Hawaii/South Pacific: Avalon, Catalina Island, California

Monday, February 28, 2022

Yesterday caught up with me at 9:00 pm and I was soon asleep. Chuck went to the Casino and I never heard him come in.

Woke up at 6:30 and since I wasn’t going to be going to the pool, I got ready for the day. We were already anchored off the coast of Catalina Island. I could see the coast of California in the distance. I could just make out the outlines of buildings in the haze. The buildings stretched so far down the coastline.

Town of Avalon

Went to get coffee in the Exploration’s Café. It is located in the Crow’s Nest on Deck 10 forward. I walked all the way from the back to the front of the ship and took the elevator up to 10th and then reversed the process to get back to the room. A lot of steps first thing in the morning.

We went to the Dining Room for breakfast. Had my first Raisin Bun of the trip. I can’t have too many of these but I really like them. Afterwards, I sent out our first bag of laundry. Usually, it is a 24 hour turnaround. Hoping it is the same on this ship.

It was about 10:00 and we went to BB Kings to pick up our tender ticket. Sometimes the tender boats that take you from the ship to shore are provided by the Island you are visiting.

Today, the ship was using its lifeboats to ferry us over. It was not too crowded, and everyone was masked. The trip was only about 10 minutes. The longest tender ride I ever had was Belize. Takes about 30 minutes from the ship to shore over the reefs. Usually very humid and uncomfortable unless you can get by one of the open doors.

Gorgeous day today. Sunny and 76 degrees. We walked around the town and looked into the shops. There were also several hotels, bars, restaurants as well. People were renting electric bicycles and golf carts. Others were getting taxis for some island tours. There was a small beach for getting some sun. It was too rocky for swimming.

Most of the island is under ecological conservatorship so people could sign up for Bison expeditions, kayak tours, diving, and snorkeling. We thought about snorkeling, but some native Californians said the water would be very cold and we would have to wear wetsuits. I’m not crazy about the idea of donning a dark shiny wetsuit. I don’t think sharks can distinguish between tall women in wetsuits and a very long seal.

There was also a large casino at one end of the town. I had heard it wasn’t open for play but you could take a tour of the facility. Supposed to be very elegant. Was said to be a favorite of the “Rat Pack” and other famous Hollywood stars back in the day.

We walked to the miniature golf course. It was 18 holes and they were very challenging. We set ourselves a limit of 2 strokes over par on each hole or we would have been there all day on some of the holes. It was a close match but the winner was all smiles.

Back on the ship, we had a light lunch in the Lido and some time in the sun on the balcony. A fly keeps landing on my knee and just sits there. Doesn’t look like an ordinary housefly but I don’t know what kind it is. I am sure it will go away once we start to move out to sea.

Went to the sail-away party at the Sea View aft deck. The naturalist was there talking about the wildlife we MIGHT see as we sail – California grey whales, seals, and dolphins. Only wildlife I saw were gulls that were poised to snatch the party hors d’oeuvre if you turned your back.

The Hawaiian ambassadors presented their first performance for us. They will be with us until Honolulu. They will teach some craft classes, give lectures, and do other demonstrations throughout the next 5 days. Tomorrow’s craft class is one of the most popular – making leis.

The class is first-come, first-serve and open to 100 people. If it was in the main stage area, I might go but I am not going to be crowded up in the BB King show room.

I wanted to get a shore excursion in Kona but I could never get it to show on the Navigator app so I bit the bullet and went to stand in line at the Shore Excursion desk. I was able to book it with them once I finally made it to the desk. They didn’t know why it wasn’t showing in the app.

Had a drink at the Ocean Bar. Then, played some slots. First time for the Wonder Woman slot. It was fun. Gave us a few good hits.

Dinner was at 7:00. Seemed busier than last night. I had a salad and the three-cheese enchilada. Thought it was better than the fajita from last night. Chuck had the Yankee pot roast. We each had a coffee instead of dessert. Hope it will keep me from going to bed at 9:00 tonight.

Next Up – Sea Day 1

Travel Trivia

Avalon, Catalina Island, California

Santa Catalina encompasses about 75 square miles. It has about 52 miles of coastline. It’s eight miles wide at its widest point and less than half a mile at its narrowest. The highest point on Catalina Island, Mt. Orizaba, is right around 2,100 feet.

Catalina is one of eight Channel islands; five of the others are national parks.

Catalina Island is part of Los Angeles County, and Avalon, incorporated in 1913, was the 13th city in the county.

Avalon’s golf course was first built in 1892, making it the oldest course in southern California.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, visited the island in 1923.

William Wrigley, Jr., of chewing gum fame, purchased controlling interest in Catalina Island in 1919. The Catalina Island Company is still owned by members of his family.

The city of Avalon, which is only one square mile, allows golf carts on the roads. 

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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