A Trip To Avalon, Catalina, and the Mole

Ken Jones

Staff member
A Trip To Catalina —January 31, 2021

Heading south and the counties roll by—Fresno, Tulare, Kern, and finally Los Angeles. I was on the road again and once again the destination was Long Beach where I would catch the ferry to Avalon on Catalina Island. By now, after 22 such trips over the past 20 years it’s an easily defined route, one where I know where to get the best gas prices, best food, and best places to stay. But no, that was before the specter of Covid-19 set in and made the regular irregular. It is what it is.

However, the ultimate goal is always the same, to enjoy the piscatorial delights at that magical island of Catalina. And even with Covid-19, the same mix of species, fish common to Catalina but somewhat uncommon to most mainland piers, is present and willing to engage in combat with anglers.

This though would be a special trip to Avalon. The Cabrillo Mole had been closed for repair for over a year and between that closure and Covid-19 the fishing pressure had been light. Hopefully the absence of anglers has increased the number of fish.

Planning though had taken strange twists. Originally the goal was to be at the Mole immediately after its opening. I would go with Hashem and we would both fish the Mole while paying shorter visits to the Green Pleasure Pier where he would seek out lobsters while I concentrated on the fish.

But the opening day came the same time he was headed to Utah for some ice fishing. I could go alone but decided to wait until he returned. Then an illness in his family further complicated matters. I was getting nervous watching the reports of good fishing and wanted to join in but would wait. But, he said things should improve; how much notice did I need before going? Just a day or so. He finally called last Friday and said he had gone ahead and made hotel and ferry reservations. We would head out Monday morning and come back Wednesday evening. I would need to drive down Sunday for our Monday morning departure.

Saturday saw me quickly getting my supplies together. For bait, I bought about two and a half pounds of shrimp with heads on at the local Asian market to supplement the leftover squid I had in my freezer. I also called Big Fish in Seal Beach and ordered some ghost shrimp and bloodworms. But, they were out of ghost shrimp! What? I finally said save me four dozen bloodworms and some fresh mussels.

The drive down Sunday was quick, four and a half hours, and then I zipped over to Seal Beach for the bait (where I added a couple of dozen lugworms). The bait cooler was now full to the brim with bait and I now was seemingly set for Catalina.

I next checked into my dump (I mean motel); it would turn out to be the second worst motel I have ever stayed in (and so much for reviews on the Internet).

Given that I still had several hours of sunlight, I turned to a second goal for the trip, to fish the new piers at Pier J in Long Beach to add to my list (I’ve been stuck on 115 saltwater piers in California for some time). I headed down the Long Beach Freeway, took the Pier J exit, and then Scenic Drive turnoff which quickly took me to drive along Pier J and its rocky shoreline along with two new mini-piers of sort. Could I do a little pre-Catalina fishing? No, it turned out they were closed! All I could do was take some pictures of the piers and the scenic views (bay, ships and snow-capped mountains).

What next? I decided to head over to the finger piers that are found by the Long Beach marina. Unfortunately those piers were crowded and the fishing was slow. I finally decided to find some food and turn in early. However, I couldn’t sleep, was up at 3:30 and down to the ferry landing at 5:30 not realizing that they now don’t even open the parking gates until 6 a.m.

The early arrival did give me plenty of time for the normal tie-up ritual. The pier cart had its usual—bait bucket, tackle box, and container of miscellaneous items on the bottom. On top of the cart would go my bag full of clothes and my camera case. Three tie down straps meant everything was secured to the cart and I didn’t have to worry about stuff falling off while getting on or off the ferry. The rods were carried in a separate rod carrier. Hashem too was early and since the ferry didn’t leave until 7 a.m. we had a leisurely wait.

Finally it was time for the ferry ride to the island in which we were accompanied by a few dolphin. Upon arrival we sighted the rebuilt pier. We were off the boat and fishing by 9 a.m. Hashem was seeking out bonito while I sought out the sheephead that were being reported in big numbers.

Tackle was simple: three rod and reel combinations. A light outfit fitted with ten-pound fluorocarbon line for fishing the bottom, a second heavier outfit with 20-pound line also for fishing the bottom, and a reel and longer rod equipped with 12-pound line for top species like bonito if they showed.

The light outfit was set up with my normal high/low rigs with size 6 Mustad streamer hooks. I usually use simple baitholder hooks (sizes 8-4) but wanted to try the longer shanked streamer hooks with the worms and they worked well. I could easily run the hook through the body of the worm while using a piece of worm just longer than the hook.

I tried a variety of hooks with the heavier outfit including the same size 6 hooks, some size 2 baitholder hooks, and size 1 Kahle hooks. Naturally the bigger the hooks and bait the less bites. Surprisingly, the largest sheephead were caught on the number 6 hooks.

There was a logistical problem with keeping fish to take home. I wanted to take home a limit of sheephead and hopefully some larger bass and other fish. I had brought along Ziplock bags but I didn’t have a way to keep the fillets fresh for four days. The motel room didn’t have a refrigerator/freezer and though my bait cooler had ice it was totally full of bait.

A second problem was the possession limit. You are limited to one day’s limit of fish even when fishing several days. Thus if you keep five sheephead on Monday you cannot keep any sheephead you catch on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I decided to roll the dice and only keep fish that I caught on Wednesday. As I fished I used up the bait and by Wednesday there should be room in the cooler for both fillets and ice. Of course I needed to catch some larger size fish on Wednesday.

In hindsight, what I should have done was to purchase a small Styrofoam cooler when I arrived at the island, fill it with ice, and keep the fillets in it until Wednesday when I would transfer the fillets to my bait cooler. Hindsight is 2020—duh!

Day One Fishing — 2/1/21 I would put in a full day of fishing. I fished the Mole from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then, following a quick snack, from 3:30-5:45.


My only bonito of the trip

It was strange weather. It was initially overcast and we had light droplets of rain for the first few hours. It wasn’t cold but it was cool and we didn’t see the sun until the afternoon.

I primarily fished on the southern half of the pier moving around as conditions changed. The giant kelp is largely gone, and you no longer have the kelp fronds to use as a barometer on the kelp, but different kelp is there, on the bottom and largely hidden. It will still grab your line and this is where the 20-pound test line proved able to often break free while the lighter line would be lost.



The number and mix of fish was good with a variety of fish being caught. My main goal, sheephead, showed in reasonable numbers but not what I had hoped to see. They primarily hit on the bloodworms and shrimp with about 2/3 preferring the worms. There was a steady bite on the other species throughout the day.

Hashem was getting an occasional bonito so I finally stopped to cast out a bonito ball and feather in search of the bonies. I got one but then my right shoulder and arm started acting up (a condition I’ve had for about a month). After maybe ten or so casts I would have to stop until the pain subsided. I finally just decided to stick primarily to the bottom fish.


Hashem and a bonito

One interesting scene was to see the “opaleye hunters” that were fishing the end and corner section of the pier. They were going nearly fishless. These groups come over almost every day on the ferry, usually three or four in a group, they only stay for the day, and have specialized gear and bait (moss and/or peas) for the opaleye. Most of the time they will limit out or nearly limit out on the opaleye. This year there were very few opaleye due perhaps to the absence of giant kelp by the pier. Monday saw two to three groups of the opaleye specialists and the same on Tuesday but none on Wednesday. From talking to locals it sounded like these groups would have done far better if they moved down to the quarry area where apparently the opaleye are still found in good numbers. I have never used their slip bobber rigs when fishing the Mole but always have done fairly well on opaleye using a simple high/low baited with peas or ghost shrimp. This trip I didn’t have any ghost shrimp and only managed a few opaleye. You’ve just got to have the right bait and know how to use it.



Cabrillo Mole: 8.25 hours — 82 fish — 186 points (different points different fish)

14 Sheephead
14 Kelp Bass
9 Garibaldi
9 Jack Mackerel
6 Pacific Mackerel
6 Blacksmith
4 Ocean Whitefish
4 Halfmoon
4 Senorita
3 Giant Kelpfish
3 Rock Wrasse
2 Scorpionfish
2 Pacific Sardine
1 Pacific Bonito
1 Opaleye


Giant Kelpfish

What was interesting was that as it started to turn dark I pulled in four medium-size ocean whitefish in quick succession on my light outfit. They were further out from the pier but I didn’t lose any to the kelp. And then, still using the high/low with size 6 hooks, I began pulling in jack mackerel, Pacific mackerel and sardines. The jack mackerel were all good-sized, the macks were mid-size, and the sardines were about as big as they get. They were apparently all schooling together and it was one or two fish time after time.

About that time Hashem was all packed up and set to head to the Green Pleasure Pier for some lobster (they’re illegal at the Mole) so I stopped. But, it would have been very easy to run up some big numbers of the jacks and mackerel.


Sunset on the Mole

We would then head to the Green Pleasure Pier, which for me has always produced more fish than the Mole. Nighttime action is usually slower since many of the Mole species sleep at night but there are always kelp bass, sculpin (scorpionfish) and a lesser mix of other species.


Avalon and its harbor at night (normally the harbor is filled with boats of every size)

I would only fish an hour but it was the worst results I have ever shown for that pier. The tide was low with a very strong current that made it almost impossible to keep your bait near the pier and there was not even a nibble away from the pier. I finally managed a single sculpin but it was by far the strangest conditions I had even seen at the pier. There was only one other angler and he went fishless while Hashem went without a single lobster (of any size). I decided Tuesday and Wednesday would be devoted to the Mole.
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Ken Jones

Staff member
Day Two Fishing — 2/2/21 — Another full day of fishing: 7:30-11 a.m., 11:30-4:30, 5-6 p.m.


Sunrise at the Mole
Day Two started off sunny and somewhat hot (break out the suntan oil) and then it tuned cold and windy off and on. For an hour it would be windy and you needed your jacket on and then it was warm and short sleeve weather.

The fishing was steady although a little disappointing for me since I like a lot of variety and it was actually fewer species that the previous day (and none of the unusual fish that I will usually see each visit).



One unusual feature was that a large school of blacksmith had moved in and they seemed to attack the bait before the other fish could get the bait. I had seen the same thing on a visit in April 2011 when another school of blacksmith swarmed the waters. Smaller schools had done the same in 2004 and 2005. The good thing was that most of the fish were good-sized fish for the species.



Once again the worms out fished the other baits and again the largest fish hit on the worms and smaller hooks.


Kelp Bass aka Calico Bass

It was also once again a slow day for the “opaleye hunters” who were fishing further down on the middle to north end of the pier. We would see an occasional fish but it was obvious they were not doing great, at lest not doing great on the opaleye.


Giant Kelpfish

Interesting was the talk with a member of the harbor patrol. It turned out that they had called the Fish and Wildlife wardens out on Sunday because of all the illegal fishing. Three guys were arrested with 17 illegal, under-sized sheephead. They were in the process of lining up the sheephead for pictures when the wardens swooped in. Apparently that was only one problem of many and both the harbor patrol and Fish and Wildlife said they would tighten the enforcement.

I did see one angler pull up a horn shark, the third one I have seen over the years at the pier, and all were caught in almost the exact same spot.


Juvenile Garibaldi (the spots disappear as the fish ages)

Cabrillo Mole: 9.50 hours — 122 fish — 279 points (different points different fish)

29 Blacksmith
22. Kelp Bass
17 Garibaldi
16 Sheephead
11 Jack Mackerel
10 Senorita
6 Halfmoon
4 Pacific Mackerel
4 Rock Wrasse
2 Giant Kelpfish
1 Opaleye

The 122 fish for the day was the second highest number of fish I have caught at the Mole in a single day. On September 26, 2014 I had caught 134 fish; on April 26, 2013 I had caught 112 fish.




Pictures of the landing for the ferry. Walk a couple of hundred feet and you are ready to fish.


The lights of Avalon

Ken Jones

Staff member
Day Three Fishing — 2/3/21 — The final day would see a few less hours for fishing since we would need to stop fishing a little earlier, fillet the fish I was now keeping, and finish cleaning up and getting everything packed for the trip back to the mainland.


The Casino


The shops along Crescent Avenue in the morning


The end of the Green Pleasure Pier (note that the docks that normally sit at the front of the pier and on the sides are gone for the winter months). It makes it much easier to fish the pier without tangling with lines from the docks.


Inner half of the Green Pleasure Pier


The welcoming seal, Green Pleasure Pier, and Casino


The Cabrillo Mole and Ferry Landing

Fished: 8:15 a.m.–1:00, 1:30-3, 3:30-5 p.m.

This day Hashem and I would pretty much have the pier to ourselves. I think we didn’t even see another angler until the afternoon.

However, it didn’t start off well. I was going to fish the far northern end of the pier by the crane but just after I started one of the harbor workers came over and said I couldn’t fish in that area. He said that area was in the Lovers Cove area and all fishing was prohibited. He was wrong, the entire area around the pier is in the Lovers Cove area but fishing from the pier is allowed. We’ve gone through this before and unfortunately too many “enforcers” who should know the law don’t really know it. In addition, right by the crane, is a bait cutting board on the railing installed by the harbor patrol themselves. People have always fished the area.

He then went on to lament how the previous day a group of people, “opaleye hunters,” (I won’t use an ethnic description) had been catching small bass, small sheephead, and even garibaldi (an illegal fish) and cooking them up right where they were fishing. He said they (the harbor district) were going to close up part of the pier to fishing including the end section. I was going to tell him he didn’t know the regulations of where I could fish but after listening to his story just decided not to bother. I didn’t ask him why the harbor patrol hadn’t stopped the illegal take and cooking of fish. I met the new Harbormaster on Tuesday and plan on talking to him about the issues. I would hate to see part of the Mole actually closed to fishing because of the stupid actions of a few knuckleheads. I keep hoping people will learn (and some do) but it’s an ongoing problem year after year.


Sheephead and old man

I just moved about 50 feet down the Mole and began to fish. As for the fishing, it remained steady but the blacksmith were replaced by garibaldi. It seemed every time a shrimp was used for bait a garibaldi would grab it. Many were huge size and put up a good fight but they are illegal. Luckily all were returned safely to the water with the exception of one that was grabbed by a pelican.


Rock Wrasse

And though Wednesday was the day I needed to catch some good fish to take home, almost every sheephead was in the 10 1/2 to 11 ¾ inch range, just under the legal 12-inch size. I did take a couple of legal-size sheephead home but had caught many legal and larger fish on Monday and Tuesday. And, for some reason, the kelp bass seemed to disappear. They are normally near the top of the number of fish caught but just seemed to be gone on Wednesday even though I specifically tried some cut mackerel for them.



As for Hashem, I think he limited out on bonito all three days but the lobster had disappointed. He is very congenial and talks to the other anglers and every visitor that comes up asking for information. He has pleasant company throughout the day. I on the other hand tend to fish on my own and concentrate on the fish. I’m not unfriendly but simply have little time for chit chat.

2021.2.3_Scorpionfish.1 .2.jpg

California scorpionfish (generally just called sculpin in SoCal)

We both find Avalon magical and an eternal attraction. Hashem, living in Los Angeles, usually makes several trips to Catalina each year, either single day trips or overnight trips where he stays on the GPP hooping for lobster all night long. His main expense is the ferry and the parking. I, coming from afar, figure that if I am going to make the trip I want a multi-day visit. That usually translates into somewhere between $400 and $500 a trip (gas $50, bait $?, ferry ride-$67.50, motel $100 a night, meals $40-50 a day, parking at the ferry terminal $40-50). It’s not inexpensive and those locals who can come over just for the day have a real advantage.

Cabrillo Mole: 7.75 hours — 90 fish — 225 points (different points different fish)

39 Garibaldi
19 Blacksmith
9 Sheephead
6 Halfmoon
6 Senorita
4 Kelp Bass
3 Rock Wrasse
2 Opaleye
1 Scorpionfish
1 Giant Kelpfish

Day three was our final day to fish (and I am ready to go back). Had the fishing been noticeable better than normal? Yes, the fishing overall was better and the numbers of sheephead were especially better.

The statistics for the Cabrillo Mole showed a positive change. Prior to the trip the Mole showed 6.74 fish per hour and 14.9 points per hour. After the trip the figures showed 7.19 fish per hour and 16.0 points per hour. So yes, the fishing was better than average.

At the same time the numbers for the Green Pleasure Pier dipped slightly due to the one hour, one fish, visit. Prior to that one hour visit the numbers had been 12.8 fish per hour and 26.7 points per hour. After the short visit the numbers dipped to 12.7 fish per hour and 26.6 points per hour. Typically the Green Pleasure Pier yields more fish but often smaller fish (lots of under-sized kelp bss) and less variety.

As I headed home I thought back to the many “Get Togethers” we had in Catalina and the derbies at the Mole. Perhaps we can set one up again when conditions are safe. It will not have GDude or Boyd or Mike or Adam or Jimbojack or many others but perhaps we can get the new members of PFIC together and enjoy a day of fishing and camaraderie?


Senior Member
Glad you made it safe home.

It was a fun trip. Thanks for waiting for me.

I will have a link to my post, if pictures are too big for this site.


Active Member
Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! At least caught a lot of fish and a nice variety! I have never seen the moorings so empty, must have been nice to have the island all to yourselves!
I have got to learn how to start keeping records like you do, just need to find some time.

As for the illegal activity, one would think if they go through all the trouble and spending to travel to the island to fish, they must love fishing, and thus should know the laws and rules- it really bugs me when people are ignorant of laws, even more so when they play dumb as if they dont know what they should not be doing, they dont care if they ruin things for other people.
I like the signs that Mahigeer put up, thanks for helping! And thanks Mr. Jones for the fantastic write up and photos once again! Jealous of you guys! 🤤


Senior Member
Years past (maybe 2014), I noticed that the "opaleye hunters" would keep every opaleye they catch. I have seen floating baskets full of fish.

I then decided to ask the previous Harbor Master for permission to put up laminated page of fishing regulations. It was welcomed and some of the Harbor Patrol staff would use it too.

The laminates would not last due to sun and the wind. Finally I got some plastic chopping boards and mounted them on it. Four at the Mole and two at the GPP. It has helped the life of the laminations.
From time to time I provide The HP office with more laminations.

But of course, the poachers know the regulations better than most anglers. Language is their excuse.

It seems that the visitors who want to fish at the piers in Avalon and not violate any laws are also benefiting from the project.

A win, win situation.

Ken Jones

Staff member
It was a fun trip but I must admit that I was really feeling my age this trip. As mentioned in the post, I have been having some problems with my right shoulder and arm which put a crimp in casting for bonito. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, I turned sharply and felt a twinge in my right leg and buttocks area. The leg began to throb and I was limping the rest of the day. It really hurt to walk that night and I worried somewhat about getting on and off the ferry with all the gear. But I made it. I'm still sore and wondering about seeing the doctor but I'm taking pain medicine that I had gootten for my arm and am hoping that takes care of it.

Rusty, My record keeping started a long time ago. I record the fish as I catch them in a small compoition book that fits in my pocket. The results are then transferred onto 3x5 cards before entering them into my computer. I have everything by year back to 1962. You can make the records as simple or as complex as you feel is useful; I keep it simple until they hit the computer.

Ken Jones

Staff member
I forgot to mention that most restaurants are closed on the island, at least on the weekdays when we were these. Antonio's Original Pizza (on Summer Ave.) is still open and has pizza and other good Italian food and sandwiches, the taco stand (on Metropole Ave. ?) is still open, the hb/ff place (Coney Island West) at the corner of Metropole Ave. and Crescent Ave.) is still open, the small bakery next to Original Jacks on Summer Ave. is open in the morning (with very limited and expensive items). A couple of others places may be open but most places are simply closed. The Ellis Isle. Deli. on the Mole has some surprisingly good food (including some excellent salads) which was where we got most of our meals (I liked the "Jamaica Dog" with the watermelon relish). The Deli is basically open from the morning ferry until the evening ferry. The new and larger Vons on Summer Ave. has a wide variety of sandwiches and snacks available. Just don't' expect any fancy sit down meals.

Ken Jones

Staff member
One more thing I forgot to mention is that we made contact with the new owners of the Hermos Hotel where we used to stay during out "Get Togethers." Their prices have gone up and we didn't stay there this trip but he seems interested in working with us on prices if we decide to do another "Get Together." Obviously it couldn't happen until the Covid restrictions are eased but perhaps it's possibke down the road. Would anyone be interested?


Well-Known Member
One more thing I forgot to mention is that we made contact with the new owners of the Hermos Hotel where we used to stay during out "Get Togethers." Their prices have gone up and we didn't stay there this trip but he seems interested in working with us on prices if we decide to do another "Get Together." Obviously it couldn't happen until the Covid restrictions are eased but perhaps it's possibke down the road. Would anyone be interested?
I would.


Well-Known Member
One more thing I forgot to mention is that we made contact with the new owners of the Hermos Hotel where we used to stay during out "Get Togethers." Their prices have gone up and we didn't stay there this trip but he seems interested in working with us on prices if we decide to do another "Get Together." Obviously it couldn't happen until the Covid restrictions are eased but perhaps it's possibke down the road. Would anyone be interested?
I would be interested.


Senior Member
Beautiful report and pictures. Absolutely staggering numbers that you put up!!

There was an old post which some had written----"When Skipper Jones pulls into the parking lot of a pier, the fish lineup with their mouths open".

I never forgot that phrase.

He likes "pile fishing" with hi-low, two #8 bait holder hooks and 1-2 oz. torpedo sinker.

He was constantly going from one rod to another pulling up fish. The big investment on blood worms paid off for sure.

As to hotel issue in Catalina, I will be staying in Catalina Island Seacrest Inn. It was the cheapest room in March. I will talk to them for the future trip sand check out the hotel.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Although the high/low set up is my usual rig, the size of hooks depends upon the bait. Here I was using size 6 Mustad long-shanked streamer hooks on my lighter rod/reel for the worms. Bigger bait requires bigger bait and on my heavier set-up I used a variety of hooks depending upon the bait, everything from size 4 baitholder hooks to size 1 Kahle hooks. I use just enough bait to cover the hook making sure the barb is free of bait.
On this trip I had bloodworms, lug worms, market shrimp, fresh mussels, and a little squid and fresh mackerel. Most of the fish, including the largest sheephead and the ocean whitefish, were caught on the smaller hooks using worms.

When I began to run out of worms, I used strips of fresh mussels and they seemed to produce as well as the worms.The squid and mackerel were least productive although squid is usually good for sheephead and fresh mackerel is usually good for kelp bass. If I had been able to get ghost shrimp, and I wasn't, I would have used Kahle hooks for the whole shrimp or baitholder hooks for pieces of the shrimp. One thing we didn't see was the smaller smelt and/or anchovies that sometimes are in the water, baitfish that are useful as live bait for the bass.

The high/low is a simple set up and since the hooks are between you and the sinker you are able to feel every nibble and can hook the fish when it takes the bait (an acquired skill). With a Carolina set-up you do not get the same feel on the bait. And, I never use a Sabiki-rig as my set-up unless seeking out some sardines or mackerel for bait.

As for the numbers, it's usually pretty easy fishing at Catalina, the fish are there in numbers and it just depends on if they are in a biting mood. Given the current circumstances, it's easy to say they are in a biting mood.

I do tend to concentrate on the fish when fishing (and it's why I am not a particularly good fishing buddy at those times). I tend not to drink or eat while fishing and as Hashem can verify a cup of coffee may sit for an hour while I am busy fishing.

Where are the fish, at what depth are they biting, and what bait is working best? I try to determine that as soon as possible and go from there. But the answers can also change with the tides and the time of the day (bright sun or shady). As outlined in my book, fishing is simple if you understand the basics, but for some reason not everyone takes the time to learn those basics. And, not everyone is as focused on catching the fish, some like the shared companionship and discussion with others and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Fishing, and the fun you derive from fishing, is measured in many way and the fish count is only one measurement.
All good points.

On a side note, I am getting restless to go back.

I am specially looking forward to see the accommodations at Catalina Island Seacrest Inn.

It is located at the first street (Clarissa Ave) off Crescent street. A short distance north of Mi Casita, a Mexican restaurant.

That puts it between the Mole and the Green Pleasure Pier and not much of an uphill. A big help when pushing a cart after a day of fishing and exhausted.

Much closer than Hermosa Hotel and Courtyard suits. It is also the cheapest place to stay for my dates in March.

Viewing the pictures of the hotel in their website shows a nice roof with tables, BBQ, refrigerators and nice view. Rooms are nice too. Mine will be from the side entrance on the first floor.

I do not have any connection to the hotel, but am looking for a new place after Hermosa Hotel.

Pictures and more information will be in my report when I come back.


New member
Great writeup and great pictures. The colors you pull out of those fish are beautiful.

As for the get together, I still remember the first one. It was a great time. If there is a reunion of sorts, I'll be there. Maybe even slap together another T-shirt design like the old days.

Edit: I have been looking at AirBnB's on Avalon recently. There are some nice options if you go that route as well. A lot of beautiful properties in that town. Bonus points for full size fridge/freezer and kitchens if you're doing a multiday stay.
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Although I am not 100% sure, I think most BNB's are up the hill.

For me and Skipper that is hard to do after a day of standing at the rail. Even the last hotel which was not too far from the flat part was hard to go up.

With our carts, taking a Taxi is not practical either.

Plus we need separate rooms, since I snore something awful. Skipper could peel the paint off the wall with snoring, but now he uses CPAP machine and is quite as a mouse.

I am really looking forward to trying the Seacrest Inn. It is closest place to the Mole yet.

They have one more room available as of now on the ground level for the March 22nd-24th. If anybody interested.