Catalina Island with G11 - Part 1

Started Jan 4, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Spotts Senior Member • Posts: 1,143
Catalina Island with G11 - Part 1

I recently purchased a G11 for a five month trip (three months on bicycle) that began with a New Year's adventure on Catalina Island. If you would like to read the first day's journal entry, feel free, or just skim the images. I'm loving this camera now that I've got a feel for it...

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Through dull gray plumes of an early morning cloud bank burst a revelatory matchstick of sulfur sun. The empty restaurant lot where I stood with my father ignited under a cherry glow, refracting upon the windows the consolatory ambiance of fresh day. Then, as if to prevent the whole land from coming alight under such beautiful tongues of flame, that old, ever looming marine layer of my coastal California town set his silvery shoe back firm upon the dawn glow. It would remain so for the rest of the day, but the image of first light had burned in me with lasting warmth.

Sunrise over Oceanside. 30 Dec. 2009

In the Christian scriptures there is little place for subjective interpretations of natural providence, yet in many of us remains an almost inherent tendency to think in such ways. On the first morning of what is intended to be five months of travel -- a kind of panning of the mental lens across the broad country of my birth, and an internal reflection upon who I wish to become -- I cannot deny being moved by the momentary sunlight.

What is this latent impulse within mankind, that when one observes an unusual phenomenon in the heavens or earth he is stirred to personalize the sight into some fated sign of personal fortune? Whether passing of comets or eclipsing of celestial bodies, heavenly spectacles were for the ancients certain omens of coming events. Are we moderns so advanced that we have overcome natural superstition? Hardly. Who has not once glanced the fall of a star only to half-consciously affirm in himself an increased likelihood of a wish being fulfilled?

Driving to Dana Point harbor provided an opportunity to speak with my father. The conversation was not especially deep, but I valued the time as significant in this period of transition for both of us. "Your mother's target groupings," he said, "were the size of a coffee can. Very good for a snub nose." Perhaps this was a hint of his concern at being too debilitated to really defend the home. Having recently purchased and practiced with their first handgun, he expressed repeatedly his relief for my mother having done well. Of course, I thought, that was under ideal circumstances. I suppose if one must be robbed, he can only hope the assailants are a rogue band of static printed silhouettes.

My father outside Grandma's Restaurant. 30 Dec. 2009

Standing in queue for the boat amongst chipper tourists frocked in brightly colored garb, there seemed a certain conspicuousness about my own appearance. The whole of my apparel and accouterments -- pack, satchel, pants, fleece, hat, bottle -- was uniform olive drab. "Is this the boat to Felujah?" Ironically, I would say my preferred color is a gas-flame blue. Item by item, however, my purchases have revealed a predilection for discretion and ambiguity when traveling. But combined, the whole green ensemble probably does little to make me blend in with city folks on an island one-and-a-half hours off the Los Angeles shoreline.

Myself, too much green. En route to Catalina Island. 30 Dec. 2009

Soon we boarded and the Express began making way across the channel. My seat was top-deck in the open air where salted spray and brisk wind were free to cleanse my cheeks with seasoned tears of joy. And what better accompaniment than Robert Shaw's Sea Shanties, harking "Whup! Jamboree!" through my earphones? A squall in pusuit made for the most unusual atmospheric formations which hung ominously above like haphazard chandeliers.

Ominous cloud, en route to Santa Catalina Island. 30 Dec. 2009

Go to part 2....

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