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Catalina

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by Divevet, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Divevet

    Divevet Guest

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    I am visiting family in S. California in August and want to include a few days diving from Catalina. I would be grateful for any recommendations - Dive Companies, Dive Sites, Hotels etc.
     
  2. juls

    juls Angel Fish

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    Hi,
    You can find the list of boats (with schedules) and other helpful info on www.saintbrendan.com. I went to Catalina a week ago on "Bottom Scratcher" - nice boat, great food, great crew, great diving. They provide tanks and weights (www.bottomscratcher.com). I signed up with "Pacific Wilderness" scuba shop (www.pacificwilderness.com), because I was on business trip and needed to rent some equipment. Nice people, but stay away from rental BCs! Bottom Scratcher departs from Long Beach, there are quite a few hotels not far from there (Hilton etc). You can also stay in Catalina and do shore dives.

    Hope it helps,

    Julia
     
  3. kelpmermaid

    kelpmermaid Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: So CA
    1,829
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    You can also check out boats on www.californiadiveboats.com. As for shops, depends on where you are staying. My favorite local boat is the Great Escape which recently moved to Long Beach near the Bottom Scratcher (must check that out!)

    You could go out and stay on Catalina and dive from there, but it is high $ea$on. There are boats that depart from Avalon, but there is also shore diving at Casino Point. There are two shops on the island - Catalina Divers Supply and Scuba Luv. I know there are hotel/transportation/dive packages advertised in California Diving News (that's www.saintbrendan.com as previously mentioned.)
     
  4. ALAN243

    ALAN243 Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: UTAH
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    have been on the bottom scratcher and also a number of other boats in the long beach area, best bang for your buck in the Sand Dollar out of San Pedro. They pump nitrox on the boat and the captains Ken and Charlie are both knowledgable and both dive, Ken used to own the bottom scratcher. Food is good and for a small live aboard its a great bargain 3 day trip usually runs about 400.00 just got back from a 3 day san clemente, catalina and the diving is wonderful right now viz is good lots of giant sea bass and if you hunt halibut. =-)
     
  5. DEEP SEA

    DEEP SEA Nassau Grouper

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    When you get ready to come to S. California, contact me. We will try and schedule a dive and take you along.
     
  6. socaldiver

    socaldiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maui
    1,022
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    Catalina diving has many options.

    Kelpmermaid's correct in a good source for finding dive boats to go out on anywhere in the area.

    I might suggest you also look at Catalina.com for additional information. Although it is "prime time" this time of year you may be able to find a package deal at some of the hotels on the island that might save you some bucks.

    Enjoy!!

    I miss my kelpbeds!!
     
  7. kelpmermaid

    kelpmermaid Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: So CA
    1,829
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    my sweetie and I were out there, and water temps ranged from 66 on the surface to 62 at 60 feet, just FYI. We missed the giant black sea bass at Italian Gardens, but we did come across several large bat rays, wingspan about 4 feet. We also found what appeared to be a large shell casing or some other discarded military cylinder. It had some gouges in it, like propeller marks. Hmmmm....I'd understand that off of San Clemente, but this was a surprise.

    Socal, where have you been?
     
  8. blitzpb

    blitzpb Angel Fish

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    Are guided shore or boat tours out of avalon a good choice for a newbie?
     
  9. Divevet

    Divevet Guest

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    Thanks for all the input - great help. I have to confess I hadn't even thought of basing my dives from the mainland! But then i've never been to So Cal before and wasn't sure how far out the Islands were.

    It certainly makes a lot more sense for me to go on daytrips from Longbeach as I will be staying there with relatives.

    Bottom-Scratcher sounds great especially as they provide tanks and weights - unfortunately they don't seem to keep their web-site updated (No schedule for August) and don't reply to e-mails. Guess I'll have to go back to the good old telephone!

    Looks like I'll be packing my dry-suit, the water is about the sam temp in te English Channel - Shame we don't have your weather on the surface!!

    I'll keep you posted...
     
  10. socaldiver

    socaldiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maui
    1,022
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    Hey Divevet,

    You might try the Great Escape. Although I personally haven't been on it, Kelpmermaid recommends it and I know a bunch of others feel Capt. Tim's outfit runs a great boat.

    I personally prefer either the Aqautica out of Wilmington or the Pacific Star out of Redondo Beach. I am sure if you contacted them they could make arrangements for tanks and weights.



    Blitzpb,

    There are 2 dive ops that operate out of Avalon. Both are good and can take you to some neat spots that a lot of the other dive boats don't visit. As far as guided tours, I don't think they do that but when you sign up explain your level of expertise and they will go to spots within your comfort zone. I might also suggest you visit Casino Point at Avalon. It is a shore dive that is extremely popular and an easy dive. There are many instructors who use it for their OW students. The beauty about that area is you have plenty of kelp, marine life and the depth can be as deep as you want. the bottom drops off gradually so if you want 30 ft or 100 ft it is no problem.

    Enjoy.
     

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