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How to dive Catalina Island

Discussion in 'NorCal' started by abhandly, May 2, 2011.

  1. abhandly

    abhandly Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Walnut Creek
    I live in Walnut Creek and dive Monterey. I've looked at articles on diving in the Channel Islands and I want some.

    Being a normal working guy (meaning that time is limited) with a non-diving wife (meaning that live aboards are rarely the preferred answer) - how best to stage this excursion.

    Any of you out there in the SF area that have dived the Channel Islands, what's the best way to approach this?

    My goal is to get a couple of dives with a guide (I'm an advanced beginner, PADI Rescue Certified, 60+ dives). I'd be grateful to anyone sharing stories of itineraries that worked. Very open to your recommendations.


  2. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
  3. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    I've had great luck staying at The Seaport Village Inn (call and ask for a diver discount) in Avalon on Catalina and diving the Casino Pt. dive park, with divers I "met" on ScubaBoard.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Hinalo

    Hinalo Instructor, Scuba

    From Northern California there are a few charter boat companies that go to the southern islands, San Clemente, Catalina every year. They are so cheap for what you get that it's almost more expensive staying home. Truth aquatics and Peace in Santa Barbara/Ventura are two popular ones.

    You can get in a two day trip on a weekend if you don't mind boarding late friday and getting back to northern cal around midnight sunday. good luck!
  5. Michael Kazma

    Michael Kazma Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Carlsbad, California
  6. andrewy

    andrewy DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives:
    Location: belmont, ca
    for a really good time take truth aquatics boats. we are going on memorial day.
    email kristy@finstad.com tell her andrewy sent you some discounts apply :)
  7. KRL1973

    KRL1973 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: santa clara, california
    Hi Brian,

    With a non-diving wife the boat diving may be problematic or less than ideal. Assuming the 2 of you are going their as a vacation you'll want to insure you get to spend plenty of time together.

    I went to Catalina for a few days last July with my wife and 2 young children. It was a vacation for the family plus some awesome diving for me on the side.

    Drove down and took the ferry from Long beach to Avalon. Stayed at Hermosa hotel which was an excellent value and convieniently located a short walk away from the dive park. Rent a tank and weights from a trailer parked right next to the casino point dive park (hours approx 9am-4pm). After your dive just exchange your empty for a full tank and they put the air fill on your tab U can store the tank and most of your other gear in lockers also located right at the dive park (bring plently of quarters) they say don't leave items overnight in the locker but I did with no problem for a 3 night stay. It was nice not lugging your full gear bag back and forth for every dive. Having the full tank ready to go in the locker meant I could run over for a dive whenever my schedule for the day allowed for it including early morning and eveniong/night dives when I often had the dive park all to myself :)

    Shore diving at the dive park is super easy, especially compared to Monterey. I dove solo and felt very comfortable doing so. It would be easy I think to get a buddy there from 9-4. It won't be as cold and it is a calm entry on stairs just a few steps from where you gear up. The park is awesome, very diverse, I never felt bored of it.

    My family liked Avalon. It's a nice place to hang out and explore on foot. It tends to be foggy early Summer so might want to plan it for late Summer or Fall if you have the flexability. Also on weekends and when shcools out for the summer the ferry is often sold out so make reservations.

    Feel free to PM me with more questions. Have fun and please post a trip report if you go

    PS I have some video I took at the dive park posted on my youtube channel you can check out
  8. cmburch

    cmburch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Suisun Bay
    We have gone on Truth Aquatics one day dives. As well as 3-4 day trips. Outer Islands are great. The Conception and Vision may have more room and bunk space. Check their calendar.


    Oops! You wanted Catalina. There are several that go out to the Island. Any friends in SoCal? Give them a call to help set-up.
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  9. abhandly

    abhandly Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Walnut Creek
    KRL1973, Thanks for the thoughtful response. It was exactly what I was looking for.

    KRL1973 likes this.
  10. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    Brian, since your non-diving wife will be accompanying you, the most convenient diving will be from shore at the Casino Point UW Park. She can do stuff in town while you are out diving. The Hermosa is a fairly no-frills budget hotel, offering some rooms with kitchenettes. I've also stayed at the Hotel Atwater when the Hermosa lacked availability.

    I'd recommend trying to meet up with other SBers at Casino Point for some diving. You have enough experience not to need a dive guide...as long as you can find a buddy. The vast majority of the time, Casino Point shore diving is very easy.

    If you're interested in doing some boat dives, I've had good experiences with Scuba Luv (King Neptune).

    For another, more dive-centered trip, I'd recommend trying to do Two Harbors. There's some easy shore diving available. Bird Rock and Ship Rock are also excellent nearby dives.

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