You’ve Got to Go!
If you’ve never been to Catalina, then your missing out!
The water is beautifully clear and lovely. Orange Garibaldi fish swim below near the highly visible rocks and kelp.
In August the water is warm too! I wouldn’t say Caribbean warm, but just right to cool you down from the hot sun and warm enough to keep you happy and swimming! Snorkeling is a lot of fun too.
One time, while kayaking, I found a new pair of goggles and snorkel washed up on a lonely beach – near a cave.
I pulled into shore and picked them up and put them in my kayak. Then I rowed the half mile around rocky coves and jutting rocks to the main beach near Two Harbors. I took the glasses and snorkel and waded out into the beautifully green and blue water. Then I took the plunge in.
Putting the goggles on, I snorkeled out about twenty feet from shore. Here it was twenty to thirty feet deep and clear all the way down.
As I was pushing my way out, using the breast stroke and looking at the rocks and shells on the sandy bottom, suddenly a massive pool of small fish came swimming by – utterly blocking my path.
It’s as if I had come to a freeway intersection and had to wait for a thousand cars to pass! The fish were a large shiny mass and I watched them pass in awe!
Sea caves litter the shorelines around Catalina too, making the kayaking very exciting! Add the crystal clear water that you can see below as you kayak by and it is truly a marvelous experience!
But you do have to watch out. I mean, the currents and eddies can be swift and in some places the open ocean waves can suddenly catch you by surprise.
Since kayaking is a weekly hobby for me, I find this usually very exciting. But if your a little new to kayaking, the ocean currents can be hard to paddle against when your returning and if your not careful, you can suddenly find your kayak wedged or caught on a high protruding rock. This has happened to me several times. If it happens to you, just don’t panic and try to use your paddle to push the kayak off the rock. It’s worked for me every time.
When kayaking around Two Harbors, it is generally protected from the main ocean swell. But go a little too far, say near or past Bird Rock, and the waves can suddenly go from one to two feet to three and four foot swells very quickly – and that’s on a good day.
Kayaking with a friend or group, is probably the safest way to go and also do be careful when kayaking through some of the sea caves, as the tide and current must be considered before entering.
And of course, always wear a life jacket and carry a flashlight just in case you get caught after dark. In many kayaks, there are compartments in which you can place your lunch, fishing gear and some even allow diving apparatus. I also prefer using a Sea Kayak as they will not take in water if flipped or washed continuously by ocean waves.
The mountains off Catalina are rugged and beautiful but more dry and desert looking than lush.
I’ve hiked some of the hills and mountains of Catalina but since there are a lot of mountains, I’ve seen most of them by sea as I sailed by. While hiking, I’ve come across real buffalo just wandering by. Catalina island has numerous places to camp and many hiking trails should you wish to sea the island by foot.
Hotels, Sleeping & Eating
There are two main towns in Catalina: Avalon and Two Harbors.
Avalon is on the Eastern end of the island and is a real touristy place with many beautiful hotels, restaurants and shops!
Avalon even has a cinema! You can get a fast going Catalina Express boat over to Avalon and Two Harbors and take it back the same day (if you like).
Two Harbors is a bit different. It reminds me a bit of a cowboy town near the beach! Lol!
They just have a few shops and one restaurant. Usually people come to camp out at Two Harbors or to anchor their boats and sleep aboard. As there are no hotels, you do have to have a more creative overnight plan. There are camping cabins you can rent too though.
Recently, I sailed over to Two Harbors and moored there for about fifty dollars.
I could have anchored there (as I have done a few times before) for free however, but it is a little more work and risk. On Saturday night, I relaxed on the V-birth of my boat with my front door (hatch) open and enjoyed the beautiful ocean breeze blow across the water and into my boat.
There are only a few lights from the shore so the evenings are relaxing and enjoyable – especially when the moon shines out over the water and mountains!
Thanks for your comments!
PS: SAVE BIG on your next vacation!