Time To Take The Long Beach Water Taxi 6/4/2014
We have seen the "Water Taxi" for years and last Monday while having cocktails at The Boathouse, we decided to have an adventure on the seas. So after Charlie graduated from Kindergarten, we had lunch at the Himalayan Grille (where we found out that Panda Palace is gone) and then headed to the water taxi in Long Beach.
We had a drink at Malarkey's Bar and Grille while awaiting the taxi.
Did You Know? - A water taxi or water bus, also known as a commuter boat, is a watercraft used to provide public or private transport, usually, but not always, in an urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a similar manner to a bus, or on demand to many locations, operating in a similar manner to a taxi. A boat service shuttling between two points would normally be described as a ferry rather than a water bus or taxi.
The term water taxi is usually confined to a boat operating on demand, and water bus to a boat operating on a schedule. In North American usage, the terms are roughly synonymous. The 75-passenger AquaLink water taxi, which travels between the Queen Mary, the Aquarium, and Alamitos Bay Landing next to the Long Beach Marina.
Checking Out The Departure Arrangements
We walked around to find out how we get on board....
It was NOT the first dock!
We were finishing our drinks as the boat pulled up...
We have fifteen minutes to board
We could not quite figure out the schedule....
Departure! All Aboard... It's Almost 2:05
Sue is ready to go
Out the harbor entrance we go....
Load of shipping in the Long Beach Harbor
We departed from near the entrance of the bay...
Our departure point
Did You Know? - The San Gabriel River flows 60.6 miles (97.5 km) through southern Los Angeles County, California in the United States. Its main stem is about 43 miles (69 km) long, while its farthest tributaries extend almost 18 miles (29 km) altogether. It drains a long, narrow watershed basin extending from high in the San Gabriel Mountains above the eastern Los Angeles Basin, across the San Gabriel Valley, to the Pacific Ocean.
The river derives its name from the Spanish Mission San Gabriel Arcángel founded in 1771, now in the present day city of San Gabriel. It was free flowing with natural banks and a riparian zone habitat lined with riparian forests, marshes, and grasslands for much of its length and a large estuary at its mouth until the last century. Today most of the San Gabriel after leaving the foothills is restrained in a broad concrete flood control channel, and impounded in places by debris and stormwater management pond dams.
We can see the Queen Mary from the taxi
Out on deck the wind was about 40 knots... It seemed like it anyway
Lunch is served... The gulls were fishing
The kite surfers are all over the place...
They looked like seagulls from this distance
Inside where it is warm... and comfortable
We are ready for the first stop... The Rainbow Harbor (Aquarium/Gladstones)
The man is moving....
Did You Know? - Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport.
A kitesurfer or kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without foot-straps or bindings.
The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable, although kiteboarding may also refer to kite landboarding or kite snowboarding.
There are different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave-riding.
The water is coold but he is working hard!
Sailboats were out in full force
White Island.... An oil island named after the Apollo Astronaut
who died in the Apollo disaster
Did You Know? - The THUMS Islands are a set of four artificial islands in San Pedro Bay off the coast of Long Beach, California. They were built in 1965 to tap into the East Wilmington Oil Field. The landscaping and sound walls were designed to camouflage the operation and reduce noise, and they are the only decorated oil islands in the United States.
After a 1964 court case that gave the state of California mineral rights to the area, the islands were built at an estimated cost of $22 million in 1965, the islands were operated by THUMS, a consortium named after the parent companies who bid for the island contract: Texaco, Humble Oil (now Exxon), Union Oil, Mobil Oil, and Shell Oil.
The rim of the islands are made of 640,000 tons of boulders from Catalina Island, and the islands were then filled with 3.2 million cubic yards of dredged material from the bay.
The islands contain significant landscaping, a waterfall, and tall structures concealing the drilling rigs, including one known as The Condo and mistaken for "a ritzy hotel" by those on land.
The structures are lit in colored lights at night. The aesthetic mitigation cost $10 million at time of construction, and was overseen by theme park architect Joseph Linesch. They were described by a Los Angeles Times writer as "part Disney, part Jetsons, part Swiss Family Robinson".
In 1975, the state of California and the city of Long Beach sued the THUMS oil companies for artificially depressing oil prices. A federal jury cleared Exxon of all charges, and the other four oil companies settled out of court for "hundreds of millions of dollars".
The Long Beach skyline is quite pretty
Stop #1 - Shoreline Village (Rainbow Harbor)
Right next to the paddle wheeler
We popped into Gladstones
We met with John, the owner, and showed him Zack's daughter's picture
Time is of the essence.... We are heading out
Our taxi is ready
It was a beautiful day
The harbor was fairly quiet
Sue double checks the schedule
"We are right on time!"
Stop #2 - The Queen Mary & Catalina Express
Passing the Queen Mary on our way to the next stop
Makes the taxi look small
The sub is leading the way
Sleek liner.... No wonder it could go so fast!
The sub is still in port
Did You Know? - B-427 was a Project 641 (Foxtrot-class) diesel-electric attack submarine of the Soviet Navy. The "B" (actually "Б") in her designation stands for большая (bolshaya, "large"). Commissioned in 1971, the submarine operated with the Russian Pacific Fleet until decommissioning in 1994.
The boat was sold to a group of Australian businessmen, who converted her into a museum vessel, which was placed on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum (under the name Foxtrot-540) from 1995 until 1998, then at Long Beach, California (under the name Podvodnaya Lodka B-427 Scorpion) in 1998. The submarine is still on display as of 2014.
In May 1998, the submarine was loaded onto a heavy lift ship and relocated to Long Beach, California, sailing from Sydney on 31 May and arriving on 25 June. On arrival, she was berthed next to RMS Queen Mary, and opened to the public on 14 July under the designation "Podvodnaya Lodka B-427 Scorpion".
On 19 April 2011, the company operating Queen Mary (Delaware North) announced that they had acquired Scorpion, and were planning to increase attendance at both attractions through combined ticketing and joint marketing campaigns.
The Scorpion Submarine is currently owned by NEWCO Pty Ltd LLC and is on a long term lease to the Queen Mary.
Bye for now....
We met a nice couple from The Chezk Republic and Thailand and spend time
with them discussing the harbor.... Nice folks
He was explaining how it worked..... and doing it well
Stop #3 - Belmont Shores Pier And The Belmont Brewary
We have arrived!
Did You Know? - In 1908 the citizens of Belmont Heights asked the city to build a pier. The pier has been called the Grand Avenue Pier, the Belmont Heights Pier and Devil's Gate Pier in its history.
When the pier was renamed "Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier" in 2005 an inscription was added at the entrance: "The people of Long Beach dedicate this pier to the men and women of our nation's armed forces, as a tribute to their love of country and a memorial to their sacrifice.
Up the gangway... Looks like a puzzle
Up and up we go...
Mr. Pigeon kept an eye on us
His friend the seagull was also wary of our arrival
The taxi leaves us behind... See you in about an hour
Off it goes and will return after a nice leisurely visit to the brewery
To the Belmont Brewery... Yeah!
Did You Know? - The BBC is a unique restaurant located at the beach at the foot of the Belmont Pier in Belmont Shore, Long Beach.
The Belmont Brewing Company opened in 1990 and is Southern California's oldest operating brewpub. Come by for a taster set of award-winning ales crafted by Head Brewer Blackwell. We serve classic American fare with international flair and the warmest customer service around.
"Yes dear... You can order something"
Real flowers on the patio
"You are ordering beer???"
"Yes... And I am tasting them all!"
"Down the hatch!"
"What's good for the goose is good for the gander!"
"This tastes like strawberries!"
"... Dang! It is good!"
"How do they make it taste like strawberries???"
Paul killed them off with help form the boss!
Time to go!
Hop, skip, and jump to the boat
Right on time
Sue makes her way through the maze
Following the signs
She is on a mission
"Wait for me!"
"OK... What is the combination?"
The fishermen are busy
We had a lady captain today.... This is good
All sorts of mechanical devices allow the platform to rise and fall with the tides
Tide charts are available on-line
Straining to go!
Stop #4 - Back To The Beginning!
Coming into the Alamitos Channel
Destination straight ahead
The kite sailors are still going strong...
We made it.....
We are moving into the dock.... 5 MPH speed limit in effect
The captain can go outside and control the ship when docking!
She has assistance
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