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So far I have only been diving on 1 day dive charters in So. Cal. Some of these boats on a scale of 1 to 10,
are an 11. On these 1 day boats you have a bunk to sleep in, 3 great meals and snacks ( more than you can eat),
friendly and helpful crew. Am I an easy to please customer or are these dive boats really top notch? Some of the
boats I'm referring to are the Peace, Sundiver and the Bottom Scratcher.
Nope. You won't find those much around the US and Caribbean except as liveaboards - which is what you were on, even tho it was a day trip. Sometimes you get some food on some, or maybe a salon for the food you bring - depending on where you go. Most destinations are close enough to the diving that you can make 2 tank dives between breakfast and lunch, then do it again that afternoon if you want - so you eat ashore.
There are a few others you might wish to try, like the Magician or The Great Escape. Fine vessels, great captains, good DM's and deck crew, and of course the cooks with their breakfast, snacks, lunch, and more snacks.
Yeah I've pretty much given up shore diving due to being spoiled on these boat dives.
If anybody is into food, on a 4 tank 1 day dive boat, they served basically what ever
you wanted for breakfast - eggs, waffles etc, after the 1st dive - chili with
different types of cheese, Lunch - brisket with salad and other goodies, After
lunch - brownies and fruit and for the ride back - Spagetti with meat and garlic
bread. Not bad for $135.
Some of them are indeed great, and they let you wear your wet suit into the salon for hot beverages and food! Nitrox is rare, and the diving may not compare to the coral reefs and fishes of Cozumel - but kelp diving is fun and the creatures rewarding. I live a minimum of 2 planes from any dive site so I have been encouraged to try a lot of destinations, all of which had their own rewards.
On the US East coast you get a boat - if it is a larger boat you may have a Head on it but you still only get a boat. Any food or liquids you may want need to be brought aboard by you and the boat supplies no tanks or gas. The boats will be 20 to 40 feet long and if the seas or chop is up can kick your butt.
Let's see, at the boat by 6 or 7 AM, off the dock by 7 or 8 at the latest, 1 to 3 hour ride, 1st dive (1 to 3 tanks if you are doing doubles & a Stage), 2 hour surface interval, 2nd dive w the same number of tanks as the first, 1 to 3 hour ride back to the dock. Back into the car between 3 and 5, then the drive back home...........
We have some nice dive charters here in the Puget Sound area. They will typically take out anywhere from 6 to 14 divers for recreational diving ... somewhat fewer for tech charters. Cost runs somewhere around $80 for two dives ... somewhat more for tech dives. All include snacks and bottled water ... most also will serve something hot during surface interval. Some have hot water for rinsing gear on-board. All have basic marine toilet facilities.
We don't do guided dives here. You'll get a nice dive briefing ... the crew will assist you into your gear (if desired) ... and you'll go off and do your own dive.
Unlike the Channel Islands boats, we don't do liveaboards here ... no reason to ... the dive sites are all pretty close ...
It was just below freezing and snow was falling steadily. As we stepped toward that portal separating a cold and dreary world from the tranquility and wonder of another dimension teeming with life and color a passer-by shook his head and muttered "crazy". Poor fool. If he only knew. (Airsix)
Just like Gilldiver said, most boats in the Northeast are all 6 hours or less for two dives. The vast majority of the boats buy me (Mass) often times have two trips scheduled per day. First boat leaves at 8 and is usually back by 12-1 and then they might go back in the afternoon. This is for two one hour dives with an hour surface interval. Depending of the sites they might get back a little later.
The dive boats here are strictly a taxi to the site. They will take you there, give you a brief briefing and take you back. No guided dives, no snacks, maybe a crude head. A few boats offer some snacks or drinks but that's the exception not the norm.