Catalina is a gorgeous island full of breath-taking nature and sights. While in Catalina, I saw the amazing beautiful sunrise twice. There was an optional hike in the morning for people who wanted to see the sunrise. Everyone had get themselves up at 5:30 to be at the meeting point at 5:45, but the catch was no one has clocks in their rooms, and teachers don’t wake you up. Luckily, I got myself up both mornings to see the sunrise. On the first day, we got to the end of the hike too late to see the sun rise fully. On the second day, the sunrise was stunning. The group of hikers and I got to the mountain at least 15 minutes early so everyone found their spot to on the floor. As the sun came over the horizon of the ocean, it seemed like a glimpse of happiness waking the earth up. I took a bunch of amazing photos that I hope to share. The experience of being at Catalina was superb, but getting to see the sunrise was unbelievable, I was ultimately speechless.
Also on Catalina Island, I got to observe and pet sharks and rays. Our instructor, Travis, talked to us about the sharks and rays, and then we walked over to a tank type thing that was huge and filled with water, sharks, and rays. As they swam around the edges, waiting to be pet, everyone hovered around the tank observing the different types. There were leopard sharks, horn sharks, thornback rays, guitar fish, and many more. There was one ray that felt slimy, super smooth, and it’s skin kind of shimmered rainbow colors. Our group had a leopard shark that was especially social. Everyone decided to name him Dan. It was a really cool to experience a live part of nature, like sharks and rays. This is definitely a memory I will never forget.
Lastly, a breathtaking moment from Catalina would the night hike. On the second and last night of my stay on Catalina Island, everyone took a night hike. After dinner, everyone went to their cabins to layer up and get jackets and water for the hike. After ten minutes, everyone met back up, and we started on the hike. We passed through the camp’s summer archery course, which is cool in the dark since it’s jurassic park themed. Then, there were turn backs in the trail to get us through the climb. Finally, everyone got to the top, and we were’t even that high. But, it was AMAZING. I was completely speechless. You could see so many stars, and then there was the city 26 miles across the ocean using light pollution to block out some stars that direction. After everyone finished gazing at the stars for a moment, we all took at seat on a bench. We seemed to be facing a projected screen, but they were not going to turn it on. The instructors explained constellations and asked questions. I could hear the buzzing of crickets and other nature sounds. At the end of the program, we hiked back down the hill through a road that was steeper but took more than half the time it took to get up. Overall, seeing constellations was truly amazing. Nature at night may be dark, but it is definitely relaxing and still just as gorgeous as during the day.