A Travellerspoint blog

12 August, Saturday

Time once a gain for the annual (69 years running) Long Beach to Catalina water ski race. This race is 62 miles long, leaving Long Beach harbor, going to Avalon on Catalina Island and returning to the finish line at the stern of the Queen Mary. This year there are 65 boats registered. The racers are broken into two groups those under 24 feet long and those over. The large boats are super powerful, some even having 4 engines. The water ski is a single ski, 12 inches wide, 5-7 feet long and over an inch thick. The tow rope is much longer than our standard 60 feet. They range from 300 to 500 feet long. At times, if the ocean is rough or has high swells, the skier may not see the tow boat at times. The skier holds on to a wooden handle but is actually pulled by a 'butt' strap. Helicopters fly over head during the race for safety monitoring. The winner usually makes the round trip in 44-50 minutes. The record is 39 minutes.

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12 August, Saturday

This is the start of the celebration and race. All the tow boats are following the Fire Boat past the Queen Mary and the Carnival Cruise ship to the starting line. They line up and start between the two oil islands.


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12 August, Saturday

This is the start of the small boats, 24 feet and under. There were 35 of them. They start 7 minutes before the BIG boats do and will probably be lapped by the big ones.


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12 August, Saturday

The second of two classes. This one is over 24 feet long. commonly called Scarabs. Some can have as many as 4 engines with top speeds unknown. There were 30 in this class. They start 7 minutes after the first group.


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12 August, Saturday

White booat pulling a skier, one of the first to cross the finish line. The Carnival Cruise Ship Miracle is in the background.


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12 August, Saturday

Again, look carefully, here the tow boat on the right is pulling the skier, wearing green crossing the finish line (the black&white bouy)


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12 August, Saturday

You need to look closely. The Queen Mary is in the background as well as the cranes from the Port of Long Beach. In front is a RED boat, a good distance behind it is a water skier with a green shirt on. Rope is over 300 feet long.


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12 August, Saturday

This is a photo of a photo in the water ski book. It show the close up of the 'butt' strap that actually pulls the skier. You can barely make out the wooden ski handle used by most.


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12 August, Saturday

This is a photo of a photo from the water ski booklet showing what the skier looks like going nearly 100 mph.


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28 July, Thursday


The Port of Long Beach is the second largest Port in the USA, next to the Port of Los Angles. Actually they are side by side and comprise the 7th largest cargo moving venue in the world. Each month the Port of Long Beach offers 4 free tours, by boat, of the area. These fill fast, but we have been privileged to get on one each year.

The Port of Long Beach handles more than $180 BILLION in traded each year; It provides 1.4 million jobs in the USA; It is 5.5 square miles with 31 miles of water front. There are 75 gantrys to load and unload the ships. More than 4,000 vessels visit each year from 170 shipping lanes and 217 ports worldwide.

Long Beach is striving to make this a GREEN PORT. Several changes have been made which have lowered the emissions by 85% todate. Ships are required to use shore power when in port, they slow their speed at 20-40 miles out, thus reducing pollution. Cargo is loaded on train cars and moved to terminals away from Los Angeles, thus decreasing the number of trucks required.

As a side benefit, on the return to dock portion of the trip, several dolphins decided to perform for us.

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28 July, Thursday

This is an actual photo of the Port of Long Beach. It shows the harbor and waterways along with the Terminal names.


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28 July, Thursday

This photo shows the PORT OF LONG BEACH and the various mooring areas within the Port.


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28 July, Thursday

This shows the construction of the new bridge. The BLUE structure is the sliding scaffolding that allows the crews to pour concrete on a moving basis.


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28 July, Thursday

Here you see the frame work of the existing George Desmond bridge. You also see the two towers that will hold the cables for the new bridge. The drive area of the new bridge will be 30 feet above the arch of the existing.


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28 July, Thursday

This building and radar tower belong to the Long Beach Pilot Boat company. This company has been in control of the Pilots for over 80 years. It is truly a nepotism career.


Posted by REDTAILRV 15:43 Comments (0)

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