2009 Summer – Puttering around Long Beach harbor

White's Island

White's Island

DSC01974Long Beach harbor presents a variety of Places To Go and Things To Do.  My favorite ToDo is anchoring at White’s Island for the day or the weekend.

Docked as I was at the top of the main (Cerritos) Channel near the Henry Ford Bridge, it was a 45 minute motor down the channel to the harbor wall.  But what a fascinating trip – a variety of sights and sounds to intrigue and awe the grandkids.

Most importantly I tied the grandkids to the boat as soon as they boarded.  The tie was attached to their life jackets and to jacklines on the deck, especially necessary on my trimaran that has a 41 by 22 ft deck upon which the kids kept running around at high speed.  I could just see one of them launching overboard…..

Tied to the jacklines

Tied to the jacklines

Exhausting trying to keep track of each running kid – eventually I gave up and declared their safety the responsibility of the parents and I would take care of the boat.

As we move away from the dock and down the channel there are huge container ships on the port side.  My sailboat looks so teeny as we motor past and the kids stand agog.

The cruise ships that leave from Long Beach tower 10-stories above us as we continue motoring down the channel towards the fish factory where the seals hang out.

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The seals mistakenly thought that we had food for them, so they packed the sides of the boat barking incessantly as they demanded fish.  When they discovered we lacked what they wanted they lost interest and returned to barking at the fishermen who were working on the wharf.

DSC01975The seals are enormous – much larger than the little harbor seals we typically see swimming around.  The kids loved the size of them.  The current in the channel pushed us down, so I had to turn the boat around about 6 times, and drive up the channel a short distance so that the kids could gawk at the seals some more.

Near the mouth of the harbor is the bait shop, a floating barge anchored conveniently for fishermen near the exit from the harbor to the open seas.  We stopped and picked up a load of live fish which we put into a cooler box I had borrowed from a friend.  My friend was not amused to hear that his cooler box had been reassigned The Bait Box.

The anchored Bait Barge

The anchored Bait Barge

The grandkids were enthralled with the little fish swimming around in the (new) bait box and kept dipping their hands in and grabbing them.  By the time Bryan looked in the box to start fishing, all the fish were almost dead.  He cut them up as bait but Bryan had entertained fond thoughts of fishing with Live bait.  Oh well, we dont always get what we want.

After the bait barge we followed the harbor wall southwards around Terminal Island, heading for White’s Island.  This part is rather boring for kids because it takes about an hour to reach the island.

Once we were anchored the kids could untie themselves from the jacklines while on the deck.  The large deck presented a fabulous runaround field – huge by kids standards with ladders up to the “roof”, hatches they can jump thru into the interior of the boat only to emerge moments later as they pop out the companionway.  I figured if they went over the side then their yelling would alert us, and they still had their life jackets on.  The kids had a ball running all over the boat exploring every inch.

Kevin and Bryan primed the BBQ while we girls put out the snacks and salads.  The kids were so excited that we abandoned trying to get food down them in any kind of formal way.  We just let them gallop past and handed them their food as they ran by.

The huge deck of the trimaran

The huge deck of the trimaran

Bryan got tired of fishing so Kevin cut the bait into small pieces and the grandkids threw the pieces to the hovering seagulls.  Within moments we were surrounded by screeching squawking gulls demanding attention – and fish!  Once again the grandkids were enthralled as they tossed pieces of fish to the hovering gulls.

Gulls diving for bait bits

Gulls diving for bait bits

We upped anchor around 4:00pm and took the shortcut around the inside of Terminal Island, passing under the Henry Ford Bridge back to our dock.

Approaching Henry Ford Bridge

Approaching Henry Ford Bridge

Back at the dock, Bryan tried his hand at fishing again and caught a 8-inch bony fish.  He tossed it back after the kids had examined it minutely, and I had assured him the fish in the channel probably glowed in the dark as they peer out their third eye!  Back it went.

By the time my sons and their family left the boat, I was pooped.  I crawled into bed and slept like the dead.  The next day Bryan told me that Samuel had slept over and the kids were so hyper that they kept bouncing off the walls until nearly midnight.  By that time Bryan and Alex had lost their sense of humor completely.

Glad I was snoring happily in a quiet bed.

Sundry photos from the day on the water….

Zoe protecting (some) of dad's back with SPF cream

Zoe protecting (some) of dad's back with SPF cream

Kevin, Heather, and baby Judah

Kevin, Heather, and baby Judah

Bryan with his catch

Bryan with his catch

The cockpit is roomy enough to place 2 large reclining chairs

The cockpit is roomy enough to place 2 large reclining chairs

Heather, with Samuel and Genesus

Heather, with Samuel and Genesus

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