The twin 3100 horsepower Water Jet engines shot our catamaran across the San Pedro Channel at speeds approaching 35 knots (about 42 miles per hour). The comfortable Commodore Lounge, with enough legroom for the Rockettes, panoramic windows, and a wide selection of drinks from the bar, made the hour-long crossing from Long Beach, CA to Avalon the perfect introduction for my guest and me to start our day trip in Catalina. As we disembarked, passengers delighted in seeing dozens of red-orange Garibaldi Damselfish (California’s State Fish) acting as the unofficial welcoming committee. Four short hours later, after a great lunch, exploring side streets on a rented golf cart (there’s an extensive list of restrictions about having automobiles in Avalon), visiting the iconic Casino, and poking our way through the unique offerings of retail shops, it was time to return to the mainland.
The bar served American and Scotch whiskies, wines, gin, tequila, and several beers. My morning Bloody Mary was delicious!
As we passed the silhouetted Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor on our return, I was struck by the International flavor of the day: the Starship Express was designed on the Isle of Wight, UK, the Garibaldis were named for the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi’s bright red shirt, my guest was from Strathpeffer, Scotland, the Queen Mary’s homeport was Liverpool, England, and we had enjoyed a great Mexican lunch. It was quite a day!