I was asked to chaperone a trip of Hillview students to Catalina Island. We left Friday very early. It turned out to be a fun and active weekend! Once we were settled in Friday afternoon we went snorkeling! The sandy area in Toyon Bay, where we were camped, has plenty of marine life. We saw Girabaldi, huge crabs, a bat ray….. Then after dinner we took a hike up to a high point on the ridge to look at the stars.
Saturday morning we woke up early and did another hike up to an overlook to watch the sunrise. Of course, we had the typical morning overcast so there was not sunrise to watch. After breakfast we did another hike much higher up the hill. After lunch we were back in the water for some more snorkeling. This time we wandered a toward the south side of the bay to some kelp beds where the sea life was amazing! There were fishes in the kelp that, if you approached slowly enough would allow you to get within a couple of feet. There were also some sharks that would come into view before scattering away – Leopard Sharks, not dangerous. After dinner we wend snorkeling one last time. We waited till dark and went out with flashlights and glowsticks on top of our breathing tubes. I saw one more shark scatter off when I first got in.
The only bad part was getting into and out of the wet suits for the night swim. The suits were still wet from the afternoon and were quite cold in the evening air. Once we were in the water, they worked fine. Then of course, the process of removing the suits in the cold night air was quite chilling.
Between some of the above hiking and snorkeling the kids got me into a game called Gaga Ball. There was a ring with wood walls about 30 feet in diameter. 20 kids (and I) stood with our backs to the wall and a four square ball was tossed into the middle. The players would swat the ball with their hands at each other and the goal was not to let it hit you. If it hit you below the knee you are out. Some of us really got into the game. Unfortunately, the game was a little rough on the hands.It did not seem to bother my knee, surprisingly. Walking downhill was a little bothersome. Also I am finding that I have to be careful about the position that I sleep in….
Well, back to regular life tomorrow….