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Tho Those Who Complain About the "High Prices" of Dive Boats...


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Posted by Walt on August 15, 2005 at 20:15:33:

Every time after I vow to never return to the Avalon Dive Park there arises a reason to return. This time it was to join a good friend and his daughter who are newly certified divers and who were enjoying Avalon for the week.

Itís not that the Dive Park isn't a nice place to dive (especially during the week when there aren't over a hundred students). But on Sunday those steps into the water reminded me of an escalator at Macy's (which I disdain and avoid). Despite the signs advising instructors to not conduct training on the stairs, sure enough each group seemed to do its briefing at the bottom of those steps. Normally I skip the steps and head for the rocks, but with our new divers I decided to wait patiently for the moron instructor who obviously was oblivious to both reading skills and just plain common sense. By the way, moron (if you read this) if your students fully inflate their BC's on a REAL beach entry (as you told those hapless souls they were doing), they will be hammered and will never dive beaches again. (Is it proper etiquette to tell an instructor that he doesnít know what he's talking about?) But I seem to digress from my subject...

While I'm digressing, though, the conditions were really nice and the dive park since its protected from two legged, neoprene encapsulated predators does offer a great assortment of huge sheepshead, calico bass, lobster, which greatly delighted my friends (and myself).

Back on task. I added up the day's costs and quickly realized that it was a more than a full day on one of our better all-inclusive boats - even at weekend prices. Catalina Express and the parking concessionaire AMPCO are making a killing on ripping off the tourists .. no wonder they have this fancy building in Long Beach - probably are paying a king's ransom to Long Beach to boot. That alone was about half the cost of a trip aboard our good old dive boats. Plus you can't sack out in a bunk on the way over - those uncomfortable aircraft style seats on the CatExcrement really stink. Plus you have to put up with the hoards of tourists, drunks, lines, crowds...

So, to those like Captains Tim, Ted, Jerry, Tony, and Eric, I salute you! You give us great dive spots, fair prices, quick air fills, good service, friendly crews. On behalf of our diving community, a massive thanks! We are so lucky to have you.



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