Location: Harbor Reef Restaurant, Two Harbors, Catalina (map)
I’m sitting in the only bar in town—if you can call it a town. A wooden lattice casts shade over the wooden deck without blocking the view of the palm trees swaying with the breeze. I put myself back near the building to get better shade so I can see the laptop monitor better. Which means I’m getting less breeze, but that’s a quibble. Good tunes are playing (Nick Cave at the moment). The bar runs along one side of the deck and is reasonably well-stocked. In the harbor nearby, I can see the masts of the boats swaying with the gentle waves.
The bar has a signature drink, called Buffalo Milk (there are buffalo on the island). The bartender, with a moderate amount of flipping bottles and spinning shakers, puts ice, vodka, creme de cacao, banana booze, and milk into a blender, whipps that up, pours it into a plastic cup, tops with whipped creme, chocolate powder (I think) and dribbles a little Kahlua over the top. I’ll stick to beer.
Note: Since writing the above I have consumed Buffalo Milk, and it’s not bad. The powder in top was nutmeg, not cocoa, but I’m thinking cocoa might be better. Each of the boozes was about a 2-3 second pour, so they are in more or less equal proportions.
The trip over here from Avalon was uneventful, a simple motor over glassy waters with practically no wind. I would have chosen to sail, even if it meant taking a lot longer, but I’m Gilligan, not Skipper, and this isn’t my trip. I’m here out of my host’s kindness, so who am I to complain? I just sat up on my perch and watched the sea, the other boats (none of the others were trying to sail either), and the shoreline of Catalina pass by. It was great. I spent a lot of time thinking about my next novel for November, tentatively titled Worst Enemy. I really should be working harder on The Monster Within, but this trip, the whole tour, in fact, is more suited to the other stories.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Flying Fish Cruise yet. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve wanted to see flying fish, and now I have. It was cool! We went bombing down the coast in an 80-year-old open boat filled with benches built for exactly this purpose. It has big spotlights on either side and as we blast along the boat scares the bejesus out of the flyers and away they go. Once those suckers get airborne, they have no control over their course, and at 30 mph they’re relying on good fortune to land them someplace safe. None came in the boat on our trip, but one slammed into the side right near me. While they’re flying, when they are about to splash back down into the water, they can dip their tails in and give themselves another kick, flipping their tail at 50 Hz to launch themselves again.
This picture isn’t from today; it’s actually from the first day out, when we were sailing into San Pedro.
I’m not sure, but I think I sunburned my forehead today. *sigh*