The Fish Shall Fly Again

Is this the year you're finally going to see that wonder of Catalina Island?

THE OFFBEAT OCEAN: We marvel, sometimes, that a Hollywood blockbuster has not yet been written around the famous flying fish of Catalina Island. After all, the nature on the island certainly has Tinseltown ties -- the island buffalo are not native to the LA-close outcrop but were rather boated in for a silent film back in the 1920s -- and Catalina has been a movie star getaway for the better part of a century. You'd think that at some point some producer would have leaned on the bow of a ferry and thought "ya know, those fish that leap out of the water at night and flap a good distance could be the centerpiece of a supernatural franchise." Hasn't happened yet, that we know of, but we're thankful that the watery wonders still get their moment in the sun. Or moonlight, if you prefer, since they prefer to do their above-water flapping by night. And that moment? It's the annual Flying Fish Festival, which is set to flap again over Memorial Day Weekend 2013.

AT THE FESTIVAL: There are quite a few doings on land, where the flying fish distinctly are not (the word "fish" in their name is something of a giveaway there). Visitors can enjoy local foodstuffs at Taste of Avalon, visit some marine touch tanks, or watch a sand sculpture come together. And, yep, come nightfall, there are ways to get out on the water and search for the superstars of the weekend. We make mention now because 1) these nicer days put us in an island frame 2) it's never too early to discuss a fish that flies 3) rooms on an island can go over Memorial Day Weekend and 4) it's one of those things that many a California vows to see once but never gets around to planning. The trip to the island, booking a boat, the scheduling can overwhelm. But, really, there are just a couple of things to reserve, and then you're set. Don't you want to see something with gills leap out of the water and flit several yards through air? Seriously, eye this before Hollywood arrives to make it into next year's mega nature wowza tentpole movie. We're sure that's coming soon.

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