Beautiful Catalina Island, where nature and time stand still, waits 26 miles across the ocean from Los Angeles. Swimming, boating, diving, fishing and kayaking along the island shores is a wonderful experience. Hiking the Island’s mountainous trails is adventurous. Our water is clean and the air is fresh. The Island has been closed to most visitors this Spring because of the Covid-19 virus.
Now, the Avalon City Council has re-opened Avalon, the only Catalina Island city for business as of June 1, 2020, including our home, which we occasionally share with guests.
Catalina is a wonderful place to visit but unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 Virus, things will be somewhat different this year. If you have never visited us before, here is what you can expect on a possible vacation to the Island and, if you have visited in the past, here are some changes you can expect this year.
GETTING TO THE ISLAND
It is still a great trip coming over and the ocean is as fascinating as ever. You might see a whale or a school of dolphins. However, it is expected that boats will carry only 50 to 75 percent of normal passengers because of social distancing. It may be more difficult to make or change a reservation. You may wait in line a little longer than usual to board the boat because of social distancing. While you might be able to find outside seating on the boat, most seating is inside. Facemasks are required in the terminal and on board the boats.
After parking your car, you will enter a Boat terminal building with many other people checking in and waiting to board. There will be hand sanitizers at all boat terminals and on board.
If you are arriving by private boat, Avalon moorings are available on a first come first served basis, but no side ties are allowed. There is limited shore boat service and the fuel dock has limited hours. As of this writing, there is no helicopter service to the island.
ARRIVING ON CATALINA ISLAND
If you are our guest, upon arrival to the Island we will provide transportation from the boat to our home, but this will require that you ride in an enclosed public taxi to our home. Of course, you can always choose to walk. Our home is 3 blocks to the beach, but 5 blocks to the boat. Whichever you choose, you should wear a facemask.
Once you arrive at our building, while there are outdoor steps, you may choose to ride in an enclosed elevator. There is a short inside hallway leading to the front door of our home. When you arrive at our home, there will be a lockbox on the door, containing the key to our home. The combination to the lock box will be sent with our welcoming letter.
Inside our home, you will find everything cleaned and sanitized for you. Open the siding doors to our large terrace and you will be surrounded with fresh air, inside and outside.
WE ARE KEEPING THINGS CLEAN
We have taken extensive measures to clean our home:
• All staff members and vendors are required to wear PPE (masks and gloves) when entering our property or in the presence of a guest.
• There will be 24 hour spacing between reservations to ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing is performed.
• Housekeepers will use cleaning products and protocols that meet with CDC guidelines and are approved for COVID-19 mitigation.
• Packaging linens and towels in plastic protectors during transportation until installation in the bedroom/bathroom.
• Sanitizing mattresses, pillow protectors and other soft furniture surfaces after guest stays.
• Disinfecting hard surfaces (floors, counters, mirrors, shower glass, etc.) with virucide/sanitizing cleaner prior to use of streak free products.
• Disinfecting high touch items (door handles, light switches, remotes, blind chains, etc.)
• Washing dishes/utensils/silverware in hot water by hand and again in the dishwasher.
• Sanitizing outdoor furniture.
• Providing onsite individually wrapped facemasks, hand sanitizer and virucide/sanitizing cleaner for guest use.
It is likely that our swimming pool and Jacuzzi will have limited and controlled use in an abundance of caution.
COVID PRECAUTIONS IN AVALON
Things will be different from usual in our charming City of Avalon. Social distancing will take place. Restaurants are serving “take out” only. Bars are closed. Retail stores are serving curbside only. But the evening walk along the harbor, watching the lights from the bobbing boats, is still is available.
Most people we know believe our patio is one of the nicest places to relax and dine on the Island, with our spectacular 180 degree view from the mountains to the ocean. Food can be delivered from Island restaurants through a delivery service or you can pick it up. Check the restaurant section of our website. Prepared food is available from our new Vons market as well as an excellent wine, beer and spirits selection.
Of course, there will be social distancing at our Vons market, a short walk from our home, so shopping may take longer than expected.
Wearing a facemask is mandatory. Face coverings are not required when on a solitary walk but must be worn whenever you encounter another person, so keep the facemask with you when walking or hiking.
The Dive Park is open, but the Green Pleasure Pier is closed except for the dinghy dock. Crowding and loitering are not permitted anywhere. The Avalon movie palace is closed.
Catalina Conservancy hiking and biking trails are open.
There will be no 4th of July fireworks this year. They may be rescheduled for Labor Day.
Our golf course is open, but limited to only four golfers in a group with a 10 minute minimum between tee times. The Pro shop is closed so bring your own clubs. Rental clubs and rental pull carts are not available. Only one person is allowed per golf cart. The miniature golf course will be open, but with reduced hours. Walk by and check with them.
You can swim, fish, dive, snorkel, boat or kayak in the ocean, but sunbathing is not allowed on the beaches. On the other hand, we have two sunny chaise lounges on our very large terrace.
If you are planning to take the zip line tour, interior of the Island tours, kayak, or dive, make your reservations from the mainland to be certain they are operating when you expect them to be.
On the other hand, the ocean is still inviting, the air is fresh and clean, the fish are swimming, the island foxes are running, the buffalo are roaming and the Island is still a beautiful and special place to be.
So, when our home is not being used by family or guests, we will be enjoying a quieter and lovely summer on our favorite island, swimming, hiking, reading or just relaxing and gazing at the shooting stars in the nighttime Avalon sky.