Diving off Catalina in June

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hazmat

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Hi, all. I am most likely doing a 3-4 days of diving in June off Catalina with Catalina Divers Supply. It will be my first time diving there. I'm thinking a combination of Casino Dive Park and boat dives. Any suggestions?

Also curious about photography. Their web site says that PADI prohibits cameras. What does that mean? I love looking for nudibranchs, but since it's my first time diving there, not sure I'll want to always be looking down for small stuff anyway.

Thanks!
 

bmorescuba

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I've only been once, but I loved it. I enjoyed both the shore diving ad the boat diving. I wrote a short trip report here. There are no prohibitions on cameras and PADI doesn't own or run Casino Point dive park or enforce any rules there. CDS might have some rule about not having a camera during a class they are instructing - that's about all I can think of. I found the lodging to be really tight on vacancies and very expensive, so if you don't have that worked out, I would focus on that. The place we stayed was a pretty good walk from Casino Point, especially with wet gear. Expect the water to be low 60s to mid 60s. I'm sure some Catalina regulars will chime in with more relevant and timely advice.
 
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hazmat

hazmat

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I've only been once, but I loved it. I enjoyed both the shore diving ad the boat diving. I wrote a short trip report here. There are no prohibitions on cameras and PADI doesn't own or run Casino Point dive park or enforce any rules there. CDS might have some rule about not having a camera during a class they are instructing - that's about all I can think of. I found the lodging to be really tight on vacancies and very expensive, so if you don't have that worked out, I would focus on that. The place we stayed was a pretty good walk from Casino Point, especially with wet gear. Expect the water to be low 60s to mid 60s. I'm sure some Catalina regulars will chime in with more relevant and timely advice.
Thanks for the reply! That's some great info. I'd be bringing my semidry and am used to temps in the 60s with that. And great writeup and photos. Where did you find that nudibranch?
 

bmorescuba

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I found that nudi at Casino Point in some slightly deeper water near the glass bottom boat wreck. I saw several, but they were all the same Blue Dorid species. Regulars have seen many other species in the dive park. Just the luck of the draw.
 
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hazmat

hazmat

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I found that nudi at Casino Point in some slightly deeper water near the glass bottom boat wreck. I saw several, but they were all the same Blue Dorid species. Regulars have seen many other species in the dive park. Just the luck of the draw.
Fantastic! Only question for me is whether to bring a camera or not. I'm leaning against.

By the way, the rule against cameras turns out to be for the Discover Scuba people.
 

merxlin

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Fantastic! Only question for me is whether to bring a camera or not. I'm leaning against.

By the way, the rule against cameras turns out to be for the Discover Scuba people.
Bring your camera if you are comfortable diving with it. Just note that kelp is a notorious camera grabber! If you are there multiple days I would get on a boat at least once to see other parts of the island. Casino point is great, and really a few different dive depending on which direction you go. We haven't seen many nudis for a while, but there are some there. Most typical are Spanish Shawls.

Water temps in June can still be in the mid to high 50's, especially at depth. CDS can handle all you need there, including guides for the dives if you want.
 
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hazmat

hazmat

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Bring your camera if you are comfortable diving with it. Just note that kelp is a notorious camera grabber! If you are there multiple days I would get on a boat at least once to see other parts of the island. Casino point is great, and really a few different dive depending on which direction you go. We haven't seen many nudis for a while, but there are some there. Most typical are Spanish Shawls.

Water temps in June can still be in the mid to high 50's, especially at depth. CDS can handle all you need there, including guides for the dives if you want.
Thank you. Already pretty much booked with CDS. I think I'll leave the camera home. It's brand new to me and I've never dived it. Not the kind of thing I want to worry about in a new situation like this.
 

breals

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I've dove Catalina, a lot. Casino point is nice but the boat dives sites are usually a bit better. These are in no order.
  • Giant Black Sea Bass, I can't remember exactly where they hang out in June but go visit them. They are the size of cows and you can get really close to them.
  • Blue Cavern is nice spot
  • Ship Rock is awesome, might be my favorite dive spot on the island.
  • Farnsworth (unlikely its on the wrong side) but you can see purple hydrocoral
Get the warmest suit you have, it's chilly. Locals almost all dive dry suits, year round. Expect the water to be in the 50F range. It is colder in the summer due to the thermocline below about 30 feet.

Take the camera, I have no idea what "PADI prohibits cameras" means. Never heard of any dive operator or dive site prohibiting a camera.
 
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hazmat

hazmat

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Take the camera, I have no idea what "PADI prohibits cameras" means. Never heard of any dive operator or dive site prohibiting a camera.
It turns out that applies to the Discover Scuba people. And thanks for your other comments.
 

covediver

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I just returned from a trip to the Casino Point Dive Park. Cameras were everywhere, including mine. I found CDS to be a great operation, with good rental gear. The diving was good, water temp high 50s to low 60s, visbility about 20 feet. Very comfortble with my semi-dry wetsuit. Many in the party encountered black sea bass to just don't plan on macro photography of nudibranchs. Check out the diving museum in the Casino between dives, they have some very interesting items. A map of the dive park in located near the stairs and contains a great deal of useful information such as depth, heading and distance to underwater points from the entry point. One thing that I found is that many businesses in Avalon are charging up to a 3 perecent "service fee" for customers using credit or debit cards, You will see the signs stating so near the cash registers. If this is an issue for you, bring extra cash.
 
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