SS Catalina ************* The Great White Steamer

SS Catalina, also known as The Great White Steamer, was a 301-foot steamship built in 1924 that provided passenger service on the 26-mile passage between Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island from 1924 to 1975. According to the Steamship Historical Society of America, the Catalina has carried more passengers than any other vessel anywhere. Catalina also served as a troop ferry during World War II, transporting more than 800,000 soldiers and sailors. After a period of service as a floating discotheque, the ship ran aground on a sandbar in Ensenada Harbor in 1997 and remained there half-submerged and decaying for more than a decade.

I made many trips to the island on the steamer.  In 1964 a ticket was $7.00.

I was making $1.25 per hour. ***************Check out this short video,

SS Catalina 1964SS Catalina 1964-2

Sea Plane at Pebbly Beach

Sea Plane at Pebbly Beach.

There were two sea plane company’s flying into Catalina. One landed in Avalon harbor and loaded and unloaded passengers on floats tied to the pleasure pier.

The other company landed in the water along the road to pebbly beach.  The plane would go up the ramp onto land to load and unload passengers.

The planes left the mainland from ether the Long Beach Airport or under the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.  San Pedro was a fun place to land. The pilot would line the plane up with the bridge and land in the LA channel going under the bridge. Then take the plane up the ramp for loading and unloading.

This photo shows the plane coming up the ramp. You can see the vans waiting to take passengers into Avalon.

Some on you may have visited The Buffalo Nickle Restaurant while watching the helicopters  take off and land at pebbly beach.

My aunt and uncle use to run the restaurant in 1964. The restaurant was called the El-Encanto Restaurant. I use to go out to pebbly be two or more times a day.

Bye for now

AlanCatalina  Sea Plane Pebbly Beach 1964

Whale Watch Cruise a Great Success!

CSC_0355Saturday, March 7 was our first Fleet Event for 2015. Traditionally, we have always had a whale watch and reception, but our boaters rarely ever saw whales. This year was a great success — not only because we saw whales, but also because the reception was very well attended, and Tom and Julie brought great food and prizes for the photo contest. The weather and sea conditions also cooperated. Calm water and light breezes made cruising nice all day long.DSC_0371

The California Gray Whale migrates north this time of year to its summer feeding grounds in the Bearing Sea. March is a great time to look for these big whales, because a large portion of the population happens to be passing Southern California at that time. They are recognizable by their heart-shaped blow (or spout), their mottled gray coloring, the copious amounts of parasites visible on their skin, their lack of dorsal fin and the presence of ridges on their backs.DSC_0413

Everyone brought great pictures (of whales!) to the photo contest. Congratulations to Beth Lockridge for her winning photo — a picture that perfectly captured the unique shape of the California Gray Whale’s spout.

Do not forget that next Saturday is the General Meeting and St. Patrick’s day party, and our next Fleet event will be May 23 at Pine Ave. Pier.