Written by Tank Sears. Sunday, July 17th 2011 The first RDP Catalina trip is in full effect! Itinerary as follows: Sunday morning, those that are boating over shall meet at the Huntington Beach launch ramp at 10:00 am sharp. If anyone prefers to launch from Newport, Long Beach or elsewhere and wishes to join the group for the crossing, meet at the entrance of the Huntington Beach Harbor entrance, no later than 10:30 am. The group shall cross the open ocean and arrive at Avalon Harbor, Catalina. Arrival should be somewhere around 11:30 or so (depending on delays). Upon arrival, use your VHF radio to hale the harbor master on channel 12 or call via cell phone 310-510-0535. Mooring spots are issued first come, first serve. July is the busy season, however there should be ample room. If you are planning on spending the night, be sure to inform the Harbor Master once he arrives. If there is insufficient room inside Avalon Bay, you may be required to moor outside at Descanso Bay (just off of the famous Catalina Casino). Once issued a mooring can, and secured, telephone the water taxi at 310-510-0409. If there is absolutely no mooring around the Avalon area, we can moor at Two harbors and take the ferry from Two Harbors to Avalon (Catalina Ferries offers ferry rides from Avalon to Two Harbors and back. They charge $22 one way, $19.50 for seniors and $17 for kids. Call 310-305-7250.) I don?t foresee problems but as they say; Victory loves preparation! More info on mooring here: http://www.cityofavalon.com/filestorage/2542/2566/2572/Brochure_July_2008.pdf Once on island, our group will make their way to the infamous Descanso Beach Club. Just past the Casino, it's a small beach area with swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Lounging is also a favorite "activity." With a drink menu posted on a palm tree, a waitress will gladly bring you your favorite cocktail which may include the famous ?buffalo milks? or the "Descanso Destroyer" (heavy on the rum, especially the 151 floater, $7) out to a spot on the beach, the place is straight out of a Caribbean outpost. There are bands most Sundays which attracts big crowds. It?s an easy enough walk, but there?s also taxi carts that will assist you over. After enjoying the good company of like-minded individuals while sipping copious amounts of libations and snacking on tasty treats for a few hours, those of you that choose to return to the mainland must depart before the seas kick up and the sun sets low on the horizon. For those of us staying, say farewell to your fellow RDP?rs that couldn?t commit to the overnighter. Be sure to explain to them that they will for sure be missing one epic adventure! After saying our good-byes, those that are staying the night should make their way to their hotel of choice, to check in, freshen up and prepare for dinner. The group dinner will be held at Armstrong?s Seafood restaurant http:// www.armstrongseafood.com/ at 6:30 pm After dinner, the RDP group can stumble over to the infamous Luau Larry's http:// www.luaularrys.com/ where the persistent punishment of our livers will continue! We shall enjoy each other?s company into the wee hours of the night and hopefully find our way back to our hotels in one piece. Monday morning, be sure to grab a quick bite to eat and saddle up. It is usually wise to head back to the mainland before noon to avoid the winds and swell that routinely kick up in the late afternoon. Hotel recommendations: http://www.catalinahotels.com/Catalina_Hotels/catalina_hotels.htm On-island transportation (if you want to rent a golf cart or bike) Cartopia Golf Cart Rental 310-510-2493Catalina Auto and Bike Rentals 310-510-0111Island Rentals 310-510-1456 If you do not wish to boat over, you have two options?. Option 1) (which I happen to personally love) is the Island Express Helicopter service. Be advised, scheduling is specific so plan your day! http://www.islandexpress.com/ Option 2) one of the various ferries across such as the Catalina Express http://www.catalinaexpress.com/ports.php Catalina Tours http://www.catalinatours.net/? event=calendar.selectDate&offerId=1704&fastFwd=1&submit=Add+to+cart Catalina Flyer http://www.catalinaflyer.info/ Again, I would not recommend missing the beginning to what will surely be an annual event. Hope to see everyone there!