also without internet service so the kids must put down their phones for about 30 minutes. This was fine. But the car had no intention of leaving the parking garage. Just a fluke, no marine pun intended, the battery decided to quit. Just quit, no warning, no rrr rrr rrr trying to turn over, just “nope, sorry, not taking you anywhere tonight.”

AAA came to the rescue, and I must say they were top notch, keeping us posted via text and getting a tech out to us in 28 minutes flat. I crashed into bed last night without so much as changing my clothes. Been visiting the family all day, and heading home just in time to prepare for the Star Trek Convention coming to Las Vegas on Wednesday. Now this is where I boldly go.

The Fabulous Five Star Trek Captions of Television

There are excellent stories and feelings and emotions to draw upon to entertain readers, as Zane Grey, and myself, can attest to on this lovely island. If you have the opportunity, when in Los Angeles or a little south of there in Long Beach, visit the Queen Mary, and spend a day or two on Catalina Island. I’m sure you’ll remember something worth writing about!

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