|Thu Sep 17 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM - Mon Sep 21|
Dive Catalina 2015
Thursday to Monday: Sept. 17 to Sept. 21
We’re planning a four night stay in Avalon, with three days of diving as we did last year. Non-divers can hike or do zip lines and visit the botanical gardens, among other attractions. This is a great chance to hang out with spouses and friends who do not dive and enjoy the fantastic diving Catalina has to offer.
Last year we dove Ships Rock and a nearby Marine Protected Area which we could not dive from our inflatables in past trips because this was a no-anchor area. Our dive operator offered to drop us in above beautiful caves haloed by sea fans and abundant marine life and retrieved us down current without anchoring. Last year the water temps were in the 70s, but I can't guarantee the same temperatures for 2015.
The boat dives are two tank dives, for $115 a day. Please reserve Friday Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 19 at Ron Moore’s Dive Catalina, an excellent and knowledgeable outfit. Please reserve and let Ron know you are with Alacosta Divers: http://divecatalina.net/reserve-now/
Ron Moore also does advanced training if you are interested.
We will do shore dives on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Casino Point. Several divers will be arriving earlier in the week to shore dive as well.
We rent tanks and dive the Casino Point underwater park for $13 a tank with fill. A refill of the tank cost $7 last year and the tanks were available at the park itself. No need to lug tanks around. We need a minimum of 4 divers for weekend dives and six for weekday boat dives. There is no minimum for shore dives at Casino Point which is a great dive.
Or, show up for a shorter period of time or span part of this period.
You will need to find a roommate and book rooms on your own. Last year Connie and I booked a double room at the Atwater Hotel. We later ended up in three-bedroom house rental, and stayed six days instead of four to get a better deal. So it goes. Though the house was small, the situation worked out well and we cooked many nights.
Last year one couple rented a house for two weeks. One member brought his bicycle and a bike trailer and camped out in the hills for less than $50 a night. Fran rented her own small apartment.
This year the Atwater rentals are available at $125 a night for a single queen bed and $180 a night for a shared room with two queen beds (plus 12% tax). Last year our house rental for 6 nights and diving cost the following per person:
Approximate nightly cost of a shared room: $85.00 X 6 nights= $ 510
Dive park: 3 dives- $33
Dive boats (7 dives): 2X $122 + 1 X $144= $388
Luggage storage $18.00
Total : $990.50, for six nights and 10 dives without food, but food did not cost much more than typical Bay Areas restaurant meals.
This year if you were to stay at the Atwater for 4 nights, housing would cost a little more and diving a little less, because you would have three days of diving instead of five.
Due to the drought, we were asked to use less water, so we rinsed gear while showering. The locals like it when you buy bottled water and beer, oh my. However, I was told that the water supply is less stressed after Labor Day, as the crowds diminish.
A few of us were able to store some of our gear with our dive operator Ron Moore of Dive Catalina, this was especially helpful for the one member who was bicycle camping. Read more details in my trip report.
Hotels, houses and condos:
Hotel Atwater 125 Sumner Avenue, Avalon, (CA) 90704
La Paloma, http://www.lapalomalasflores.com/
Casa Mariquita Hotel229 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, CA 9070
El Terado Terrace Marilla Ave Avalon CA 1-855-201-7819
Pavilion Hotel 513 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
Hotel Catalina 129 Whittley Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704
Seaport Village Inn 119 Maiden Ln., Avalon, CA 90704
www.booking.com lists a number of hotels which may be different than the hotels that TripAdviser, or Expedia lists. Some hotels only book directly, such as La Paloma and Seaport Village.
Most hotels require payment up front, some will charge a $20- $25 booking fee if you cancel, SOME rates are NOT refundable depending on how you book, so check the listing (definitely click special circumstances if you use booking.com).
Rental Home and Condos: (Always worth negotiating for price)
http://www.vrbo.com/289226 Romantic & Luxurious 1 or 2 Bedrooms
http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/california/los-angeles-county/catalina-island/avalon- -where Fran found her rental.
http://www.catalinavacations.com/bre/ - Where we found our 3-bedroom house.
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Catalina Express takes you to Catalina in an hour with up to 30 daily departures year round from Long Beach, San Pedro or Dana Point.
Ferry from San Pedro ($80 rt) leaves at 9 am, or 2:50 pm (long beach has other departure times) see:
DIVE COMMUNITY LUGGAGE:
1 Carry-On Bag - 12" x 12" x 24" that will fit under the seat or in overhead bin. Maximum of 50 lbs.
2 Bags - 37 x 23 x 23. Maximum 50 lbs.
Includes Personal and/or Dive Bag. These dimensions will accommodate the majority of Pelican, Stanley or dive boxes. A third bag is permitted if necessary.
THE FOLLOWING DOES NOT COUNT AS A BAGGAGE ITEM:
1 recreational dive tank or 1 double with fixed manifold.
1 weight belt or weight bag which is carried on or worn by passenger (Not in Luggage).
2 wheel dolly.
Note: Returning suits that return wet are not an issue and will be permitted aboard.
Also see: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/socal/258157-best-way-carry-dive-gear-catalina-express.html
Read my trip report from last year: http://alacosta.org/local-dives/dive-reports/item/121-catalina-2014-alacosta-does-avalon
--Stan S. & Fran B.
Email: Catalina2015 @ alacosta . org