Catalina by Sea: A Transportation History
A fancy flight of lyrics specifies that Santa Catalina Island is "26 miles across the sea." But mapmakers put the distance at 19.7 miles from the closest island point, Doctor's Cove (near Arrow Point), to the closest mainland locale, Point Fermin at San Pedro. Today boats and helicopters operating out of the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point transport musing songwriters and everyone else to Catalina for the song's much-promised "romance, romance, romance, romance," as well as fishing, sightseeing, and gainful employment. But the history of getting to and from the island's ports of Avalon and Two Harbors has been an epic across centuries of business and pleasure, involving a collective flotilla of side-wheelers, yachts, lumber schooners, steamships, water taxis, converted military vessels, crew boats, and today's fast and convenient jet boats.
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Angeles Harbor arrived Avalon Bay baggage brochure built California captain carried Catalina Cruises Catalina experience Catalina Express fleet Catalina Island Company Catalina run Catalina terminal Chicago Cubs couriers Courtesy of Catalina Courtesy of Santa crew cross-channel crossed the channel crossed the San dance deck docked Doug Bombard early equipped with twin-screw excursion Falcon feet in length glass-bottom boat Hermosa horsepower Island Boat Service Island resident Isthmus Jet Cat L. A. Harhor Long Beach Los Angeles Harbor mahogany mainland Miss Catalina speedboats ocean Ocean Ave official greeter operated orchestra Pacific Electric Pacific Electric Railway Pasadena passenger service Philip K Phone pictured purchased regularly scheduled remembers residents and visitors San Pedro Channel Santa Catalina Island service to Catalina SS Avalon SS Cabrillo SS Catalina SS Warrior staterooms steamer greeting steamer pier steamship ticket Transportation Company fleet trip to Catalina troubadours vessel voyage William Wrigley Jr Wilmington Transportation Company