It’s fun to watch traffic….
….water traffic, that is.
This post is dedicated to Endre Barath Jr., a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Los Angeles, California…. more specifically, Beverly Hills. I have known Endre for several years through a real estate professional networking site and highly recommend him for anyone needing real estate services in the Los Angeles metroplex. If he can’t help you in your specific area, I’m sure he’ll be able to refer you to someone as good as he is.
Dedications are my way of trying to provide a little extra Google juice for people I have come to know and respect over the years.
Yesterday for my birthday Jim and I went to Santa Catalina Island. We only went because I found out that Catalina Express will take you to and from, FREE!, to help you celebrate your birthday. The caveat is that you have to leave on your birthday. You can return anytime. Normally the boat ride costs $70 per person, one way. You can leave from Dana Point, Long Beach, or San Pedro, and depending on where you leave from, the boat ride is either 1 hour or 1½ hours.
Our departure boat to the Island was the Islander Express, a $2 million,
150-passenger, 97-feet-long, high speed monohull built in 1994:
We thought the boat ride was exceptionally smooth, but not near as smooth at the catamarans. Our return trip to the mainland was on the Cat Express, a
$9 million, 381-passenger, 145-feet-long, high speed catamaran built in 2004:
Between the two boat rides, we saw lots of other boats. As we left the Port of Long Beach, we saw the Queen Mary:
The Queen Mary was the most famous passenger ship of her day, being christened on September 26, 1934 but not making her maiden voyage until
May 26, 1936. She is a little over 1,019 feet long, carried 2,139 passengers and a crew of 1,101, and was capable of almost 33 miles per hour at top speed. She held the Blue Riband for many years, designating her as was the fastest passenger ship in the world.
With the dawn of the age of the jet plane, passenger ships were on their way out, and today’s passenger ships are called “cruise ships.” Parked next to the Queen Mary was the Carnival Splendor:
The Carnival Splendor is 950 feet long, carries 3,006 passengers and a crew of 1,150, and is capable of 24 miles per hour. She also has been in the news quite a bit lately. On November 8, 2010, on the second day of a voyage from Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera, a fire in the engine room resulted in the loss of all power and 4,500 people adrift at sea. She was towed to San Diego, where she arrived on November 17, 2010, being pulled by Coast Guard and Port of San Diego tugboats. I was late to the harbor that day and didn’t get pictures of her until she was already tied up at the cruise ship pier:
Most recently she was in the news a couple of weeks ago when 22 of her passengers were robbed while they were ashore in Mexico.
Although the Queen Mary is longer than the Carnival Splendor, the Carnival Splendor is much taller. For comparison:
The dome you see in that picture is where the monster Howard Hughes airplane, the Spruce Goose, was on display from 1980 to 1993 when it was moved to McMinville, Oregon. The dome building is now used as sound stages for the Hollywood film industry. Much of “Titanic,” “What Women Want,” and “End of Days” were filmed there.
On the trip to and from the Island, container cargo ships are plentiful:
The Port of Los Angeles, right next to the Port of Long Beach, is the busiest port in the nation, and many thousands of 20′ and 40′ containers are offloaded at the two ports each day. There are many offshore oil platforms, and many oil tankers in the water, too. If you keep your eyes open at this time of year, you can see whales, sea lions, harbor seals, and dolphins.
Here are some of the many boats we saw on our journey:
When your average yacht
just won’t do….
One of the problems with living in San Diego is that there is always something going on, and there doesn’t seem to be a 24-hour news channel devoted to telling us everything that’s happening. Alright, so maybe that’s not really a problem that impacts life….
Yesterday I went on a whale watching cruise. We are at the height of the whale migration along the Pacific Coast, and even though I’ve been in San Diego for 18 years, this was my first whale watching cruise. We saw plenty of whales, dolphins, pelicans, seagulls, and, upon returning to San Diego Bay as the sun was setting, this:
That’s the Attessa IV, one of the world’s great mega-yachts. It is a whopping 330 feet long. How long is that? Well, on February 5 the New England Patriots and New York Giants will be playing in the Super Bowl on a football field that is 300 feet between end zones.
Attessa IV was built in 1999 as the Evergreen, owned by Chang Yung-fa, chairman of the Evergreen Group of Taiwan. Evergreen the yacht was bought in 2007 by Dennis Washington, who regularly shows up in the Top 100 of Forbes list of the world’s weathiest people and currently ranks 58th in America. After buying Evergreen, Washington had it completely renovated into what it is now, Attessa IV.
If you didn’t quite see it in the above two pictures because your eyeballs were popping out, Attessa IV has its own helicopter and helipad, just in case you have to go somewhere a little faster, I guess.
The way the rear rotor is covered is used by the military for noise abatement, so this is also a modern, quiet helicopter.
Pictures taken by Russel Ray on January 27, 2012, in San Diego Bay using a Canon 550D and post-processing done in Corel PaintShop Pro X4.