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9 Dec 2018

Catalina Island trip

It all began few years ago when someone told me that there is Catalina Island right here in Los Angeles. It is even visible from Hollywood hills or Santa Monica in clear day.

I also knew that there is a city there.

28 Jul 2016

Once, few years ago I even did a short trip to this Island on a speed boat with friends. Terrible experience I should tell, when there is a lot of waves it just became a night mare because you fall down hard each time you pass a wave. I do not understand why people like speed boats at all. Maybe when it is still water then it is much better. Only good thing that it took us 2 hours to get there, compare to 8 hours this time.

Even if I own this 28 feet sail boat for a 6 month, I never traveled far away, no longer than 2 hours from marina and always was close to cost line. Almost always without open sail.

I’m not sure how many friends I asked to join us on this trip. Sometimes it is better to travel with few right people than with bunch of random ones.

Jonathan, film director, photographer and just talented guy joined us that morning. He been late as usual. Typical Jonathan. But fun fact about him – he either oversleep and miss a journey (journeys usually start as earlier as possible) or he will do it even if it is sounds crazy and unreal. That’s why we say “typical Jonathan” each time someone have an idea go to mountain, fly to Iraq (he did twice), do lobster catching etc. and he “IN”.

6 am – we are on the way to Catalina. We sleept for 4 hours, tried to prepare everything at night to not wake our neighbors on other boat at the morning. We still did. Thing is that there is a lot of bags and food and drinks and gear you need to hide, fix, un fix everywhere. I do not remember any journey when everything is smooth. No one do anything, and tasks complete themselves. I honestly believe that that’s how people think traveling is. Bags will pack themselves or will be ready just because they always ready. It is no troubles at each step, no troubles at airports, no at taxi cabs etc. And when people see reality. They just step back. Too much negative experience already to do something else. Taxi cab doesn’t come, phone battery died at most important moment, train was delayed, or you were late for 2 min and that’s why you missed everything (happened to me few times). No one know how much value of work you need to put to make something happen. Everyone think that goal can be achieved like in movies. Scene Cut Scene and you already there. I never saw a single film where people work for 99% of the film, monotone, boring job and task by task to have 1% of action or epic view. But that was is going on with traveling if you count time you spent to get money for trip and prepare everything. Not always but usually you need to do 99% of work and preparations to have this 1% of breath taken experience. All began with dream. If you have a dream to see a world, if you have a goal – you will do it. If not – everything will stop you, it will be a lot of troubles one the way.

Like this time when we had a trip to Colorado River, Vegas, Charleston mountain and one guy told us at last second that 4 hours it is too much. That he will pass this time. Even he said that want trip badly before, even he always asks to join us, even if he always knew that LA – Vegas is 4 hours road trip. It all makes him decide last second that he will put it for later. I believe it will never happen.

I will tell you one thing – remember it as you said it. Do it now! It is best time right now. Most important thing that you have is a time, always should be now. No one think about time that way. Everyone think that it is unlimited, and we will have more time in future. No, we live once. In future you can do another thing and another one and another one. But right now, do what you really want, do not spent time sleeping, watching TV, playing video games, getting all this emotion from someone else. Just do it yourself, create. Stand up, open door and do a step forward to a new journey. There is a lot of journeys around you. You only need to believe that it is like that.

Reality is little tricky thing. If you think that there is no time, or there is nothing interesting around you or you can travel only if you have a lot of cash etc. If you truly believe in this crazy idea – world will be like that, but it will be just for you. For person in same position who believe that journey can be unlimited world will be as is. World always look like you think it is look. Always like mirror of your thoughts.

We didn’t succeed that much with sailing. We damaged lines that hold front sail. We didn’t had any wind. So as usual we just use motor. Boat spent 1 gallon of fuel for an hour. It is amazing compare to even smaller speed boats. Speed boat trip to Catalina and back cost 400-500$ of gas money, when our trip is only 40$. Yes we are 6 hours more slower. But like I told before, at least we not fall down each time on each wave. And even if 8 hours is a lot of time, we can spend it on talking, enjoying view, sleeping, eating. Journey itself can be a goal, not a destination. (I believe that Jonathan didn’t like that much that me and Misha fall to sleep for 2 hours while he drive.)

It was a lot of dolphins on our way, even more than we thought. Wasn’t my first time seeing them, but same emotions each time. You will not believe when see it yourself. They do not hang out alone, they always do it together, crazy animals. I saw 100 dolphins in one place couple times. They like to play with a boat. They like to be right in front of you, 1 second away before boat touch them. I was so scared about that few years ago I almost screamed to Capitan that he need to stop right now. I was so scary. Didn’t get why Capitan try to kill these beautiful animals. Later I realized that dolphins do it themselves for fun. They are so incredible fast, they feel so free, they can be right in front of the boat without even a 1% of a chance to be damaged. They like to have this feeling when big boat almost got them. They like monkeys in jungles that always around and same time like puppies who want to play.

First, we planned to see Avalon city. But it is an hour more to get there and somehow winter sun goes down at 4 pm. So, we went to Two harbors point. It is closest port to LA in this island. Where you can go to other side of the island in just 5 min walk. Boats park here from one side and another. Whatever you want. I don’t think there is a lot of ports like that.

Before we realize how to anchor at this port, we checked few caves and rocks. We were so surprised when we saw bunch of California sea lions. It is their home on this island. There was a building right on this corner of Island of some university that study them there. Day wasn’t sunny. Which is good. Sometimes it is too much sun in California. And when we attach camera to the stick and put it under the water. Happen most amazing and inspiring thing. This shoot will be in my film company logo. We didn’t knew what we shooting and what direction even camera looking to. And how beautiful everything is inside the water of course. On the surface you can see lion’s flippers, that’s it. Nothing else. Maybe shadow of them sometimes in water around boat. But under the water magic happens. Another universe. Another planet. We didn’t expect to see anything like that at all. I was so surprised. I tried to put camera in right direction and sometimes I even succeed.

We call dock attendant. There is great cellar signal during all way to the island. They told us where to park the boat and how to do it. It is interesting because we need to find a huge yellow rope pull it out the water and attach to our boat. Then it is also necessary to pay them to transfer us from boat to the island. Maybe next time I will grab inflatable boat so it will be free for me.

We get to other point of island. I told that it is just few minutes’ walk from one marina to another there. And how surprised we were was, especially my dog Raya when we saw 2 Buffalos eating grass at the beautiful green field there. We spent time looking on sunset. Talking about flat earth that Jonathan believe in. And then…. My friends spent time at restaurant. It is good one. I didn’t saw in LA some items they have there. Like soup inside a bread cutted in half. I think it is German food. I eat salat there as usual. Usual thing I do at any restaurant.

Later at night at the boat I was almost dead. So tired. And when I tell you that – believe it is mean something. Usually I don’t think about how tired I am at all. I checked videos from go pro when everyone fall a sleep. I didn’t believe what I saw. And then I fell right to sleep.

10 Dec 2018

We spent 11 hours, God, 11 hours sleeping. I think we did it because of other day when it was just 4.

We didn’t come to the island again. I showed underwater videos to the guys so we had new goal from now on. Record as much video as we can. We was inspired by this beautiful creatures. They was at same place since yesterday of course. We even jump into the water to see it with our own eyes. Jonathan bring his own wet suits. But we were really scared. So we spent no more then 5 min near them. I read later that you shouldn’t be afraid of this animals as long as you do not swim right close to them when they in group, but if they ship to you it is different. They just curious.

Right after we start tracking dolphins. They almost asked us to do that. It was 2 different groups of them. And both groups was different from dolphins from yesterday, much bigger like guys in the bar. Beautiful of course. One of them had pink fin. We spent a lot of time trying to do a photo of him exactly.

And later near rocks we jump into the water again. First we put anchor. Our first time by the way. It look like we really close to rocks. But when you swim it is takes much more time. And oh God. Water again is blue as it can be. You can’t see that blue water when you look down. Especially with cloud sky etc. But when you inside. Deep somewhere there it is much different. You see everything. So clear. You can swim to the island and boat index the water will be visible as you looking at it above the water. I even had feeling that it is much better under than above.