Tales of Avalon

Avalon is the main (and arguably only) town in Santa Catalina island. We had heard great things of it, and wanted to have spent New Year’s there. But weather forced us to push it forward. Last week, we came back to Santa Catalina Island, and this time made it straight to Avalon, which lived up to our expectations in style !

Since leaving Seattle, we had Avalon as a key point of interest on our trip South.

When we arrived to Santa Catalina last December, our plan was to make a quick stop in Catalina Harbor, and then move to Avalon for New Year’s.

But after the nasty passage we had had from Santa Cruz, we were very alert to the weather. And in doing so, we were aware of the possibility of strong NE winds for the last week of the year. Despite our strong desire to spend the New Year’s night moored off Avalon, we decided to play it safe and ended up staying in Cat Harbor, for we believed it would provide much better shelter from the forecast wind and seas direction than Avalon.

The weather did change for worse, and the night of December 30th wind swept across Catalina Harbor, probably at around 40 knots. As strong as it was though, we were well protected from the seas, and all we had was an uncomfortable night. Unfortunately, conditions were much worse in Avalon, as wind and seas wreaked havoc in there.

After spending nearly two weeks at mainland, in Alamitos Bay, we returned to Santa Catalina, and this time the forecast warranted us a safe stay in Avalon.

Over the four days spent there, we enjoyed the harbor from Pesto, from under water,  and from above the hills, strolled around the tiny town, tasted some of its eateries, watched a movie in the famous Catalina Casino theater, saw two weddings on the beach, and even paid a quick unplanned visit to the medical center – as the pictures below will attest:

 

Right upon arrival to the harbor, yachts are greeted by the patrol boats, who promptly assign a mooring and give a hand if necessary. Note the Catalina Casino building on the background

Right upon arrival to the harbor, yachts are greeted by the patrol boats, who promptly assign a mooring and give a hand if necessary. Note the Catalina Casino building on the background

The water was so clear ... despite it being also so cold, we didn't resist, and plunged

The water was so clear … despite it being also so cold, we didn’t resist, and plunged

That evening we ate dinner under this beautiful sunset

That evening we ate dinner under this beautiful sunset

The next morning, we gazed at the beauty of the harbor and the little town that wraps around it from Pesto's deck

The next morning, we gazed at the beauty of the harbor and the little town that wraps around it from Pesto’s deck

Then we went to town, where the pretty architecture was worth watching - like the Tuna Club at the waterfront ...

Strolling around town, the pretty architecture was worth watching – like the Tuna Club at the waterfront …

... or this little cottage house on one of the town's backstreets

… or this little cottage house on one of the town’s backstreets

Then we rented ourselves a golf cart ...

Then we rented ourselves a golf cart …

... which enabled us to check on the island's inland attractions ...

… which enabled us to check on the island’s inland features …

... both natural ...

… both natural …

... and manmade ...

… and manmade …

... in addition to gaining a vantage view of the harbor from up above the hill

… in addition to gaining a vantage view of the harbor from up above the hill

Oh, in the process I even managed to photobomb the kids. You know, just for the fun of it

Oh, in the process I even managed to photobomb the kids. You know, just for the fun of it

The quick swim of the first day enthused the crew to further explore what lay below the surface there ... what took them inside a tour boat specialized for underwater viewing

The quick swim of the first day enthused the crew to further explore what lay below the surface there … what took them inside a tour boat specialized for underwater viewing

These boats are so popular with the fish there that it was hard to tell who was watching who

These boats are so popular with the fish there that it was hard to tell who was watching who

Then, one evening Raquel, Adriana and I went to the Catalina Casino building to watch a session of "Into the Woods" in their movie theater

Then, one evening Raquel, Adriana and I went to the Catalina Casino building to watch a session of “Into the Woods” in their movie theater

That, to me, was by far the highlight of our stay there ... getting to a movie theater by dinghy, and then find a place with exquisite art deco decoration, an actual pipe organ session preceding the movie, not to mention the movie itself which was quite cool

That, to me, was by far the highlight of our stay there … getting to a movie theater by dinghy, and then find a place with exquisite art deco decoration, an actual pipe organ session preceding the movie, not to mention the movie itself which was quite cool

The foyer at the entrance of the theater - very art deco

The foyer at the entrance of the theater – very art deco

The theater room was huge - 1,200 seats - of which hardly a dozen were occupied that night

The theater room was huge – 1,200 seats – of which hardly a dozen were occupied that night

 

And like this, our days there flew by.

Our next stop – Catalina Harbor. Again. This is the first time we return to a place along this journey since leaving Seattle. I believe this tells how much we liked the place.

More to be reported soon.

Have a great weekend !

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