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Trip Report to Coronado Islands and Wreck Alley with Water Horse Charters-The Humbolt

Discussion in 'Southwestern Region' started by pdelannoy, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. pdelannoy

    pdelannoy Solo Diver

    I would like to report an amazing trip to the Coronados and Wreck Alley this weekend with Water Horse Charters (San Diego Boat Dive, San Diego SCUBA Diving, San Diego Dive Charter, Boat Dives) based in San Diego. My adventure began Friday morning when I met Greg at the Water Horse Charters office on Mission Bay Drive. Their boat, called the Humbolt, is large and spacious. It might be the most comfortable ocean going vessel I have ever dove from. There is enough space for you to store a large duffle under your bench and extra baggage overhead. They refill tanks so there is less clutter overall since for a three tank dive, only one tank per client needed. The crew, Greg, Anita, and Ryan are very fun to be around and the atmosphere is laid back-this is not a cattle boat operation.

    The diving at the Coronado’s was in 40-60 feet along boulder strewn terrain through swaying forests of kelp-like algae. Lot’s of interesting sea life and sea lions. Diving off San Diego this time of year requires a 7 mm or a dry suit along with hoods and gloves. No worries though, because hot soup and drinks are on the boat along with plenty of sunshine.

    The following day I dove the Yukon and Ruby. The profiles on the wrecks are deep and the vis was low but the diving was awesome. On the Yukon it was amazing to finn along the angled deck peering into dark cavities and swimming among the fish gathered in the lee of the surge. Even if you haven’t dived wrecks before you should check this trip out. Just take the mooring line down and stay within an arm length of the structure and you’ll be fine. Also, you can remain well within the the recreational limit: My profile on the Yukon dipped to 90 feet and I could have stayed more shallow if I had wanted to.

    The Ruby is an excellent wreck for beginners because it sits upright, and is small, so you can easily circumnavigate the structure. It is also more shallow than the Yukon and you can stay above 80 feet.

    There is a large supply of water, punch, hot water for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, and lots of food on the Humbolt. They provided soup, crackers, chips, fruit and salad. There is also a head that is clean and well tended.

    Water Horse Charters are easy to find: Just follow I-8 to the West Mission Bay Drive exit. Make a right turn at the bottom of the exit and cross the bridge and take the second exit to West Mission Bay Drive-Beaches. Stay left and make a left turn at the first light. Make an immediate left after the light and you will find Water Horse Charters on the right. Parking is on the left side of the street (free).

    For those of you that arrive early there is an Einsteins’s Coffee about 50 yards away. Get there by walking around the Water Horse Charters building to the obvious walkway and bear right toward the Hyatt. You will find the coffee shop on the left.

    For rest rooms: When you reach the walkway go left instead. About 100 yards along the sidewalk you will come to clean public restrooms on the left.

    If you download the Water Horse Charters liability form and prepay online you will just have to present your C-card and sign the manifest before taking your gear down to the boat which is moored behind the building about 200 feet away. Also, if you are diving multiple days with Water Horse Charters, they have a safe place where you can leave your gear overnight.

    All-in-all, Water Horse Carters is a top notch dive operation and I am definitely planning to return soon for more diving with them. Thanks for a great weekend, Greg, Ryan, and Anita!

    Other Details:

    From Phoenix take I-10 west to exit 112 (route 85). Follow route 85 to Gila Bend and go west on I-8. Stay on 8 into San Diego. When you reach the urban congestion, stay in the left lanes on 8. Watch for signs indicating the Hotel Circle. I recommend getting off at Taylor Street (Exit 13). But any Hotel Circle exit will work. The Hotel Circle is a service road that literally makes a circle around I-8 with hotels lining both sides. I stayed at Motel 6, 2424 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, 92108; 619-296-1612; for $69.00 per night. The rooms were clean and the location is only ten minutes from Water Horse Charters. All you have to do is get back on 8 and then follow the directions posted above to find Water Horse Charters.

    Close by in Old Town is a mexican restaurant called Guadeloupe-good food but get there early to avoid the crowds; and Hunter Steak House which is within walking distance of the Motel 6. Also, next door to Water Horse Charters, is a sea food restaurant that serves reasonably decent food and drinks. It’s a great place to have lunch after the wreck dives.

    Whatever you do, do not stay at the EZ 8 hotel in Old Town (Internet description of this facility is not accurate). If you use the internet to make reservations, stick to the locations on Hotel Circle. Any of these puts you minutes away from Water Horse Charters.

    And lastly, remember to tip the crew of the Humbolt. They work hard for us and combined with the great diving make the trip unforgettable.:D
  2. George the Greek

    George the Greek Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Phoenix, AZ.
    I'm looking to get out there soon to dive, Is Water horse pretty reasonable on rates?
  3. ksegel

    ksegel Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Phoenix, Arizona
    We used them last Sept. for a 3 tank dive, had a wonderful time, and we are going back n May to use them again, we wont use anyone else in the San Diego area, they are a great operation, we are doing a 2 tank dive this time, we think they are reasonably priced.

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