Dive Catalina Island with these simple steps
Sometimes divers don’t want to want to spend the weekend on a crowded boat, or have to fight the surf on a beach dive. That’s when it’s time to dive Catalina Island. For $71.50 (round trip) the Catalina Express will get you to the island in just over an hour. Parking at the terminal is about $15.
Once you get to the island, let the baggage handlers take your gear straight to the Dive Park, for about $10, including tip. If you are traveling light there are three dive operations to get you going with gear. As you walk into town, the first you’ll come to is Moore Diving. It’s a small shop with a knowledgeable owner. To get to the second operation take a right onto the Green Pier. Near the end of the pier you will find Catalina Divers Supply (CDS). To your left, away from the Green Pier, is the third operation, Scuba Luv. You can also head straight to the Casino and the Underwater Dive Park and get rentals from the air fill station, which is operated by CDS.
The Dive Park offers World Class diving down just a few steps into tranquil forests of kelp. You can find everything from wrecks to reefs and a variety of fish. The depths of your dive can vary from shallow to just over 100 feet. If you are not familiar with the Dive Park, hire a dive guide who will give you an expert tour Don’t forget to tip your dive guide. A typical tip is $20, but if your guide gets you a glance of the Cousteau Monument, “Oscar” the famous park sheephead, or even the occasional Giant Black Sea Bass then by all means, show your appreciation by being a little more generous..
When you have finished your dives you will have worked up an appetite. Two of my favorite spots are El Galleon, especially if you have the voice for karaoke, and Luau Larry’s. Luau Larry’s has great burgers and, if island rumors are to be believed, some excellent beverages to get you ready for your trip back to the mainland.
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