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Dive Review of Casion Point Dive Park in
The Continental USA/Avalon, CA

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Jacobsen, CA, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 4423
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Florida, California, Caribbean, Micronesia
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
no currents  
Water Temp
58   to 66    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 40    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
None  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  N/A
Tropical Fish
N/A  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
N/A
Food
N/A
Service and Attitude
N/A
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
N/A  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
3 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Its been 2 year since I went over to the Casino Point dive park.  I took
the 7 AM Catalina Express over and returned at 6:45 PM with a schedule to
allow me to do 3 dives at the park, plus diner in Avalon.

It's been a year since Ive dived my dry suit so I wanted to do a few dives
in a controlled area to shake out my set up before I did a local dive boat
trip. I didn't want to jump into the blue un-tested.  This was a good plan
as I had to do adjustments between dives, to adjust from a tropical set up
to cold water.

I had forgotten how much fun a day at the dive park is, and how convenient
the whole set up is. With easy in and outs with the steps, restrooms, and
plenty of other divers to chat with. Catalina Divers Supply has a fill
station at the park. So I rented my tank and weights for lighter packing.

The water temps were really nice by southern California standards, 64 to 66
degrees but I still hit a thermalcline at depth that was down to 58 degrees
on the first dive, so I retreated to the shallower warmer water. The
visibility was not as clear as it usually is and at worst was down to about
15 ft because of the currents that day.

Top side there were a lot of divers and several large classes, but under
the water I only encountered divers a couple of times and it didnt feel
crowded at all.
 
There were the usual Southern California endemics fish; Garibaldi, Kelp
bass, Senioritis, Opal eye, etc and swimming through the kelp is always
serene and interesting. On the first dive I had a very large polarized
school (200+) of top smelt following next to me for a long time, they must
have thought I was a big predator.  They left me when I encountered a
couple of other divers going the other direction. On another dive I turned
over an old urchin shell to see if there was anything inside. This caught
the attention of a big Sheepshead, who decided to follow me around. He
probably was expecting me to break open a few urchins for him to eat, which
Ive never done. He also had a female following him, but after about 5
minutes he figured out there was no lunch from me.  

Around the old swim platform I came upon a large Bat Ray in the sand, I
joined him there and watched him for a few minutes. He took off once I
moved ahead of him.
 
All and all it was a fun day with 3 dives and met my objective to get set
up for cold water dives in an easy environment. Even on the Catalina
Express ride over I had good memories as we encountered a very large school
of Dolphins mid channel. The boat slowed down and did a large 360 around
them.  We had a good show of them riding the bow wave and jumping over the
wake, they were all around the boat.  There must have been a school of bait
fish, after we continued on our coarse you could see them all schooling in
one area probably feeding. It looked like a Paraná feeding frenzy.

So get over to the park, you wont be disappointed by the easy diving.

The disappointment is the cost now days. The whole trip ends up being about
the price of taking a local day boat out to Catalina.  Because of paying
for Parking ($12 for the day at san Pedro). Catalina Expresses upped there
price because of fuel to $66 Roundtrip.  I usually get a cab to haul me
from the dock in Avalon to the dive park now $12 each way if you dont find
some one to share the cab with.  However, I walked back to the Avalon dock
so that I could get dinner. Then toss in tank ($13 + 2 fills) and weight
rentals ($7). 
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