Sunday, November 16, 2014

Visiting Toyon Bay, Catalina

A couple days ago, I went on a school trip to Toyon Bay, Catalina Island.  I had an amazing time from the minute we arrived. That morning, I had to get up a 5 am and get ready for the bus.  After a couple hours on the bus we arrived in Long Beach and went onto the Catalina Classic.  Our boat ride to Catalina was about 2 hours and on the way, I watched the beautiful view of the island.  It was really special to have our school teachers accompany us as chaperons on this trip. 

In my bunk we had 10 girls, and during our free time, we played a card game called Gumpsh. It is a silly game played with six people. Each team of two must communicate through a secret code in to get four of the same cards in order to win.  We also had fun doing each other's hair and just having girl time.  Its too bad it all became messed up when we woke up the next morning.

Our bunk

Getting ready to snorkel!
Our first activity on the island was a snorkeling trip around the coast.  I had to fight with my wet-suit pants to get them on.  It was particularly interesting to watch the teachers struggle in the same manner as we did to get their suits on. While snorkeling, the first fish that we encountered was the orange Garibaldi, which is the state marine fish.  This was one of my favorite fish as its bright neon orange stood out in the murky water.  This was only one of many fish that we saw off the coast of Toyon Bay.  During our snorkeling adventure, we also saw leopard sharks.  There were 10 -12 sharks swimming by us as we floated above the water peering down upon their world. These sharks were a couple feet long and had distinctive spots on them.  After changing out of our wet-suits, we had our evening activity, a squid dissection. I was kind of grossed by the fact that we had to pull out the guts of our squid but I later warmed up to the idea once I saw the coolest part of the dissection.  Inside a squid their is a feather-like pen and an ink sack.  When you dip the feather in the ink you can write your name and even draw a picture on a piece of paper.

Leopard Shark

The next morning, we went to pet sharks, sting rays, and many other interesting sea creatures.  The tank contained small sharks and stingrays that we were allowed to touch.  In fact, the tank contained the same leopard sharks that we swam with the day before.  This trip was one of the best school trips yet, and I hope one day that I will be able to go back to Catalina.

What did you think of our school trip? 
What is your favorite school trip?


  1. Dear Miriam,
    You have a wonderful post. I never been in Catalina and now after seeing your post I would like to go, it's looks very interesting. I like that you able to snorkel and see all the different fish on the ocean bed. Sharks looks scarey to me I'm not sure if I will be brave to touch them. I hope your school will do more of the nature trips and you will see other beautiful places. You made great pictures.
    Love you,
    Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene

    1. @Grandma Tanya and Grandpa Eugene,
      Thank you for your wonderful comment. We should all go to Catalina as a family. I loved touching the sharks, and they are just like big fish. See you soon!


  2. @ Miriam,

    Wow! That was quite a field trip! As you know, when we go on field trips in third grade, we come back the same day. How fun to stay overnight!

    I am a big fan of snorkeling, as you might recall. However, I have never snorkeled in the waters along our coast. I have only snorkeled in the Hawaiian waters. There the water is warmer than here and the fish are a lot more colorful. Even though the water is warmer, I like to wear my wetsuit anyway. Here is a link to my snorkeling video from my last trip to Hawaii. Snorkel With Mrs. Yollis

    Did you swim near any kelp? I always see kelp washed up on our shores, and I would love to see what it looks like in the water.

    Two years ago we went to the Science Museum, and I saw a Garibaldi for the first time. How big were the Garibaldi? Here is some footage from the trip!

    California's State Fish

    Did you earn this trip of does everyone go?

    What was the water temperature?

    Your water-loving former teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

    1. @ Mrs. Yollis,

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Catalina is a gorgeous island, and I think you would enjoy a lot. Hawaii is by far one of the best places to snorkel, and I hope I will get to go their soon. We didn't get to see any kelp beds but I saw plenty during the summer. The kelp is tall and attaches itself to the ocean floor before it begins to grow to reach the top of the ocean.

      The water temperature at Catalina was about 63-65 degrees F. The wet suits helped, but unfortunately water still seeped through and after a while it still got cold. We saw many Garibaldi swimming and they were about the size of an adult hand.

      To go on this trip, you had to be part of the Honor's society. The Honor's society requires you to have two A and two B and of course, excellent behavior. See you soon!


  3. I'm so happy to read about your trip to Catalina! It reminds me of when I went to Catalina on a school trip. I forgot all about getting to pet the sharks. You are lucky you got to see them in the ocean too--I only remember a lot of dark, murky water. And cold...the water was so cold, even with a wetsuit on. How did you do it!? I prefer the water of Hawaii, like your teacher, Mrs. Yollis. Thanks for sharing!



  4. Very nice post. The way you presented your amazing moments in Catalina is stunning. I never had been in Catalina. All the elements in your post are beyond my knowledge about the place. I feel like it as one of best essays which I got from a writing service.


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