Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Two Harbors: Isthmus Cove Pier (Catalina)

(GPS: N33° 26.485 W118° 29.845)

When I was a kid I visited Catalina Island once with a school group and had never been back. I’ve seen it many times while hiking or when near the beach since it is only about 23 miles from the coast. It was around two years ago I took advantage of a free boat ride that takes place on one’s birthday to the island. I had a choice to make of two places on the island to end up at. I naturally took the one that was going take a little more work to do. I knew it would still be fun, but not like just sitting on the beach the whole day.
Most people think of the town of Avalon as the place to go when visiting Catalina. It is the obvious tourist place to go and that’s where I went as a kid. This time I wanted to visit the smaller Two Harbors. The disadvantage of going there is it lacks the touristy shops and comforts of Avalon, but the advantage of Two Harbors was that more movies had been filmed there and I knew I could get some quick hiking in during the few hours I would be there.
As it was I think I only spent less than six hours on the island that day. As soon as I got off the boat that morning I spent most of my time walking. So, I think it was around four and half hours of continuous walking and about an hour of me just hanging out at the pier waiting for the boat to pick me up.
In the next four blogs I’m going to cover some of what I did during those few hours. What I did prior to going there is a quick search on Google maps, read about Two Harbors in Harry Medved’s Hollywood Escapes, and I checked out a website that I will link later in the blogs. I did watch a few movies I had to prepare me for what I was after. However, I didn’t do as much research I normally might for this Catalina trip or these blogs for that matter. So, there is a lot about Catalina’s geography and history that I really do not know about.
Here is a picture of the pier. I took this at the end of the day when I was just sitting at a bench enjoying the moment before I would leave. In the background and higher up is the road I took later in the day to do some hiking.

Again, this is right before I left, but in the morning I took off, headed past a few small rental places, small homes, the only café, and the small general store. Believe me, there really is the bare minimum of civilization here. Just enough to keep one alive and that’s it. For my purposes it was the way I wanted it for that day. The first destination was on the other side of the island that can be reached within a ten minute walk.

There were a few movies filmed at the pier here. One I had seen was Kansas City Confidential. In the second half of that movie Isthmus Cove plays the small Mexican (Central American? South American?; I can’t remember off the top of my head) fishing port in that movie. Most of the scenes take place on sets indoors, but there are a few passing shots that were filmed here. The climatic scene is actually set on the pier. The car drives up with the actual café in the background. The entrance to the general store is on the far right where the man is standing and my picture ends.

The first destination was Catalina Harbor which is the other harbor of the Two Harbors. So, within a minute or two I passed the last of the homes and headed there.

I'll start covering Catalina Harbor tomorrow.

Two Harbors: Ships and Movies (Youtube Version)

Two Harbors: Ships and Movies (Vimeo Version)

The following tracks were sampled from Incompetech.com for the video:

At the Shore, Reggae Sketch, Creeping To Ship, Evil Plan FX, Evil March, Trouble