Over the 2014 Christmas holiday season we were not living aboard Abracadabra, but that didn't keep us from thinking about sailing or being on the water.
In fact, on Christmas Day we took a "cruise" to spend the night on Santa Catalina Island which is part of the Channel Islands group off the coast of California. [Thanks for the Christmas gift, Rob and Tom!] We traveled the 20+ miles to and from the island on the Catalina Express ferry and that trip gave us several chuckles for reasons our sailing compatriots will appreciate:
The trip took just a few minutes more than an hour. The ferry travels at a top speed of over 20 knots (roughly 23 mph or 40 km per hour) and is so stable we could put drinks on a table and leave them there. Perspective: Had we traveled on Abracadabra this 20+ mile trip would have taken us all of a very, very long day. Abracadabra usually travels at about 4 - 5 knots and can almost never travel "as the crow flies" because, well, the wind rarely comes from exactly the right direction to permit us to "fetch" a destination.
The ferry trip to and from the island wasn't our only sailing-related experience during our visit. We spent a lot of time watching boats swinging and bucking on mooring balls in the harbor, thinking about uncomfortable anchorages we had known. Our hearts particularly went out to one poor captain who had chosen to moor off the north end of Avalon Bay, behind the Casino. The next time you think you've experienced "the worst anchorage ever" think about this poor crew:
|The VERY Worst Anchorage Ever|
We only hope that they were spending the day ashore!
More scenes from our trip to Catalina Island, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 2014:
|The Casino in Avalon Bay As Viewed From The Ferry|
|Spectacular Tile Work Along The Walkway To The Casino|
|A Catalina Bison|
|A View From The Airport In The Sky|
Travel Tip: Catalina isn't a big Christmas holiday destination, so many of the restaurants were closed and those that were open were full. If you travel there over Christmas make dinner reservations before you go.