Saturday, October 21, 2006

We spent one night in Avalon, a town on Catalina Island and then headed back to the mainland. Avalon was a real touristy place and we enjoyed looking in the shops as we walked by and at night we walked way up the hills to where the fancy houses were. They offered everykind of tour you could think of, the hummer tour of the inland island, the glass bottom boat tour, the evening sunset sail, the sea lion rock tour, you could rent any kind of water vehicle you possibly could think of, we contemplated the diving excursion but decided to pass. The Casino building in Avalon was famous during the big band era, they used to broadcast live from the "Avalon ballroom" The name Casino means a meeting place so they do not gamble in the building anymore but do offer tours. Avalon is also famous for it's tiles, and it was everywhere and yes Lucy they still use golf carts as a mode of transportation on the island. There were houses that were obviously 2 golf cart families, and the dirveways are very small and short!!
We are now at a yacht club mooring in Long Beach harbour, this is just south of Los Angeles. We stopped here to visit with friends we made in Coos Bay, Oregon where we spent three days waiting out a gale. People really are amazing, we arrived and after calling the harbourmaster discovered there were no slips available so we went and dropped anchor. It was going to be about a 2 mile dinghy ride to get to where Peter's boat was. Then the phone rang and Peter had arranged with his yacht club to provide us a slip and we were in like flynn. He came and met us at the boat and drove us to the home of the other gentleman we had met in Coos Bay, Siegmund. 'He and his lovely wife Claire wined and dined us at their home into the wee hours of the night. We dropped by Peter's house and met his much better half Jan. Then Siegmund and Clairs offered us the use of their spare room, what a treat, a lovely big bed our own bathroom with shower and bathtub attached, luxury to enjoy. Unfortunately, I somehow indulged in too much wine, so some of the pleasures of the visit were lost on me the next day as I struggled through that horrid 24 oz. flu. STUPID!!
They were perfect hosts today, taking us to see the wetlands that Claire has worked very hard to establish in thier neighborhood. At a cost of 140 million dollars, they have secured land and reestablished a tidal wetland area for the many migratory birds who nest here. Claire is a self confessed bird nerd and it was wonderful listening to her describe the birds and point out to us how to tell them apart. We saw snowy egrets, all sorts of grebes, protected brown pelicans, sandpipers, terns, and one endangered songbird that likes to live in the a certain type of plant they have re-introduced to the area. The area is huge, and we saw volunteers, building a fence on a path to keep Siegmund and Claire
the public away from the nesting areas. The environmentalist have been fighting for 30 years to keep development from the area and to save it for the birds, it is quite the story.
After this experience, Siegmund and Claire took us shopping and went and found some much needed propane. We returned their hospitality, by taking them out for a sail and then had them aboard Cat's-Paw IV for dinner. I carefully monitored my wine intake and did not embarras myself tonight. We are planning on seeing Peter and Jan tomorrow aboard their boat C'est La Vie, so will be great to visit with them.
The Queen Mary is moored just across the harbour and Barry thinks he may like to take a tour of her. We will stay here at least until Monday and maybe longer.