Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dream Sail to Avalon

                                      Crystalline waters beckon under the Avalon pier

     Since we're suffering through a dry, snowless winter up at Green Valley Lake, we were thrilled when Chris' Uncle Brad invited us to sail to Catalina Island aboard his Catalina 36 "Uff Da."


                                          "Uff da" is a Norwegian curse word (or something).

                                            Catalina Island is about 25 miles from the SoCal coast,
                                                 making it the dream destination for local sailors

   Despite the pall over Dana Point, 
    we were happy to be at sea again

Off with the shoes!

I enjoyed my time at the helm,
but my shoes stayed on... :-)

Captain Brad clowning around

After an easy 5 hour crossing, we arrived at Avalon Harbor.

Did this battered fishing boat motor here all the way from Vietnam?
It would appear so... (yikes)

We hooked up to Brad's personalized "Uff Da" mooring.
You don't even want to know how long the waiting list
is for this, or how much it costs. 

            Brad's wife Lisa took the cattle boat over and booked 
             2 nights at the Pavilion Hotel (she's not a sailing-type gal). 
            She asked me if I'd like to join her there for a girls weekend,
 to which I happily said "Yes!" 

The lovely grounds of The Pavilion

It was best, anyway, to leave the boys
to sleep aboard Uff Da. They would be
talking generators, batteries, alternators
and genoas for hours on end...

...leaving Lisa and I free to discuss other, 
more pressing subjects...   ;-) 

The boys talk solar panels while Lisa and I check in

After a tasty seafood dinner, we poked around Avalon looking for a bit of adventure.

What? A bowling alley in Avalon? Yes. It's true!

Well, it's mini-bowling -- sort of a cross between Skee-ball and the real thing.

I beat the topsiders off of everyone with the earth-shattering score of 121.

The next morning we awoke to a clear, warm, sunny Avalon

The gifts of off season sailing: a nearly deserted beach and lots of open moorings

Welcome to mid-winter in Southern California...  :-) 

Chris getting to know his island again

Fun fact: when the iconic Avalon casino was built in the 
1920's it was the tallest building in Southern California

Lisa and I met the boys at the dock 
as they dinghied in from Uff Da

So happy to be on a dinghy again

More Avalon beach scenes

Brad and Lisa rented a golf cart and we took off exploring the island

The view from the top (note the red helicopter in the foreground at left)

Pet cemetery

Pastoral island scene

How could we say no to this roadside lemonade stand?

This is a first: they also sold moustaches (!) and bracelets for a dollar

I passed on the moustache but I love my new bracelet

Avalon from the west side

This view hasn't changed since the 1920's

             Since Brad is a member, we spent an evening at 
    the Catalina Island Yacht Club

I'm sworn to secrecy as to what we did that evening...

            Naww, just kidding. It's a lovely club and we felt very welcome. 
Although Brad DID go to Harvard...
    I suppose I should ask him if he was a member of 
the Skull and Bones fraternity... ;-) 

The next morning, we awoke to a very foggy Avalon

Soon enough, the fog cleared enough for us to 
make a safe passage back to Dana Point

    I mostly shivered in the cabin while 
the boys happily worked the sails

My husband's happy place

    And just like that, we were back in Dana Point. Many thanks to Brad 
   and Lisa for their amazing generosity. XOXOXOXOXO 

Last shot: The "honesty in boat naming" award 
goes to "Seamy Barrister" in Dana Point.    


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