Catalina Island News

By Any Other Name

Afishinados Charters

We used to run a Sunset Cruise aboard Catallac in the high season.  It was billed as a ‘do nothing cruise’, where cell phones and distractions could be left behind for an hour and a half of blissful cruising. 

Sounds appealing, right?

The thing is, we did not think we could title it “The Do Nothing Cruise”, so we called it the Sunset Cruise, and that is where the problems began.

If you are one who considers the sun set as an event rather than a general time of day, a ‘Sunset Cruise’ on an island lying in an East to West position can be misleading .  Most of our high season sunsets happen behind the island.

Catalina Island has some beautiful sunsets in the late fall through early spring where we can actually see the sun dip into the water on the horizon around the East End.

This is the ideal, picturesque moment that most are looking for on a Sunset Cruise when the sun slowly sinks and we hope to see the mystical ‘Green Flash’ just as the sun fully disappers.

I learned this on a Sunset Cruise when a customer complained that she was not able to see the sun set because it dropped down behind the island.

We hate disappointing or misleading customers, so we decided to change the name, again.  Since we had a Beer and Wine license we tried calling it a ‘Brews Cruise’. 

This worked OK, but our on board selection of brews was pretty limited and it turns out visitors do not care much about a cruise that focuses on drinking beer.

So, we changed the name, again.  This time we tried calling it a Happy Hours Cruise in the hopes that it would be more descriptive of a general time of day that might be called early evening. 

We got a lot of questions about the food options on our Happy Hours cruise.  Food is definitely not our thing.  We leave that challenge to our local restaurants although many have catered events aboard Catallac.

So, we changed the name, again.  This time we tried the Vino Voyage.

The idea was that wine might be a more appropriate focus for a cruise.  We were hopeful that some small wineries might step in to do some tastings.  The concept was gathering momentum but the logistics proved too troublesome.

Then we got an upgrade to our alcohol license.  So, we changed the name, again, to reflect our new offerings on board.  As of June 25th,  the Catallac Cocktail Cruise is running for 2017.

We are going all out for this new concept.  We have developed a number of Signature Cocktails in addition to our Catallac and Pink Catallac, such as The Catatonic, The Catastropic, Cat Nip, Whiskers, and everybody’s favorite The Catawampuss.

We hope visitors find this cruise to be a great way to wind down the day and transition to evening since we return to the dock by 7:30pm, well in time for dinner reservations and outdoor concerts.

It happens to be a great time of day to cruise the coast of Catalina Island.  The waning daylight makes for some great pictures of the coves and geographic features of the island.  As a bonus, we see a lot of wildlife as the birds and mammals make their last run before dark.

It is during this time of day that we have seen some of the most amazing sights on the island.  The one that stands out in my mind is the eagle swooping down from a nearby cliff to snatch a flying fish that had launched in front of the boat.

Another moment was actually caught on video.  We were cruising along and enjoying some music while watching the sun sink in the west. 

Nobody had seen dolphin but suddenly a huge bottlenose jumped straight up in front of the boat startling the group that had gathered there.  Fortunately, one of the customers was doing a little video and caught the moment as well as the crowd’s very audible response.

I have included a still image from this video with this column, however, the still does not do justice to the moment.  If you want to see the video I have posted it on Afishinados U-Tube Channel.

Better yet, plan some time to join us on our new Catallac Cocktail Cruise Fridays/Saturdays from 6-7:30pm and bring your camera.  You never know what you might see!

Capt. John runs Afishinados Charters and Catallac Tours – 888-613-7770 –