• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Planning First Trip to Catalina

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by George Monnat Jr, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. George Monnat Jr

    George Monnat Jr Divemaster (DM) ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Austin, TX
    213
    121
    43
    Hi all,

    A friend of mine who lives in San Diego and I are planning our first trip to Catalina in the middle of June. We'll be bringing all gear, including drysuits, except tanks and weights and hopefully staying on the island. I found this thread, but it's been 10 years since it was updated. Are Catalina Divers Supply and Scuba Luv still the best two dive shops on the island? Which is your favorite?
     
  2. Scubatude

    Scubatude Recreational/Techincal Instructor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Valencia, CA 91355 661-753-9155
    239
    141
    43
    Hi there,

    You will love Catalina and the Avalon Underwater Park! Catalina Divers Supply and Scuba Luv (operated by Catalina Divers Supply) are both there as well as Ron Moore's Dive Catalina. Right at the dive park is the Catalina Divers Supply fill station and rental shop. They should have tanks and weights for you. Each one of the shops has their strengths and weaknesses. What specifically are you look for, or to do at a Catalina dive shop?
     
    George Monnat Jr likes this.
  3. bmorescuba

    bmorescuba Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
    335
    327
    63
    Scuba Luv no longer exists. Catalina Divers Supply took over at least one of their retail spots - the Scuba Luv sign was still up when I was there in October, but it was CDS operating the shop. I'm pretty sure CDS bought out Scuba Luv - the Scuba Luv domain redirects to CDS online. CDS was extremely helpful for my first visit. Here's my basic write up - Catalina First Time - Quick Trip Report
     
    George Monnat Jr likes this.
  4. kablooey

    kablooey Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: San Diego
    208
    274
    63
    If you're taking the Catalina Express over to the island, check the company's website for baggage restrictions.
    There's a spottily enforced 50 pound weight limit on bags.

    Some divers get around the restrictions by wearing their weight belts, and even their BCDs or BPs, when they board to lighten their bags.
    I prefer to take my own weights. It cuts down a lot on the expensive rental charges.
    Sometimes I take a cylinder, sometimes I rent.

    Catalina Express allows divers to bring one cylinder aboard, which doesn't count against the baggage weight restriction.
    Rental cylinder choices are limited. On busy days the larger steel cylinders rent out fast, leaving only ST72s or mostly AL80s.

    Also, get in the boarding line early for your return. The boat fills up fast and seating choices become limited.
    Think about upgrading to "Commodore Lounge" for the return and getting a guaranteed seat among other minor perks.

    Finally, bring a heavy dose of patience.
    In the summer the dive park can get crowded and chaotic, especially since they started renting snorkel gear to non-diving tourists.

    With the summer crowds and the hot weather everything takes twice as long as you think it will.

    K
     
    George Monnat Jr likes this.
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,436
    5,297
    113
    Yes, CDS did buy out Scuba Luv but Bob & Tina Kennedy manage the joint operation. And there is Ron Moore's shop as well.

    You should be able to see some of the "gentle giants" (giant sea bass, Stereolepis gigas... or as I prefer to call them very large polka-dotted wreckfish) since the started appearing in the shallows a while back (early risers!).

    Water is beginning to warm up. I heard 60° F yesterday. Kelp is there but has been affected by the invasive Asian exotic Sargassum horneri (which I've labelled "devil weed")
     
  6. George Monnat Jr

    George Monnat Jr Divemaster (DM) ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Austin, TX
    213
    121
    43
    Thank you all for the excellent info.
     
  7. WarrenZ

    WarrenZ Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Las Cruces NM
    3,754
    3,456
    113
    @drbill are you back to diving again?
     
  8. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,282
    1,004
    113
    Fun trip, surge was bad but not a regular occurrence. Did not see any sea lions while diving but the kelp was really beautiful. We will go again at some point.

    Safe travels,
    Jay
    Catalina Island trip report
     
  9. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,436
    5,297
    113
    Not yet. I could but I'm waiting for warmer water and the return of the giant sea bass. There is probably no chance of remission with my cancers.
     
    MichaelMc, <*)))>< and Jayfarmlaw like this.
  10. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,282
    1,004
    113

Share This Page