Part of the inspiration for the book, Lizard Key, came from my travels to the Yucatan Region of Mexico many years ago. This was before the region became as large a tourist destination as it is today… before the cruise ships came! Back then the large hotels and resorts didn’t exist… only a handful of hotels and lots more jungle around them. It’s still a great place to visit with a great deal of history. Just a couple of photos to see where the book started. There are many books written on the history of the region but the two I like the best are; Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John L. Stephens and The Americas Before Columbus by Dewey Farnsworth (the old photos in this book are great). The Stephens book is the classic. It documents his archaeological exploration of the region between 1839-1842. Since photography wasn’t available all the pictures are illustrations. There is some level of controversy around the Farnsworth book (primarily involving his religious beliefs) but that withstanding, it is interesting and has lots of old photos.
This is the famous pyramid in Chichen Itza.
As I would travel through the jungle in the region you could see many sites of unexcavated ruins. Most were taken over by jungle growth and almost unrecognizable as sites of ancient buildings… certainly not as easily seen as this.
Back to the waters off Catalina Island. These are Sheepshead fish. The larger black and red one is a male and the smaller red one is a female. These are one of my favorite fish to spear. They make great fish tacos. Very tasty!
When ever I travel I try to find a golf course. Some of your more remote islands don’t have the most well groomed courses but island golf combined with island cocktails can’t be beat! Sometimes the beauty of the tropical settings provides a good excuse when your game sucks… I was just over come with the scenery and couldn’t concentrate (always a good excuse!).
This is the Moorea Green Pearl course in French Polynesia. It was a quiet day and we had the place to ourselves.
St. Andrews, Scotland… the “Old Course”. We played there for three days and the weather was PERFECT… no rain, no wind. I’m told they get weather like this about once every fifty years or so. It’s the birth place of golf and still island golf!
Catalina Island is what I consider my “home course” since I live there a good part of the year. It is one of the oldest courses in the western US, established in 1892. Catalina is a small island off the California coast. It’s one of the few places in America where the most common form of transportation is a golf cart. The courses in Hawaii, Jamaica, the Florida Keys, etc. may be more dramatic, but your home course is always your favorite
The Garibaldi is a brightly colored orange fish of the damselfish family that is native to the North-Eastern subtropical parts of the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Monterey Bay, California, to Baja California. The name is a reference to the Italian military and political figure Giuseppe Garibaldi who wore a trademark red shirt.
Not only is this fish a regular sight whilst diving off Santa Catalina, it is also the official marine state fish of California.