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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
June 30, 2017     The Catalina Islander
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June 30, 2017

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With Capt. John King By any other Dame We used to run a Sunset Cruise aboard Catallac in the high sea- son. It was billed as a "do nothing cruise," Where cell phones and distractions could be left behind for an hour and a half of blissful cruising. Sounds appealing, right? The thing is, we did not think we could title it "The Do Nothing ~ Cruise," so we called it the Sunset Cruise, and that is where the problems began. If you are JohD King one who con- Columnist siders the sun set as an event rather than a gener- al time of day, a "Sunset Cruise" on an island lying in an East to West position can be misleading Most of our high season sunsets happen behind the island. Catalina Island has some beautiful sunsets in the late fall through early spring where we can actually see the sun dip into the water on the horizon around the East End. This is the ideal, picturesque moment that most are looking for on a Sunset Cruise when the sun slowly sinks and we hope to see the mystical 'Green Flash' just as the sun fully disappers. I learned this on a Sunset Cruise when a customer com- plained that she was not able to see the sun set because it dropped down behind the island. We hate disappointing or mis- leading customers, so we decided to change the name, again. Since we had a Beer and Wine license we tried calling it a "Brews Cruise." This worked OK, but our on board selection of brews was pret- ty limited and it turns out visitors do not care much about a cruise that focuses on drinking beer. So, we changed the name, again. This time we tried call- ing it a Happy Hours Cruise in the hopes that it would be more descriptive of a general time of day that might be called early evening. We got a lot of questions about the food options on our Happy Hours cruise. Food is definitely not our thing. We leave that challenge to our local restau- rants although many have catered events aboard Catallac. So, we changed the name, again. This time we tried the Vino Voyage. The idea was that wine might be a more appropriate focus for a cruise. We were hopeful that some small wineries might step in to do some tastings. The concept was gathering momentum but the logistics proved too troublesome. Then we got an upgrade to our alcohol license. So, we changed the name, again, to reflect our new offerings on board. AS of June 25, the Catallac Cocktail Cruise is running for 2017. We are going all out for this new concept. We have developed a number of Signature Cocktails in addition to our Catallac and Pink Catallac, such as The Catatonic, The Catastropic, Cat Nip, Whiskers, and everybody's favorite The Catawampuss. We hoPe visitors find this cruise to be a great way to wind down the day and transition to evening since we return to the dock by 7:30 p.m., well in time for dinner reservations and outdoor concerts. It happens to be a great time of day to cruise the coast of Catalina Island. The waning daylight makes for some great pictures of the coves and geographic features of the island. As a bonus, we see a lot of wildlife as the birds and mammals make their last run before dark. It is during this time of day that we have seen some of the most amazing sights on the island. The one that stands out in my mind is the eagle swooping down from a nearby cliff to snatch a flying fish that had launched in front of the boat. Another moment was actu- ally caught on video. We were cruising along and enjoying some music while watching the sun sink in the west. Nobody had seen dolphin but suddenly a huge bottlenose jumped straight up in front of the boat startling the group that had gathered there. Fortunately, one of the customers was doing a little video and caught the moment as well as the crowd's very audible response. If you want to see the video I have posted it on Afishinados' Dolphin chasing flying fish off the bow of Catallac. Courtesy photo YouTube Channel. Better yet, plan some time to join us on our new Catallac Cocktail Cruise Fridays and Saturdays from 6-7:30 p.m. and bring your camera. You never know what you might see. Capt. John runs Af'tshinados Charters and Catallac Tours - 888-613-7770 - john@afishina- Watson From page 1 opinion, is there a single locale in the U.S. of A. that offers up such a distinct menu of cultural attri- butes regarding music, food, history and even language, with many a Swamper and other rural denizens still speaking Cajun French. Did somebody say food? Yeah, the east coast has its Yankee Pot Roast and Wisconsin has its brats and all that, but could someone please pass me the shrimp etoufee with a bottle of "Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce"? As I just mentioned, New Orleans has been referred to as the city to be intact. It has been more than a decade, of course, and we Americans don't make it a habit to dawdle too long in cleaning up our natural or man-made disasters. So even those areas of town that were devastated by the flooding have been tastefully rebuilt with struc- tures resembling--at least from a distance--the old time French colo- ] City That Care Forgot. But I would nial buildings. say it's more accurate, in manyBut enough of all this city talk. ~11~][/11~4~ ISIl~]l~I) ways, to label it the City That TIME My first stop after descending Forgot. from'my Delta aero-liner at Louis Founded in1913 by Er~st Windle Publisher Jon Remy Editor Dixie Redfearn Assistant Editor Charles Kelly Office Manager Kristy Throndson office@t Legsis Regina Martinez Graphic Designer Emily Ung Multimedia Director Franco re 635 CRESCENT AVE, SUITE A AVALON, CA 90704 (310) 510-0500 FAX: (310) 510-2882 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catalina Islander P.O. Box 428, Avalon, CA 90704 m Calendar: Noon Monday I News: 5 p.m. Monday I Display Advertising: 2 p.m. Tuesday I Classffted Advertising: Noon Tuesday I Legal/Publio Notice: 5 p.m. Monday SUBSCRIPTIONS Send to One Year Subscription: Catalina .............................................. $39 Mainland ............................................ $49 Subscriptions via First Class Mail are available for $80/yea r A Publication of CommunityMedla Corporation. CATALINA ISLANDER (USPS 093-140) Acceptance under 39C, F.R. 3464 periodicals postage paid at Avalon, CA 90704 and ether additional Offices. Adjudication Decree No. 377598. Date of Adjudication: Oct. 4, 1934 Exact Name of Newspaper as shown in the Petition for Adjudication: The Catalina Islander. Published weekly at 101 Marilla Avenue, #6 Avalon, CA 90704. The entire contents of 131e Catalina Islander are copyrighted by The Catalina Islander. No part may be reproduced in any fashion without written consent of the publisher. This publication is printed alm~t entirely on recycled paper. Contents ~ Copyright 2017 and Title Registered, Catalina rr~ Islander, Inc., All Righta Reserved. Despite the ravages of hurri- Armstrong International Airport cane Katrina, I found much of the (by my reckoning, the only air- port in the world named after a musician) was the wild and wooly Manchac Swamp. I like the fact that people still call the swamps of Louisiana "swamps" and not "wetlands" or "submerged drylands" or some other PC term. A swamp is swampier than a wetland Imagine Hawkeye and Trapper John calling their tent "The Wetlands." Cajun Pride Swamp Tours offers up a number of daily tours on their fleet of flat-bottom swamp cruisers with names like "Gator Patrol" and "Cajun Lady" and the like. Our skipper, Brandon, brought along an ice chest full of varied swamp crit- ters that he passed around for we passengers to cuddle, like crawfish, turtles (don't touch the snapping ones!) and even a two-foot long baby gator that was a docile as a newborn kitten. I could swear I even heard it purring. The tours wend through a com- plex series of inangroves, backwa- ters and sloughs which featured no shortage of gators, turtles and brilliant white egrets stretching out in the delta sun. The hunt for chess pie The following day, I made my way into the city proper with some of that good Southern cuisine on my mind. I had a mental list of dishes I wanted to try, including all the usual suspects like gumbo and jam- balaya, along with a few others not well known outside of the South. These included crawfish etoufee and fried green tomatoes. -But being a dessert man by nature, I was especially looking forward to such delicacies as pralines (pronounced PRAW-leens), sweet potato pie and an unusual-sounding specialty I had only heard of a few months earlier: chess pie. I was doing the Sunday L.A. Times crossword puzzle one day several months before my trip, when I encountered the clue "Traditional Southern dessert?' Eight letters. I had figured out most of the letters and was pretty well satisfied that the answer must be "cheese pie." Problem was, there was one too few spaces. I was stumped. Try as I might, I just couldn't get that second "e" to fit. The letter "s," however, DID fit. And thus I discovered the existence of "chess pie," a custard-style pie peculiar to the South. What makes it different than most other custard pies, I was told, was the sweet corn meal base, Trouble was, no matter where I looked in New Orleans, I couldn't find it on any menus, even in many of the traditional eateries into which I poked my noggin. I wandered the French Quarter, Magazine Street and trucked up and down St. Charles Avenue on the streetcar trying to find me a slice, but to no avail. I felt like Ray Milland in "The Lost Weekend" as he wandered the early-morning streets of New York, looking for someplace, anyplace, where he might find himself a drink. Finally, the internet revealed an establishment named the Hi-Hat Car6 on Freret Street that offered this delicacy. After walking eight blocks, riding the streetcar for a spell, then walking another 10 blocks, I reached my destination. Although I was there for the pie, I knew my mamma would be quite upset if I went straight for dessert without a proper meal in front of it, so I checked another Southern spe- cialty off my list--a fried shrimp po'boy. After that, I ordered me the pie with a glass of sweet tea, My par- ticular variety of pie was infused with chocolate ("chocolate chess pie") and topped, of course, with whipped cream. I would best describe it as having "the consis- tency of thick fudge but with a sweet corn type of taste. I was NOT disappointed. My chess pie mission complete, it was time to move on to further culinary and cultural explorations. NEXT WEEK: GAMBLING AND PIRATES 4 i Friday, June 30, 2017 THE CATALINA ISLANDER