Saturday, January 27, 2007

Diving in Catalina : Day 1

Last weekend, CP, his son Nathan, Emma and I went to Catalina to do some diving! We left on Friday night and headed down to Long Beach to catch the Catalina Express, the boat that takes us over to Catalina Island. We were all so worried about the traffic, especially leaving at 5ish on Friday to catch the last boat out which departed at 7pm. Fortunately, we all made it with no problems (no wrecks on the 405 or the 710) and all made it there at the exact same time, literally parking at the same time. We had to all drive separately but it turned out ok.

We got to the island a little after 8pm and after we checked in to the Hotel Mac Rae (where I usually stay when I go there) we all met back up to go to dinner. There weren't too many places open and still serving but we found a little restaurant on the water, had some wine and some junk food... oh and we can't forget the peanuts. What fun it is to eat the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor... seriously, it was fun. After about 20 takes, CP finally got a pic of Emma throwing the shells over her shoulder! We woke up on Saturday and all met for a hearty breakfast at Sally's. We stuffed ourselves just in time to get our gear and make it out to Casino Point to dive the underwater park. It was a bit overcast this day and cold.. but we were all so excited to get in the water! We went to Scuba Luv to get some gear that we didn't have, our tanks and carts to walk over to Casino Point. The island is so beautiful and its a bit of a hike to get to the point...well, when you are lugging a ton of gear. Thank god for those carts. I don't think we would have made it without it.
We get to the point and even with it being overcast and not to mention JANUARY, there were plenty of divers there- and a few classes going on too. We decided to swim out and around the class so that it wouldn't be so crowded. That first walk down those stairs into the cold water and submerging yourself always shocks your system! It takes about a minute to catch your breath and feel the water rush inside your wetsuit. Even though it was so cold (57 degrees!), I was so happy to be in the ocean. We all re-group, make sure everything is cool and down we go. The kelp forests are just so beautiful. Even though it was overcast, diving through the kelp is just so much fun. There was a lot of sea life and a diver that came out right before we went in saw a seal playing in the area we were headed. Well, we didn't find the seal but CP did point out an octopus that was hiding in a hole, we saw some flounder and some other cool fish that I don't know the names of. And of course, the girbaldi fish (the bright orange ones!) that are so playful and fun to watch.
After the dive, we tried to get out of our wetsuits as fast as possible, get dry and warm up. We broke down our gear and headed back to the dive shop to drop off our empty tanks. It was nearly 2pm at this time and we were all starving! We found a place right next to the dive shop and had some killer quesadillas... that hit the spot. We then decided we were going to hike around the island and got a map from Leslie at the museum to find out the route we should go. It was fun tooling around the island... we hiked for a couple of hours at least. We made it all the way up to the Church up in the hills. We had fun entertaining ourselves along the way and we have come to the conclusion that the island is haunted and that King Kong lives somewhere there- we saw all the signs. Ok, so Nathan came up with this but it was so believable. Did I mention that Nathan is going to acting school? Well, after hearing his crazy, made-up story..... I have a feeling he should be a screen writer! After the hike, we went and washed up and headed down to a nice restaurant for some awesome seafood! We brought some board games with us and decided that we were just going to take over some place and play games, eat and drink until they kicked us out. And that's exactly what we did. Emma taught us how to play cribbage first in the room before we left for dinner, you know- our pre-party, and then I brought mah jongg and we spread out the tiles on the table and played all night! I taught the white people how to play and they picked it up very quickly... my mom would have been proud. They also had "beginners luck" because CP won the first hand... I think. Actually, he was winning all night long- thanks to me since I was just feeding him winning cards for some reason. It was so much fun playing mah jongg and we didn't want to stop- but had to because they were closing down. Oh well, good times.

1 comment:

rosalyn said...

CP's underwater shot is so beautiful! Those girbaldi fish are striking and the kelp is amazing. Good on y'all for suckin' it up and goin' under despite the cold weather.

Hey-is that the ranch that the guy, whom we played pool with at the bar when we were there, works at?

CP and his son, Nathan, are so cute! = )

Glad y'all had a safe and fun weekend!