Saturday, October 12, 2013

Long Beach and Catalina Island

Max and I arrived back in LA late Monday night and we immediately jumped back into "Planet Appa" mode. Max came back with a cold that has made him pretty miserable for the last few days. All was well on the boat except that Marcus' phone got wet and is officially dead. This leaves us quite hobbled since we are so challenged with getting connectivity already and now research and information is even harder for us to get. We never imagined that California would be where we had the most difficulty getting wifi. We are like junkies, desperate for it, willing to drink beer just to "log on"! Anyhow, happy to be back together and eager to get on with our adventures, we left Marina Del Rey and headed south the morning after our arrival. Marcus is a bit of a history buff and he loves anything marine and he really wanted to visit the Queen Mary. The yacht clubs in Long Beach were full so we went to the Rainbow Marina (Pine Pier) and it was the strangest of our "dockings" to be sure. We were right in the middle of the city. The aquarium and the convention center were blocks away. We were just a few feet from several restaurants and a boardwalk. We did find an amazing book store across from the Convention Center that used to be a Border's store and it was FILLED with books and every darn book was only $1. I went crazy. We got a tons of kids books for the boat. SO fun. I could have spend the whole day there. Our second day there, after schooling, we went to visit the Queen Mary via the free bus. It was wonderful. She is an amazing old ship, akin to a Titanic, that has been retired to Long Island and is now a hotel and restaurant. Has a great feel to it. I wish I could have taken a voyage on such a vessel way back when. Such a shame to visit the First Class Lounge, see all the amazing artwork and such and then, there on the wall, the AV outlet. Two world's colliding. We did a tour with this hilarious guy named James. Fun.
Do you see the little girl hiding behind?
She's a grand old dame
They are standing on a decommissioned Russian Scorpion submarine which we visited. It was one of our favorite parts of the day. When we left the Queen Mary after our tours, it was raining. The first rain we have seen since Seattle! And it was close to closing time for the sub. We were the only ones on it and there was this goofy accented taped tour piped overhead as we walked from one end to the other inside the sub. It was so open and relaxed to visit it - it felt unprotected and therefore very accessible somehow. We were amazed. I loved how "unmilitary" our visit was. We all really enjoyed it.
Gift Shop Fun
Under the sea...
We went back to the boat and decided we would splurge and go out to eat again so we could find some wifi. We ended up at P.F. Chang's. With no internet. But a great, fancy dinner. We agreed that although there was an aquarium right there next to our boat, we were basically done with Long Beach and the creepy dock. The next morning, I worked again on the acquisition of my "Provisioning Badge", and trudged up into the city to find an Albertson's and then all the way back with 6 bags and a loaded rolling cart. Egads. Food, hydration, cleanliness, tidiness and space have all taken on new and enchanting meanings these days. Feeding a family of 5 like this is NOT an easy task. And the kids are ALWAYS hungry. Exhausting! We left Long Beach and headed to Catalina Island. We were all eager to get there. Max and Marcus sailed us over and Sam and I took a nap down below. I was still on my Scope patch but felt sleepy like I always do on that patch. We arrived in Two Harbors and it was like we'd left some kind of craziness and ended up in paradise! Clear, clear waters. The California state fish, the bright orange Garibaldi surrounding the boat. We grabbed a mooring ball in the field of mooring balls right near the edge of one of the sides. Lovely. We went into "town" to check in and get ice cream and check out the showers, laundry, playground. It feels like Hawaii or something like that here. Just lovely and small. Many, many boats, however. Samey decided she wanted to swim but we didn't bring her suit to town so she had a little "naked time" on the beach!

 We went back to the boat since everyone couldn't wait to jump in the water and start snorkeling!

See the bottom below the cuties?
Quite possibly my favorite photo ever of Sam

We've  now been here two nights. Yesterday, after school, more snorkeling and a trip to town to sit in the little bar and get wifi. Everyone blogged except me! And I wrote a long blog last night but somehow it wasn't saved and so I had to start again. Today. But I am not feeling inspired. We didn't do much school today. Decided to take the dinghy and go looking for more great snorkeling. We found a lovely beach with amazing rocks and great snorkeling.

Some of the treasures we've found. The boys will post photos of their underwater explorations... It has been a wonderful few days here. 
My exoskeleton
You should see these two playing... Silly!!

1 comment:

  1. Love you guys, miss you too but so happy you can do this as a family! sail on!