Monday, June 27, 2011

Scuba diving and Wrigley's Memorial

Me in my wet suit.

So I went scuba diving for the first time.  I did it for two reasons, first because I have always wanted to it.  Second because there was a geocache in the water 40 ft down.  I went in the Jacques Yves Cousteau Dive Park with the instructor Shannon first thing in the morning at 0800.  A bit chilly but apparently time with good visibility.  I was having some trouble with equalizing my ears.  But with hand signals, lots of swallowing, yawn like movements, and plugging nose and blowing I finally got down there.  We saw so much stuff.  Visibility was 20ft.  I of course don't know the names of half of the fish we saw but I saw a small octopus that we held and inked all over us, sea cucumber, a shark egg case, shells with living creatures in them, lots of golden trouts defending their eggs, and of course the cache that I was looking for (which was the plaque placed in honor of Jacques by the California diving community in 1997, I had to report what was written on it).  We went for a 42 minutes.  It was starting to get cold even with the super duper wet-suit I had on, I can see how people dye of hypothermia so fast when stranded at sea.  Any way, when we got out I couldn't hear very well, in fact the whole rest of the day my own voice sounded like I had my hands over my ears.  It was really irritating.  

Wrigley Memorial

Next was getting a bike again and taking a ride to Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens.  The memorial itself had some interesting structures and the gardens a bunch of interesting cacti.  But I was most happy about the trail that lead away from the people to some awesome views of the bay.  

Avalon Bay

An interesting/comical thing about Avalon is that everyone had golf carts.  They ranged from regular white  carts to pimped out carts to delivery carts.  I managed to catch a few of the interesting ones.

Papa John's delivery

Tow Cart (there is a tow hook on the back)

Mini Trucks

Mini Cars

Pimped out cart


There were also mini van carts with car seats and such, FedEx delivery carts, lawn care carts, plain regular white carts, limo carts, station wagon carts, and many more.  One even had a portable garden on the back of it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cape Canyon Tour

Ready to charge
A cloud


The tour truck

Lots of secluded beaches

Whale vertebrae

Twin rocks

Two Harbor
The second day in Catalina I went on the Cape Canyon tour.  Basically an army truck used for touring the back roads of Catalina Island.  It was very adventurous and I learned a ton about the Island.  Saw a bald eagle, a fox, a bunch of quail and tons of baby ones.  Even saw a few bison there.   Turns out they were brought there for a movie and were never left. Fun fact about bison...they are so top heavy that they have to rock back and forth to get momentum to stand up.

 We made stop at the Airport too.  Super small with just little planes for rich people and their private planes.  Turns out the airport was made by blasting the top of the mountain off to make the runway.  Anyway had a buffalo burger, it was good.  Lots of good scenery but also a bit overcast at times.

The afternoon was a tour trip to Two Harbors on the northern end of the island.  If I come back to the Island I would take the boat and moor/anchor here.  This is the more rustic end of the island where campers go.  There is one restaurant, only a few places to stay, a general store and a equipment rental place.  There wasn't a ton to see here.  But next trip will be riding bike on the inland trails.

 The trip back to Avalon was a flying fish tour.  It was interesting but I have experienced flying fish before with a few landing on deck on a past sailing trip.  A few days later there was a foul dead fish smell that I could not detect the source.  A few weeks later it was found and disposed of very quickly.  So these fish use flying as a self defense mechanism.  In the water they look like regular fish but when the jump out of the water they spread their wings and glide where ever the wind takes them in effort to confuse the predator.  No pictures of the fling fish...they are too fast.

A trip to Catalina Island: Avalon

Over look of Avalon

Lovers Cove,  popular place to snorkel

This past week I took a 3 day trip to Catalina Island.  No, I didn't take the would take too long for the time I had available.  I instead took the ferry/hotel route.  I had a very good time.  The first day I rented a bike and did some geocaching...glad I did.  It brought me to high places with good views and really good cardiac/legs workout from the bike ride.  The weather most of the time was sort of overcast mornings with the sun not coming out until afternoon.  So a lot of my pictures aren't really so impressive of the scenery landscapes.  

More to come...