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Channel Islands... What do I need to know...

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by Manatee Diver, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
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    Is there any reasonable place between the two? As unless I can find a boat departing San Pedro on Saturday looks like I will have to do a dive in one location and then the other.
     
  2. blue steal

    blue steal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California/Redondo Beach area
    2,705
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    Looking at your schedule you would be traveling from Lake mead to Long Beach on Sunday the 11th. I would stay in any one of the hotels in downtown Long Beach which can be 5-10 minutes away from the ferry. Not sure what your budget is but there is a wide range to choose from. Parking is I believe $19/day at ferry terminal. I prefer the Long Beach ferry port as the times going and coming back are better. another option to consider is the drive from Henederson/lake mead probably is 6 hours +/- (sunday having the most traffic as LA folks are heading back from Vegas), and I would just go straight to the ferry and take an afternoon/evening trip over saving a hotel cost in Long Beach and be able to start diving Monday morning in the park. another issue is coming back from Catalina not sure why you would want to stay in San Pedro. You would have to drive from there to Ventura then back to SanPedro Berth22 for the Magician boat. that's a lot of driving each way with quite a bit of traffic to deal with. Not sure which is your priority spectre out of Ventura or oil rigs?
     
  3. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,189
    2,103
    @blue steal

    Ideally I would be able to do both the northern channel islands and the rigs. Just trying to experience the most on the trip. If there is something else intresting departing near the Magician I would consider it too. :D

    I'm not set on San Pedro being my home base for the non-island segments, I obviously don't know the area.

    As far as taking the ferry Sunday, that would be a lot of rushing, and in the past pushing myself during travel has caused me injuries that actually hurt my ability to enjoy the vacation. So I figure I would rather plan to lose a day of diving and enjoy some good food, than lose the entire vacation because I injured myself. My travel days are limited to about 10 hours vs the 16 hours I did when I wasn't disabled.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  4. blue steal

    blue steal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California/Redondo Beach area
    2,705
    333
    Just trying to throw out some ideas. Staying in downtown Long Beach puts you close to the Catalina ferry terminal and several places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and some micro-brew places. There are a few other boats departing from where the Magician is docked; Pac Star, Asanti, Gaint stride and in Long Beach is the Cee Ray, and Big Blue, perhaps the Westerly. You might check out the Sun Diver boats as they have I believe 3-4 boats. That being said not sure if any go out during the week, although a few do go out on Saturday. There is another smaller boat in Redondo Beach marina, the Island diver, more of a private charter thru dive n surf shop and can hold up to 6 divers. they do the local pennisula and may be another option to dive during the week.The oil rigs can be a great dive or not depending on conditions and whether they allow you to dive on them any particular day. Often a 2-tank dive, live drop, and back by noon. Ok best of luck on your planning.
     
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    1,928
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    If the B29 gets blown out there is some simple shore diving available down in lake Mohave. School bus, some boats, etc. Just south of Vegas, Arizona side, Bullhead city (Laughlin, NV). Not that it is a replacement for the B29, but is an option to get wet in case the B29 doesn't happen and you are in the area. When you get home you can tell your buddies that you went shore diving in Arizona.
     
    Ulfhedinn likes this.
  6. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,189
    2,103
    @blue steal

    I checked many of your boats, looks like the SDE is doing the front side of Catalina might be a better option. Guess I have to come back to hit the northern channel islands. My preferred boat for that would be the Peace, but the only charter they have that weekend conflicts with the Magician.

    @broncobowsher LOL, I'm not sure I would want to deal with the annoyance of a drysuit in the hot desert sun for that. If it gets blown out I'll probably just pig out in Vegas. I'm thinking about staying in Henderson, as that seems like one of the areas reasonably close to the boat launch.
     
  7. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    1,086
    1,403
    It's tricky. There aren't many boats going out during the week, and oil rigs trips don't even happen every weekend. Catalina/oil rigs trips go out of Long Beach/San Pedro while northern Channel Islands trips go out of Ventura, at least an hour's drive north. So trying to do both in the same week leaves you with few options, and it looks like what you've come up with (northern islands on Saturday, oil rigs Sunday) might be the best way to squeeze it all in, if those criteria are really important to you. But I would suggest you consider other dive sites on Catalina (i.e. a day dive boat, not the ferry) instead of the northern Channel Islands, at least for this trip. There is such a huge and varied array of sites all over Catalina. There's more difference among dive sites on any given island than there are between different islands on the whole. You don't really get to pick the sites you go to; the captains choose based on conditions. You could luck out and get something memorable and incredible, or you could get something that leaves you thinking "is that all?", no matter which island you choose. So maybe it's worth sticking around the Long Beach/San Pedro area and diving out of there. Another area you might consider, accessible by boat from that general vicinity, is Palos Verdes.

    I see you already have Eco Dive Center's boat schedule, since they're chartering your oil rigs trip. Big Blue has a Catalina trip on the 17th:
    Bigbluediveboat
    Channel Islands Dive Adventures is doing a Farnsworth trip to the backside of Catalina on the 17th, which is also a relatively rare opportunity; it's an advanced deep dive, like the rigs, but it's probably my favorite: Dive Calendar for Southern California - Channel Islands Dive Adventures
    You can also check back with Ocean Safari in a bit (they haven't posted their July schedule yet):
    Ocean Safari Scuba | Upcoming Scuba Dive Trips to the Channel Islands and Beyond
    If you're still looking as the date gets closer, hit me up and I might know of something else.

    You should also give some thought to the logistics of getting your tanks filled between dives. How many are you bringing? Boats usually expect you to show up with a full tank; they'll fill it between dives but not after your last dive. Sometimes you can sweet-talk them into giving you another fill at the end (ask as soon as you get back on the boat after your last dive, not when the boat is already heading back, and tip well), but you should have a backup plan in case they won't. A handful of boats actually don't fill tanks, and those that do mostly only do air, not nitrox. (The Magician used to have a nitrox system but it's been broken for about a year and I've kind of lost hope it's ever going to be fixed.) There are lots of dive shops in the area, but few are still open when the boat gets back at the end of the day. Pacific Wilderness is probably your closest option in San Pedro; I believe they close at 6 on Saturdays, which is cutting it really close.
     
  8. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,189
    2,103
    I'm thinking taking two of my HP100s use one for Saturday and one for Sunday.

    Right now I am thinking of switching Saturday to Catalina front side on the Sundiver Express. And possibly coming back in October for the Northern Channel islands, as I want to make another trip to Gunsite.
     
    Esprise Me likes this.
  9. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    1,928
    1,403
    If you are thinking of Henderson, also consider Boulder. It is closer tot he lake. It was a government town setup for building the dam. Has some nice small town charm to it. Only city in Nevada with no gambling. they put in a bypass a few years ago so the traffic is pretty much local only. About the polar opposite of Vegas, and only a few minutes away. I have not been to Vegas in 2½ years and probably going to make it right at 3 years before going back for a trade show.
     
  10. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,189
    2,103
    I think it is the same distance, the launch point is Echo Bay on the northern arm of the lake.

    But I agree about Vegas, I avoid it. I think the last time I was there was for SHOT Show in 2016. But there are some restaurants that I might hit up that are well off the strip.
     

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