First Time Diving Anacapa

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Hi Everyone!

I just moved to Ventura County last October from South Florida. I haven't been able to dive yet because I have been traveling for work, but I was wanting to go out on the Raptor to Anacapa either this or next weekend. I don't really know many other divers out here and was hoping to find someone I could tag along with. This will be my first time diving in the West Coast, so I'm not used to diving in a 7mm. Hopefully someone will be patient with me while I work out how much lead I need to have with me. Other than that I am a pretty confident diver (about 100 dives). I dive fairly conservatively and just take it as a relaxing time.

Also, In Florida I usually dove with 10 to 12 lbs. in a 3mm an an aluminum 80. I heard the raptor lets you use their steel 80s. Any Idea how much weight I should initially adjust for?
 

wnissen

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You sound like you're in the same ballpark as me, I would start with 20 lbs. / 9 kg (the steel will let you take off 4-5 lbs, but the wetsuit will add on more than that). Don't just plunge in, take a minute to get it right, because you'll be dealing with more of buoyancy swing than you're used to, with the thicker suit compressing at depth.
Can I suggest you would have a much better time if you do a day of shore diving with a DM first? A 7mm plus a hood is a lot different, better to have someone who knows what they are doing instead of an instabuddy. You're experienced, but not in local conditions. It does look like a nice weekend, though!
 

Bob DBF

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Another vote here to sort out the weighting and trim on a shore dive first. You might be able to find a buddy for both dives. In any event, you don't want to waste your time sorting out your weight instead of diving and enjoying Anacapa.
 

scubadada

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I dive 3, 5, and 7 mm full suits with a 5/3 hooded vest and an AL80 in FL. a steel 80 should take off about 4 lbs less. I would guess that you would need something like 18-20 lbs. I would probably start at the higher weight and work your way down.

Good luck
 

Silt Life

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Enjoy your dive! I did a 3 tank dive with the Raptor in 2019 to Anacapa. My fist time in a 7mil and hood. Just relax and you wont even notice.... it's really not that big a deal just get to the shop early and get fitted properly.
 
OP
Alex Martinez
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You sound like you're in the same ballpark as me, I would start with 20 lbs. / 9 kg (the steel will let you take off 4-5 lbs, but the wetsuit will add on more than that). Don't just plunge in, take a minute to get it right, because you'll be dealing with more of buoyancy swing than you're used to, with the thicker suit compressing at depth.
Can I suggest you would have a much better time if you do a day of shore diving with a DM first? A 7mm plus a hood is a lot different, better to have someone who knows what they are doing instead of an instabuddy. You're experienced, but not in local conditions. It does look like a nice weekend, though!
Where would be a good shore dive to do this at. Sorry I'm super new to the area.
 

Esprise Me

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I always recommend the dive park at Catalina to folks who are new to diving in thick wetsuits. There's a dive shop right next to the stairs that lead in to the water, so it's really easy to get in and out while you add and subtract weight, and refill your tank so you can do multiple dives. You can hire a guide to show you around and help you get sorted; I had great experiences with the guides there when I was new. You're also welcome to tag along for my next trip; I'm not a DM or instructor and take no responsibility for anyone's failure to be a competent diver, but I'm willing to be your buddy while you figure out your weighting, and I'll lead you to the cool stuff. But I'm here on the island now, so my next trip might not be for a few more weeks or months.

How to get there: Catalina Express

Dive shop: Catalina Scuba Diving | Catalina Divers Supply
 

wnissen

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I always recommend the dive park at Catalina to folks who are new to diving in thick wetsuits. There's a dive shop right next to the stairs that lead in to the water, so it's really easy to get in and out while you add and subtract weight, and refill your tank so you can do multiple dives. You can hire a guide to show you around and help you get sorted; I had great experiences with the guides there when I was new. You're also welcome to tag along for my next trip; I'm not a DM or instructor and take no responsibility for anyone's failure to be a competent diver, but I'm willing to be your buddy while you figure out your weighting, and I'll lead you to the cool stuff. But I'm here on the island now, so my next trip might not be for a few more weeks or months.

How to get there: Catalina Express

Dive shop: Catalina Scuba Diving | Catalina Divers Supply
Yes, that was my first thought as well. You can join a dive tour at Catalina Divers' Supply, they are used to people coming from all over, without cold water experience. But that's a long day, even from Ventura. I looked around briefly and it seems like there is not a lot of shore diving in the area, due to the cliffs. So a drive down to Laguna Beach or up to Monterey is not that convenient.
 

Bob DBF

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Yes, that was my first thought as well. You can join a dive tour at Catalina Divers' Supply, they are used to people coming from all over, without cold water experience. But that's a long day, even from Ventura. I looked around briefly and it seems like there is not a lot of shore diving in the area, due to the cliffs. So a drive down to Laguna Beach or up to Monterey is not that convenient.

For a weight check, the beach up at Santa Barbara would work. It's just a weight check, any little bit of beach should work.
 
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