Diving Santa Catalina


Took the ferry to Avalon from Long Beach in order to see how the fishes were doing. Once we got checked in at the Canyon Inn, I started off with a couple dives at Casino point.

It was a great day for diving. Slightly overcast but not too windy. There were lot’s of the usual Chanel Island critters out. Garibaldis, lobster, sheepshead even a large sheep crab aka spider crab, hiding in the weeds. There was an octopus but something had already made a meal out of most of it. Water temp was very pleasant at around 58F.

Afterwards I was very glad that the Inn offered a free shuttle as I wouldn’t want to hike back up the hill to my room.

More Pics: https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/California/Channel-Islands-Trips/Catalina-2023/

Painted Cave

Took a break from the heat by heading to the coast. Island Packers has a combo trip that goes to Prisoners harbor on Santa Cruz Island and then on around to Painted cave. We had a great trip out as the ocean was particularly calm so we were able to see even more dolphins then I spotted on previous trips.

The cave is big enough (approx. 1225′ long) they can drive the whole boat inside it! Dad spotted some interesting Dudlyea growing near the entrance.

Back at the Harbor, we got a little confused since I was used to landing at Scorpion bay and prisoners harbor is a completely different end of the island! We went for a short walk then ate lunch and watched an island fox sneak around looking for leftovers.

All too soon it was time for the trip home. We had a delicious sea food dinner in Ventura before heading back to the heat.

Trundling through Trona


Since I had to drive out to Ridgecrest, I decided to continue along the eastern side of the Sierras and visit Trona. I had lunch at the Old Fox movie theater which has been converted to Esparza’s restaurant . I had a burrito which was excellent. img_5241-x3

Next I headed out to Trona Pinnacles. This iconic landscape has been used for quite a few movies usually for sci fi scenes trying to portray other worldly landscapes.



Next I drove past Valley Wells and stopped at Ballarat. This ‘town’ names itself as a ghost town but since there’s still someone living there I don’t know if it really qualifies. There are some old ruined buildings and a lot of feral donkeys running around though.

My final stop before heading home was along the edge of Death Valley where I got to watch some fighter jets training in the canyon. I didn’t get any pictures of them. Though I did spot a coyote as I was heading out so I got one last set of pics.



You can see all the pics I took here https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/California/Trona/





I managed to have a free afternoon while visiting Washington D.C. so I decided to walk over to see Arlington cemetery. A couple of points, One- it’s a fairly long walk from downtown to Arlington, Two- it’s a huge place when you get there and a long way up to the top of the hill. I probably would have been well served to ride the metro to the Arlington station and take advantage of the shuttles the drive around the cemetery. My feet were pretty sore the next day. It felt right somehow to walk slowly and quietly without the throng of people that were bustling about most places I went, though so I persevered.

One advantage of walking quietly was that Arlington is a surprisingly good place to do some bird watching.


Since it was spring time there were plenty of things in bloom as well.

The rest of the pictures are here https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/DCVirginia/Arlington/

Sully plantation and Air and Space

Curios Groundhog

Curios Groundhog

When visiting Washington D.C. one thing that was on my to do list was to see the Air and Space Museum. Turns out there are two locations, one near downtown D.C and one out by Dulles airport. The one out by the airport is the larger more impressive collection so I headed out there. On the way I spotted signs for the Sully plantation so I stopped to check it out. Turned out it was a nice place to walk around and see some of the local wildlife as well as a few historical buildings. Then it was on to the Areo planes!



As advertised the place was huge and one could spend an enormous amount of time checking out all the displays. I spent the afternoon taking pictures and really had a good time. You can check out the rest of the pictures https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/DCVirginia/Sully-plantation-and-Air-and-Space-Museum/