Thursday, January 17, 2013

6 Miles In 20 Minutes, to Dana Point

It's 6 miles from our California homestead to the Catalina Express Harbor dock at Dana Point.  Ferry leaves at 9:30 and they recommend you get there at least 15 minutes in advance.  I figured it might take me 30 or 40 minutes to do those 6 miles, even though the elevation change is about 800 feet downhill, to sea level.  The ambient temperature at 830am was about 45F, so I dressed warmly, but also knew that it would be closer to 70F when I'd be on Catalina Island, so "layering" is was the right strategy.

I rolled into the Dana Point Harbour 20 minutes after I left the house.  That's an 18 mph average speed, but keep in mind, there were 5 large hills (about 100 ~ 200 feet each) that I had to climb in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears (of the 21-speed) after I lost my downhill momentum, and 8 stop-light intersections (3 of which were red when I got there).  I felt more like I just turned 74 years old, as winded as I became from this downhill jaunt.  Getting to the dock early I had a solid 20 extra minutes to catch my breath,  wrap my bike's crank, brake discs, and seat in plastic shopping bags, to keep them dry.  Catalina Express puts the bikes (and tool chests, oxygen tanks, and other heavy roll-on items) on the stern, and some salt water spray can get on the items.

During the ferry ride out to the island (which takes about 80 minutes) I saw several seals, a few human paddle boarders, 3 pods of dolphins including 3 individual dolphins who jumped out of the water in parallel with the ferry, and hundreds of sea birds.  So-far, so good for the day's trip.
A Large Carnival Cruise ship anchored off of Avalon's harbour.

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