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Emerald Bay Adventure

Carolisa Pomerantz and I hadn't been back to Emerald Bay on Catalina Island in years. Skipper Evan Sandler generously invited us to join him on his sloop Sailient for a trip there the first weekend of fall. The voyage was challenging since our direct course put us on a close-hauled point of sail with sustained winds that approached 20 knots. Waves rolled toward us from our beam, nearly putting the boat's rail in the water. At one point, we all donned our harnesses and snapped into the lifelines..

Because it was off-season, we had no problem finding space on one of 100 moorings, although we did need a little help from the harbor patrol in steadying our craft against the wind to secure the line. Just thirty yards from shore, we were rocked both nights by constant wave action.

Aptly named for its clear water that takes on a green tint, Emerald Bay offers some of the best diving on the island. Indian Rock, in the center of the harbor, is home to numerous fish. After donning my gear, I went for a long, satisfying snorkel. The fish weren't large but numerous, literally in the thousands. The variety of species was impressive and segregated. Seemingly aware of their protected status as California's state marine fish, the golden Garibaldi boldly stood outside their rocky overhangs fearlessly examining this oversized intruder. Although rarely growing longer than a foot, carnivorous Garibaldi are fiercely territorial and can live up to 17 years.

A couple of tiny fish I've yet to identify, had blue, iridescent markings that danced excitedly as the fish flitted away. At one point I ducked under the surface and swam with a school of sardines, glistening in the pale sunlight. It was the best snorkeling I experienced in years.

     

Reaching shore from the sloop was also daunting, since we could not tie up at a dock, and had to beach our dinghy, hopping off in the surf. Returning meant my holding the dinghy steady, standing in breaking waves, while Evan got the outboard lowered and started. This was not a trip to take with novices, but for us the weekend was a satisfying sailing adventure, spent in the congenial company of good friends.

     

Don't forget to watch the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now," now also available with other anti-aging DVDs on ReverseAging.TV. Anti-Aging Diary c. 2014 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki - webmaster (photo of Paul Suchecki by Carolisa Pomerantz other shots by Paul Suchecki)