Late summer is the perfect time to visit Santa Catalina Island. For this trip skipper Evan Sandler invited Carolisa Pomerantz and me to join him on the Pacific Mariners' Hawaiian themed Luau cruise celebrating the island lifestyle. It was a longer journey than usual, because the anchorage for this cruise is on the back side of the island in Catalina Harbor, known as Cat Harbor by the locals.
The journey is well worth the extra effort because the harbor is delightfully protected from sea action. For the three days we were there the waters were as calm as a lake.
On Catalina trips we usually see dolphins and seals. Over the years we have become used to inquisitive sea mammals swimming up to our boat peering at us to say hi, or in some cases racing us or even surfing the bow wake. A strange sight greeted us as we pulled into Cat Harbor. A pod of sea creatures swam near us in unison, but slowly and methodically, with none of the spritely playfulness of the more common bottlenose dolphin. These lumbering creatures were mottled, blunt faced mammals that looked intimidating. They were animals that none of us had ever seen before. It wasn't until I got back to Venice that I learned that we had encountered Grampus griseus also known as Risso's dolphins. They often reach 1100 pounds, some of the biggest dolphins on the planet. They rarely come near boats, so our sighting was unusual.
The rest of the weekend was spent swimming, hiking, drinking and eating with fellow sailors, always a welcome respite from earning a living.
A Grampus griseus by by Michael L. Baird courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Don't forget to watch the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now," now also available with other anti-aging DVDs on ReverseAging.TV. Photo of Paul Suchecki by Carolisa Pomerantz. Anti-Aging Diary c. 2013 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki - webmaster