Posted by Randy Medaris on September 09, 2001 at 15:10:39:
Saturday, I made a two dive, half day trip to Catalina on the Island Time dive boat. They are offering two-dive trips in the either the morning or afternoon on weekends. I took the morning trip, leaving the dock at 7:00am and returning to the dock in Alamitos Bay at about 12:30pm. Did two great dives, one at Goat Harbor, and a second at yellowtail point. Vis was 60 feet or better at both sites, with little current. A lot of bait fish jumping all over goat harbor, with some yellowtail casing them around underneath. I think most of the yellowtail bailed quickly or moved away from the kelp after the divers jumped in, because I only saw a few about 60 or so feet away.
The boat is a Caribbean-style dive boat and is about twice as fast as our local boats. It holds about 22 or so divers. The boat provides Al80 tanks and airfills to 3000psi. There is no galley, but they left out some bagels, Muffins, and fruit though out the trip and had cold drinks in an ice chest. The single shower was rather cold and inconveniently located inside the cabin. I stretched it out though a door onto the bow, which is a little more convenient. The boat is a "wet-Boat", so no need to dry off before entering the cabin or going below (the only thing below is a change-room and the head).
The ride to Catalina was rather rough and bouncy, but only took about 90 minutes. The back of the cabin is wide open and it makes for a noisy trip. There was not much conversation on the 90 minute ride over there. If you want to have some real fun, try using the head while the boat is running at full speed. The head is in the bow and feels like riding a bull in the rodeo. Better try to use it in the harbor and while anchored.
I was on a Sport Chalet charter, and I noticed there was a Sport Chalet logo on the side of the boat. I also noticed that about half the trips were Sport Chalet charters and all the rest were open boats. There were only 5 divers aboard, but there were 2 crew and 2 divemasters from Sport Chalet. All were friendly and helpful. I'm told that usually the boat is full with 22 divers. There is some time pressure on the crew to keep the schedule, so I can imagine that you may have to cut bottom time and surface interval a little short, especially if there is a full boat and a class on board.
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