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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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July 27, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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July 27, 2012
 

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II I !i:!:: ::i? i Glen Gustafson on his boat. courtesy photos. BY GLEN CRAIG GuSTAFSON Ever since sailing a few times with my roommate in college, I had wanted to get back into: it and re- ally learn. In those days we would take out his family's L-36 from Los Angeles, sail down to Laguna, anchor in the bay and swim ashore for the weekend. Although it was a distant ideal, I never had the op- portunity to follow up on it until my retirement friend, Rudy, began inviting me to go sailing with him out of Avalon Harbor on his Cata- lina 22. On Wednesday, April 25, un- der blue skies and a bright, warm sun we left Avalon Harbor going northwest to Campus-by-the-Sea. Because of the recent rains, the Island appeared lush and green as we passed the many small coves along the way. There wasn't much Avalon is deteriorating As. a frequent visitor, I have found the city of Avalon's appear- ance deteriorating. I have talked with a number of residents and other visitors who agree. 1--Many residents ignore the leash laws. Picking up after their animals is ignored as well. There are feces and trash on every street. Want to attract and please tourists? Clean up the mess. 2--The signs on Crescent state: "'No dogs No Bikes No Skate- boards. When I walk on Crescent, I see all three and have to move out of the way. The Sheriff's Station doesn't enforce the regulations. Why not? 3--The "Lobster Trap" area on Third Street is an eyesore and nose- holder. Do the regulations allow chairs, boxes, and cleaning equip- ment to encroach on the sidewalk? Everyone needs extra storage, but this just looks bad. Over the past years, there have been nice changes on Crescent. Now it's time to clean up the other streets. A long time visitor and Is- land lover. Judy Covault, Fairfield, CA wind that day, so we were motor- starboard rail only looked a few ing, but enjoying it hugely. I-want- inches above the churning oceafi. ed to look over the beach slope At this point, we were getting near because of a future project there', to the Harbor and needed a quieter After a lazy circle through the tiny place to get the sails down. We bay, we headed back along the headed towards Descanso Beach, coast towards Avalon. but "the wind was becoming harsh About halfway home the wind and was blowirig hard all the way began to pick up nicely, so we to the beach. I noticed a kind of steered out into the Channel to fog on top of the water because try for some real sailing. I was the wind was actually picking it heading towards a place on the up. It was also shifting directions mainland coast just south of Sad- suddenly as I tried to pull the sails dleback Mountain. At a certain down. We got closer and closer to point, a few miles out, the air tern- the shore at Descanso with no perature dropped quite noticeably, calm possibilities anywhere Be- making us scramble in the cabin cause I was trying to get the sails for jackets. We went out about 20 down, Rudy was piloting the boat minutes or so, then came about (luckily!). into the southeast wind, hoping Suddenly, up on the bow fight- for a straight shot into Avalon ing the sails, I noticed that we were Harbor. We had done this several heading directly into the near-ver- times before. However, we were tical rock cliffs at the West end of being driven by a wind, which was the cove. I looked back at Rudy freshening considerably. We were and saw that he was using all of moving fast through the water, and his might to push the rudder over. we both enjoyed it! The outboard .engine was roaring I found myself looking up at and turned all the way, but we the mast, and I was amazed at how continued advancing towards the much we were healed over. I looked rocks. At the last second, the boat down through the cabin windows began slowly, slowly turning back and remarked to Rudy that the towards the mainland. At our clos- -- .Adults Only Wine &Cheese - i C A great fam,ly pemn e est point, we were no further than one point I noticed that the capstan 20 feet from the nearly vertical was under water and it was pour- cliff there, ing into the cockpit! All of this However, this narrow escape was happening very fast, and I was only preceded the next danger: not frightened, but I was amazed extreme winds which pushed the that the sailboat didn't simply push boat over until the rails on the port all the way over and put the mast side were under water! Actually, at Sail, Page 11 Now open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner from m3oam until lo:oopm. After dinner DJ Thur lay through Sunday. THE cATAUNA iSLANDER Fridayi')uiy"27'i'2012 5'