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Dive Review of Truth Aquatics in
The Continental USA/Southern Channel Islands

Truth Aquatics: "Truth Aquatics and Channel Islands, California", Aug, 2015,

by Gregory S Bruce, OR, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 8340.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I just got back from a 5 day live aboard trip with Truth Aquatics to the Southern Channel Islands (August 18-22). This was my second trip with Truth Aquatics.
They have 3 boats and I was on the Vision, which is the largest of the 3 boats. The trip was limited load (23 divers on a boat that accommodates about 40), so we had lots of room to stretch out, move around and extra bunks to store gear and personal items. All of the sleeping bunks are on the lower level in twin sized bunks or queen sized bunks. Blankets and pillows are provided. There are two showers, a large dressing room and 2 sinks and counter top space also on the lower level. 2 hair dryers are also provided. Water is appropriately hot and plenty of it. The main deck contains the aft dive deck that has plenty of room to accommodate all divers. There are two outdoor hot shower stations and there are giant stride entry points on both sides of the boat, as well as one at the bow. Reentry onto the boat after diving is done at the back of the boat. You swim up onto a large grated platform that is submerged a foot under water. You roll up onto the platform on your stomach and the deck hands will reach down and take off your fins, which then allows you to stand up and walk up the 4 steps onto the dive deck. Below the dive deck is a drying room with hangars for drying out wetsuits and drysuits overnight. Also, there is a large capacity dryer for drying towels and undergarments. Patrons are responsible for providing their own towels and toiletries. Also on the main deck in front of the dive deck is the dining room and galley. Adjacent to the dining area are two bathrooms and there is a third one adjacent to the dive deck as well. Above the dining room is an upper deck that is used for sunning, viewing and laying out wetsuits/drysuits during the day.
The food is plentiful and of very high quality. Breads, cereals, various milks, fresh fruit, yogurt, toaster, jams, butter and nutella were available every morning to accompany the hot breakfasts. Each morning provided a variety of different hot breakfasts and eggs cooked to order. There was always some sort of breakfast meat option and vegetarian/vegan dietary needs are well accommodated. Lunch always had a big salad to go along with the main course. There was always a mid afternoon snack available and dessert accompanied all evening meals. I cannot say enough about the quality and quantity of the food.
The diving was phenonemal! It was quite easy to get 5-6 dives in a day and night days are available as well. Our trip took us to Santa Barbara island, San Clemente island, Santa Catalina island, Farnsworth Bank and Anacapa island. Excellent dive briefings were given for each dive site, deck hands are stationed around the boat keeping an eye on divers and bubbles and ready at a moments notice to jump in the zodiac and retrieve anyone that surfaced too far away from the boat. Divers are allowed and encouraged to dive safely and at their own pace and desired profile.
Water temps were between 65-70 degrees and 1/2 the divers wore 5-7mm wetsuits and the other half were in drysuits with very light undergarments. I wore my drysuit with a very light undergarment and was very comfortable. I did not even need a hood and only wore my 3mm wet gloves for convenience. Visibility was in the 40-80 foot range on all dives. We dove lots of pinnacles and offshore reefs, as well as inshore reefs and walls. Truly memorable dive sites included 7 Fathom off of San Clemente, Farnsworth Bank, Coral Pinnacle off of Anacapa and Arch Reef off of Santa Barbara island. Highlights included Purple Hydrocoral at numerous dive sites, the beautiful yellow wall at Farnsworth, lots of giant black sea bass, leopard sharks, horned sharks, bat rays, torpedo rays, giant pacific electric rays, lots of nudibranches, yellowtail, brittle stars, lobsters galore, incredible gorgonian sea fans of various colors and lots of beautiful kelp forests. My dive buddy and I drove down to Santa Barbara with all of our own gear and tanks; but you can rent tanks and weights on site (reserve ahead of time). Nitrox is available on the boat for an additional charge. You can purchase a 20 dive coupon for $100 or pay $6 per fill. Payment is made at the end of the trip. My fills were consistently between 32-34% and 3,000 to 3,300 psi.
I cannot say enough about the quality of diving in the Channel Islands or the great customer service and experience provided by Truth Aquatics. Do yourself a favor and book a trip for some truly world class diving.
Websites Truth Aquatics   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cozumel, Pacific NW
Closest Airport Santa Barbara or LAX Getting There Fly into Los Angeles or Santa Barbara, CA

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 65-70°F / 18-21°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Detailed dive briefings provided for each dive site. Everyone dives on own or in pairs/groups and dive their own profiles and limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I am not an UWP, but many on the boat were and they were well attended and looked after. Two large tables set aside for their convenience and a large rinse tank. Cameras lowered down to them on ropes once they were in the water.
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Subscriber's Comments

By David Baez in FL, US at Sep 09, 2015 07:51 EST  
I was on that same trip on the Vision . I found a little bit more temp variation, 59-71 degs, with the coldest at the deeper water. We had awesome weather, and were able to go to sites that the captain said often are difficult due to current. That said, be prepared for current. My wife and I did a dive where the current conditions changed quite a bit. We entered when the kelp could be seen at the surface, exited when the kelp was all underwater and at a 45 deg angle. The one thing that I would change on the boat is their exit procedure. They don't have a ladder in the water, but a platform that is partially submerged. You hoist yourself onto it and wait on your knees while the crew gets your fins. That was a literal pain in the knees, so I would often turn myself, sit, and pull off my own fins while seated. That wasn't an option for my wife who is 5'4" and had an LP95 strapped to her back.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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