Travellin’ in Avalon – Errol Flynn’s Catalina

25 Oct

A visit to Catalina confirms that Errol loved the island and the island very fondly remembers him. As great as it still is, Catalina hasn’t been the same since he last sailed away.…

Here are some images on exhibit at the Catalina Museum, where Errol is very prominently featured.



Here is how Avalon Beach and Harbor look today, much like it did during Errol’s heyday. In the background is the magnificent Catalina Casino.



— Tim


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  1. Maria

    October 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    You must be having one heck of a time! Thanks for the posts!

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 26, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Thank you, Maria. It’s been quite a wonderful adventure, especially so with my son along. In addition to what I’ve already posted, we’ve been to other Errol-landmarks and Flynn-significant locations. I hope to publish more from this trip once I get a breather. At the moment, I’m still researching, presently in La Jolla, Coronado, San Diego, and the Upper Baja, where Errol was a legendary explorer.

      I won’t be able to make it to the location in this video (Scammon’s Lagoon – where Errol visited with Carl Hubbs in circa ’47 , out of Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla), but I thought you would enjoy what Errol saw long before it was the commercial tourist destination it is now:…


  2. David DeWitt

    October 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Closest I ever got to Catalina Island was visiting author Steve Hayes (who knew Flynn) with my dear friend Jack Marino. Steve lives directly opposite Catalina Island. Appreciate these photos. David Niven often sailed with Flynn to the island, and went there aboard Humphrey Bogart’s boat Santana, too.

  3. shangheinz

    October 26, 2015 at 7:17 am…
    Ronald Reagan started his career as some sort of MC at the local ballroom theatre. Did Prez and Errol meet there for the first time maybe, Travellin’ Tim?

    • Don Jan

      October 26, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Reagan said once he felt he was the Errol Flynn of B-movies!

      • shangheinz

        October 26, 2015 at 7:45 am

        Yep, and added that he was not afraid of Brezniew, since he starred alongsid Fabulous Flynn.

        • Don Jan

          October 26, 2015 at 9:51 am

          I wonder if the person on the left in the image is actually Jim Fleming! We do not know much about him.

          • shangheinz

            October 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm

            Eagle Eye Don Cherry Jan, you may be right on that one!

            • Don Jan

              October 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm

              One never knows! Surely Fleming accompanied Errol on many occasions, just seems to have those features.

              • shangheinz

                October 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

                Jim Fleming was a hawklike figure, far from handsome. I think you are right. By the way, Errol’s buddy Buster Wilson described JF as “Longfingers”.

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 27, 2015 at 4:25 am

      I’m not aware of the “Errol Flynn of Bs” mc’ing on Catalina in that way, gipperheinz, but it would have been right up his alley to have done so at the Catalina Casino. I’d be surprised if he didn’t try to announce at least some of the big acts that played there. He was very entrepreneurial, and talented.

      What the pre-prez did do on Catalina for certain, though, was announce Spring Training games for WHO Radio in 1937 (possibly in ’36, also) for the Chicago Cubs, whose owner, chewing gum magnate Charles Wrigley, essentially owned the island for many decades.

      Coincidently, Reagan was doing this (and auditioning to be a film studio star) during and/or Errol’s trip on the Queen Mary to the Spanish Civil War (with, as newspapers reported “with well known communist”, Dr. Hermann Erben.)

      Perhaps Warners was motivated, at least in part, to sign up Ronnie because they thought Errol had gone off the reservation too far and too often.…


      In fact, diamondheinz, as you may know, the first “Wrigley Field” was on Catalina! (Not in Chicago!)

      • shangheinz

        October 29, 2015 at 9:59 pm

        Thanks for the info, Gentleclopedia Tim. I was only aware that if you catch Cubs Fever you die…We had Wrigley- Catalina connection before, when we blogged about Errol’s and Howard Hill’s hunting expeditions. Now there’s a baseball angle to it. Love it: Original Wrigley Field- Home of the Catalina Cutters…