I was recently was talking to one of my customers about boat trips and the Catalina Dive Park, also known as the Point. My customer was telling me that he goes to the Point to dive because it is so much more convenient and cheaper. We had a good discussion and at the end he admitted that maybe he was wrong. Let me break it down for you and then let you decide.
Boat trips are wonderful (in MY opinion). You can go to the boat the night before, as a rule, and spend the night onboard. No extra charge. You get up in the morning and you have fresh coffee, breakfast and a nice trip to one of the islands. You get to the first dive site and jump in…no waiting for your tank & weights, no stairs to go down or climb and no modern day portable toilets or commonly known as smelly outhouses. After finishing your dive, the dive master, or another crew member, will pull your fins at the swim step and help you up the ladder. You are then greeted with some tasty snacks, water, soda, tea or coffee. While you are chillin’ and doing some surface time, the Captain moves the boat to another dive site and they fill your tank with more air. You are briefed on the new site and conditions and then you jump in. Again, after your dive they pull your fins and serve you a hot lunch and something to drink. They fill your tanks and move to a 3rd site. After the last dive you have deserts or something on the way back to the dock. You can take a shower and take a nap if you are tired. The cost for the day? About $135 – $140.
Now, let’s talk about the Point. First, you have to get up at o’dark hundred & drive to the boat. You have to be there an hour before it leaves, so if you take the 7am boat you have to be there by 6am to get in line with your gear and wait to board. Now you take an hour ride over without breakfast, unless you buy it or take it with you. You get to the Point and pay baggage to take your gear to the Point and you walk over to the dive area. You can take a taxi if you prefer, but again, it costs. If you take your lunch, an ice chest, you pay extra for baggage to take it for you. You can take your own tank & weights, or you can rent them….and most people rent. If you take your own tank you pay for your air fills. Now you get ready and change in an outhouse that smells. You suit up and then wait in line on the stairs to get in the ocean. After the dive, you pull your own fins, climb the stairs and then hump your tank to the fill station for an air fill. Food or snacks; only if you took them with you or want to buy some water and a candy bar for a marked up price at the fill station. So you do three dives and repeat the above…then you walk back to the Express. You wait in line with your gear and find a seat. You’re tired and hungry? Snacks are sold on the boat for an inflated price and you sleep sitting up. The cost for this day? The boat is $72, round trip, parking is $17 for the day, baggage is $11, an ice chest is $8, (or a taxi is about $17) tank & weight rental is $35 for a 3 dive day. Did you take your lunch or are you buying on the Island? Lunch on the Island is about $15 per person for a burger and a coke. Let’s assume you took your lunch but rent tanks and weights, your cost for the day will be $135 and you still have to stand in line and do not get to dive different areas of the Island but the same area over and over again.
Now I’m not a rocket scientist but it seems to me that boats are a better deal. The Point is nice if you have children and need a confined area or only want to be out ½ day but still, the cost is more per dive without any of the amenities.
Tell me what you think. Comments & feedback are welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Aloha Dive to book your next boat trip. We have many trips planned for 2017 and would love to have you join us!
The above article is the opinion of the author and may not express the opinions of management.