A Travellerspoint blog

20 July, Sunday

First I need to make corrections about the waterski race. It seems the course is not the '26 miles across the sea' but actually 62 miles. The winner, Todd
Haig, made the trip in 46m 36.76s or an average speed of 79.809mph. We knew it was a close race between the first two, the second place did the race in
46m 37.51s or an average speed of 79.787. Todd has won the race 11 times now and the second place skier has won 9 times.

Marine layer not so heavy and off shore breezes this am. Loaded the kayak and headed to Huntington Harbor. Last year we found a small county park condusive to launching the kayak. We arrived about 10 and it was not busy. Put in the kayak and headed out thru the canals and houses of Huntington Beach. Each house was almost bigger than the first. They are humungous with boats (yachts) of equal size. Being Sunday, there were many people on the canals in kayaks and stand up boards. The SUB is the new fad here in southern California. Doesn't look like much fun to me.

Stopped at the farmers market on the way home for a bite to eat and to replenish our Kettle Korn supply.

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19 July, Saturday

Dreary, trying to rain, Saturday. A rareity here in Long Beach in the summer. BUT it was a busy day in the harbor. Today was race day. It is the 65th year of the Catalina Water Ski Race. They leave Long Beach harbor, ski to Catalina Island (26 miles), round a bouy and ski back. The finish line is two checkered bouys at the stern of the Queen Mary. This year there are 55 boats competing from around the globe. The skiers all wear wet suits, vests and helmets.
They hold on to the rope but the real puller is a butt strap around your rear. They all are on single skis, about 12 inches wide and over 6 feet long. The ski rope is longer than standard, some up to 300 ft. If the water is rough the boat is out of sight of the skier.

The boats are in two catgories, 21 feet and under and over 21 feet. Each boat has a pilot, navigator and observer. Some of the larger boats even pull 2 skiers. One of the small boat observed had 4 - 200hp Mercs on the stern. The small boats start at 0855 and the large boats start 5 minutes later.
The winner, pictured below did the race in 42 minutes, or over a speed of 66 mph.

Rest of the day was total relaxation. Never did rain more that a couple drops, at least in Long Beach. California is in a major drought. Water is rationed in several places, row crops are not being planted, and large fines levied for mis-use of water. The lakes in the North are extremely low, we will have pictures of that later on the trip.

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Winner of the Large Class Boats

Doing his 'victory lap'


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Catalina Waterski Race

Difficult to see, but these are the boats pulling water skiers at the start of the race.


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Whale watching trip

Bottle Nose Dolphins


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Whale watching trip

NO whales but saw lots of Bottle Nose Dolphins. They played in our wake and came near the boat.


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Knott's Berry Farm

One of 11 of the rides we did


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Breakers at Seal Beach


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18 July, Friday

Another trip to LAX for the girls departure. Flight left at 1100, so needed to be there in the 0900 time frame. Lots of traffic, but always moving. Made good time. Dropped them off and headed back to the coach. Time to clean and reorganize and rest after a busy 3 days.

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17 July, Thursday

Another busy day planned. Took the kayak to Alimitos Bay and paddles thru the canals of Naples. Again, being midweek, the waters were not filled with lots of boats. Took turns so everyone got a chance. By noon the wind was picking up as well as the number of people on the water and beach.

Headed back to change and then some sight seeing, drove by the Queen Mary and then down to the Newport/Balboa area. Balboa is an island, cramped housing, very expensive and unique. There is a 3 car ferry that takes you to the Newport Pensiular. Spent time there in the shops, had a beer and headed back to the coach.

On the way home we stopped at the Naples Rib company (known for their food). Got a supply of ribs, beans, salad and corn bread. Stopped at the grocery store for sweet corn. Then home to have a luxury dinner.

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16 July, Wednesday

After a good sleep we were ready to ride bikes. We borrowed a couple so we had 4 and headed down the beack bike trail. Not many other people around midweek. Rode all the way to the Belmont Pier and back, a total of 9,1 miles.

After a quick lunch we headed to the dock and the Whale Watching trip. Weather was clear and warm so lots of sun screen was used. We went out the Long Beach harbor fomr 12-15 miles. Saw lots of Bottlenose Dolphins but NO whales. First time in many days they had been skunked.

Again back to the coach, clean up and head to Belmont Shore for the Stroll and Savor. You buy 12 tickets for $10 and sample the food ware the cafes have. These are small tastes of their cuisine, and very tasty.

Home again after a busy day and early to bed.

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15 July, Tuesday

Up early and ready to head North to the Los Angeles Airport. Since it is morning it is difficult to tell that the rush hour traffic will be. Need to be in the area by 1030. One person arrives at 1040 the other at 1100, from two different airports.
As it turned out, not much traffic on the 405 and we were in the area in time to even get a cup of coffee while we waited. Saw the aircraft pass by on final approach. Landing was on time but took forever for the bags to arrive on the carousel. Finally got both girls picked up and headed back to the coach in Long Beach.

Had a quick lunch and then headed to Seal Beach for the afternoon and some wave time. This will be good for them to just relax and get wet. Waves were not as huge as last week, but still intimidating. After several attempts to body surf and lots of sand in varous crevacies we headed home. A quick cleand up and we headed to Tequila Jacks for some dinner. Little did we know it was TACO TUESDAY, which meant LOTS of people. The long wait was eased by marguiritaa. Finally home to the coach and everyone hit the sack tired and early.

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14 July, Monday

CAR WASH, was filthy just from the mist in the morning and the dust in the air. While it was going thru the wash I stopped by the Quincy Auto Mart next door. They restore classic cars. Had some beauties on the show room, mainly a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood convertible. It was one of 200 made and in showroom condition, only $40,000. Makes me wish I would have kept by '67.

Had a very successful meeting with the Hilton Hotel in preparation of our 2015 convention to be held in Long Beach. All the plans are set and the ideas are taking shape. By combining an Express boat ride to Catalina, this should be a very good convention.

Getting the coach spruced up as daughter and friend are coming tomorrow. That means a trip to LAX internation airport. Used to work out of there and it was a hasssle then, probably still is. Will see after tomorrow.

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11-12-13 July, Fri-Sat-Sun

Three days combined. Just taking advantage of the cool weather and hanging out. Did some mundane items such as getting a well needed haircut and stopping by Costco (they have the best Bing Cherries in season now). End of the World Cup was also on the agenda and took up much of the mid-days.

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10 July, Thursday

Another day in great weather and this one was even better.

Barbara and I were treated to lunch by the CVB in anticipation of our up coming convention in 2015. Lunch was at an all California, organic resturant and was excellent. The plans were finalized with the CVB and they are helping greatly to make our convention a huge success.

THEN, we were able to secure tickets, free, on the Port of Long Beach tour. This happens 4 times a month and is usually full in the first few minutes of registration. They have 2 day time cruises and 2 sunset cruises, which is what we were able to get on. The Port of Long Beach is the second largest in the U.S. next to that of Los Angeles. Over 900 cargo vessels pass thru it system annually, with over a million containers being handled. In addition to the container ships there are oilers bringing crude in from Alaska and Mexico, ships that only carry vehicles plus a variety of other special ships. The largest container ship has 14,000 containers, it takes them 3-4 days to off load and then reload and off they go again. One out of eight jobs in the Long Beach area is directly related to the Port. They have implimented several requirements to make the Port GREEN. Ships are told to reduce speed at the 40 mile mark, thus reducing the about of pollution from the engines. They are required to plug into 'shore' power when docked so the engines are not running.
Even the thousands of trucks that transport the cargo to and from the Port are regulated, nothing older than 2007 and soon will be 2010 models. By doing this the Port has cut pollution by over 90%, making it the GREENEST port in the USA.

The tour left at 7:30 and returned to dock at 9:30pm, totally free along with free coffee. They are proud of their Port and justly so.
We are hoping to obtain tickets for the daytime tour next year.

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