On a drizzly afternoon, a group of tourists huddle aboard the Christopher sipping wine, nibbling cookies and gazing out at the ocean just off Long Beach. Cameras dangle from their necks, ready to record the sights....What's with the wine and cookies? Shouldn't it be something more medicinal and off-flavored? Wheatgrass juice and vegan sushi, maybe.
Corroded metal shipping containers, belching smokestacks, trash-strewn waterways and oil islands highlight this harbor cruise.
The 2 1/2 -hour excursion takes passengers through a seascape short on the picturesque but full of concrete and metal -- a ride through exhaust-tinged air and past power plants, rusty warehouses and the Terminal Island prison that once housed Charles Manson and Al Capone.
(I must admit, I would enjoy this cruise. 1. Great photo-ops. 2. Reality is always beautiful/interesting from a safe distance.)