As summer wound down, Evan Sandler invited Brenda Varma and me to join him on a sail to the back side of Catalina Island. By several hours it's a longer journey from the mainland than Isthmus Harbor, around a forbidding rock that stabs out of the ocean at the island's West End. The week after we made the trip, a fishing vessel went down near this spot in the shot.
For miles along the back, there seems to be no sign of habitation. After passing 1322 foot tall Mount Torquemada, named after the seminal figure in the Spanish Inquisition, we tried to determine which bluff was Catalina Head. It juts so far into the sea that it blocks the view of funnel shaped Catalina Harbor, known by boaters as Cat Harbor .
Once inside, we moored in the island’s most protected anchorage, designated a year round safe harbor by the U. S. Coast Guard. Unlike Avalon, Isthmus or Little Harbors, the waters are usually placid without much of the pitching and yawing that can disturb a good night of sleep.
Unfortunately the same topography that protects the harbor during most conditions acted to concentrate the force of the March 11th Japanese Tsunami as seen in this YouTube video. The force of the water upended boats and snapped docks.
By summer, the damage had been repaired.
I spent a delightful few days swimming, and snorkeling, while sharing the companionship of good friends.
One of the lessons I learned from the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" is that stress relief is important. Stress can cause high blood pressure, insomnia, upset stomach, going so far as to cause heart disease and more due to a steady flow of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Even a mini-vacation can be enough for us to relax, allowing us to come back to attack the tasks in our lives with renewed vigor.
Despite the fact that I no longer own a boat, I am grateful to skippers like Evan Sandler, Rick BeuChemin, Alan Gornick and Lenny Tyminski who invite me to sail with them. For me, few things are as relaxing as time spend on, in or around the water.
Eagle Rock, which I think should be renamed, "Middle Finger Rock" since it's where the sea acts up to confound boaters. Photo of Paul Suchecki was by Brenda Varma.
Anti-Aging Diary c. 2011 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor, and producer of the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now."