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i'm a new diver from the south bay. i find montterey very, very cold, and am wonder the closest (or most accessible or cheapest) place from this area where the water temperature is significantly nicer (greater visibility and marine life is also a plus).
in the future i may have the time and funds to take trips to the great dive sites of the world, but for now, where could i go on say a long weekend for some pleasant diving?
We've found long weekend trips to warm water don't usually give us a good value because you have at least one day at the end where you can't dive. So Thursday-Sunday trips really only have 1-2 days of diving. For example, red eye to FL gets us in Thursday AM. Maybe 2 afternoon dives, 4 dives on Friday, and 2 Saturday morning. Then an afternoon flight will get us back to San Jose Sunday evening.
Here is what we consider to be relatively inexpensive places to dive with warm water and good conditions and life... I'll assume "warm" is 75F...
-Fly direct from San Jose to Kona for $450
-Stay in a condo ($700-1000/week)
-Do most (if not all) of the cooking yourself
-2 tank boat dives are about $125
-We fly SFO to CUN using Virgin America points, retail is about $600
-Next time we're trying Aldora Villa for $85/night
-2 tank boat dives with Aldora are $89, but that is on the high end for the island
If you aren't picky about your accommodations as they are bunk beds, check out Blackbeard's live aboard. Its about $950 all-inclusive for a week, plus flights to Nassau. That's probably going to be the cheapest per-dive warm water trip you can find.
My parents have a heated pool and a yellow lab if you're interested.
I'm still trying to teach him how to freedive. His form on the giant stride is amazing though, granted I still have to remind him to check his landing area before jumping.
In all seriousness you may want to look at better exposure protection. If you find Monterey cold, then it's probably because you have ill fitting exposure protection.....ok it's also because Monterey is freaking cold.
Have to taken a look at custom skin in 2-piece suits w/ attached hoods? Or drysuits?
I paid $127 shipped for my partners drysuit. At 100lbs wet, she would have never completed certification without it. She is still willing to dive with me, so the cold doesn't keep her out of the water. Plus the reports from Monterey of 50-80' of vis is kinda tropicalish.
Alaska Airlines credit card if traveling a lot. I think $75 per year fee. $110 companion fare at end of each year. It use to be less like $50/yr and $55 companion fare. So save some money for long trips. Delta credit card also has some good perks.