September 15th, 2004

duck from book icons

(no subject)

First, the book:

While on the boat back from Catalina, I finished a nautical novel by Alexander Kent, called Man of War. This is the 26th novel in this series, which has been going downhill for the last several books. The early novels were quite good, but the protagonist of those novels was killed in a naval engagement 3 or 4 books back, and the whole series has lost steam. I'd recommend this author, but only the early books of the series.

Speaking of Catalina:

We had friends in from Ohio over the weekend. Saturday, we connected in the evening with them, going to see this group at a bar. The group was called PH7, and is equipped with five folks; a drummer (female), a lead guitarist (male), a rhythym guitarist (male), a bass guitarist (male), and a female vocalist. Not bad, the vocals were good, but they sound a bit garage bandish. Dan, from Dungeonmaster is the lead guitarist.

Sunday morning, off to Catalina with our friends from Ohio. I'd never been there before, so for me this was an adventure.

We went out there by a catamaran with water jet engines; I think we were making about 25 knots. I found it curious to see how many merchant vessels were waiting outside the port for space to unload; seemed to be a few dozen. Then, across the water to the island.

Catalina is an island on the Pacific Plate, i.e. it isn't in North America, about 20 miles off of Long Beach, and is about 21 miles long by about 8 miles wide. The terrain is rugged, with mountains rising right out of the water. Avalon, one of the settlements on the island, looks very much like a Greek/Mediterranean town on some small island, with the houses rising from the waterline very steeply.

There's a 12 and a 1/2 year waiting list for cars on this island, not that there's much of anywhere to drive to, and not that there's any parking space. We took a taxi to the hotel, but on the way outbound, we walked to the shipping terminal; it was faster, and a straight shot. (forestcats says "prettier").

Our hotel was expensive, the room was tiny, and the mattress was uncomfortable. The food was expensive, and unexceptional for the most part.

However, the glass-bottom boat was fun...don't be taken in by the attempts to get you to buy fish food, as they dump a bunch of it in the water, whether or not you buy any as well. We saw a cormorant swim by under the boat hunting fish; the forward group saw a sea lion do the same.

I also enjoyed the tour of the interior; the tour guide was quite informative. We saw several of the bison that have run of the interior. The airport had a display of some blue whale vertebrae, and a few other items.

A nice place to visit once, with some beautiful views. A restful place, for the most part. Not too wild.

We didn't get involved in one thing, while there, though. There was a marlin fishing contest going on, and we did see one being weighed; it was about 5 and a 1/2 feet long; it was 111 pounds.

I don't think I'd stay overnight again, though I might be willing to go for a day trip sometime.

When we got home, we found our cat Sable had been closed up in the empty drier overnight. Poor kitty; she did fine, though.
  • Current Music
    barking beagle in the backyard