Catalina Cruise 2005, Part 2
Catalina Cruise, Part 2
Arriving at the island, I saw no familiar faces to greet me while trudging ashore with a heavy duffle bag. Nor were there any familiar faces visible on the restaurant patios or front rooms visible as I shouldered the ever-heavier burden. After walking for long enough to be weary and not seeing anyone familiar, the next step for me was a visit up some steep steps to the harbormaster’s office. This visit yielded the buoy locations of two of our boats – though I think Al Sharp would have been somewhat chagrined to have learned that his boat had been mis-recorded as “Hardbar” instead of “Hägar”! Waiting for 15 minutes at the shore boat dock, with the idea of leaving a message on Hägar if no one was on board, didn’t get me any closer to the Cruisers because the shore boat never showed up in all this time. Walking the shore got me close enough to a couple of our boats so that I could see that they were all closed up with everyone likely on shore having a fine dinner and good companionship. More walking around and peeking into restaurants, however, didn’t bring me the sight of any comfortingly familiar faces.
Worried, hungry, alone far from home, and with darkness approaching, I sought refuge from the specter of spending a night on a park bench by checking into a hotel room. “Any port in a storm.” The Atwater had something available for $90 plus tax, almost a bargain by Avalon standards, so I checked in, dropped the heavy bag in the room, washed my face, and got some ice cubes to cool a glass of water before heading back out in search of the elusive Cruisers. This time, though, the Catalina Cruisers weren’t so elusive; within ten or fifteen minutes I spotted a familiar face, and then another, and then more, and was able to join the Cruisers in time for the Official Portrait.
After making arrangements to join Hägar on the morrow and grabbing a quick “Big Olaf” ice cream cone, I followed Braxton to “Your Mom” for an evening cruise down and back up the coast. We had some merlot and Braxton trailed a couple of lines to scare any fish that might be nearby; I also got a pretty good look at Your Mom for the first time, including a peek under the hood to see the three-cylinder Volvo diesel. Somehow managing to tie back up to the fore-and-aft mooring, we then settled down for more stories and libations, until it was time for me to hop onto the shore boat and settle in for the night in my room.