|Monday, 02 February 2009|
California Charter Tips for August 2009 Trip
The following tips will help you on any charter aboard the Truth Aquatic vessels when diving California and The Channel Islands. Yet, the photo and video trips we run are special because we need to accommodate a limited load of divers and all of our camera equipment, so I designed a system that works best. This trip is sure to create memories of a life time as many of us will do a full eight days together, back to back charters with four days in Southern and Northern Channel Islands! I look forward to diving with all of you! So here are some tips to remember:
Pack as much of your equipment in soft packs as possible. We can find storage room for soft bags, but the big pelican and storm cases are hard to store. There will be a lot of equipment aboard and we want the least amount of cases. When you arrive set up your BCD and reg on your tank. Put your wetsuits down below and consolidate all your equipment from your main dive bag into a mesh bag you can leave with your tank: gloves, boots, fins and mask. Store your bags down below in the bunk room or in the laz if possible. The goal is to have the back area where the dive bags usually go available for camera equipment all day long…and into the night. We want to bring our cameras inside for changing and that is it…so bags alongside and on the bow for dive equipment. It works really well for our photography trips! If you must bring the large cases, if you can unpack your equipment and leave them in your car, that works out great.
We can board at 8:00 pm on each night of the trip. Departure time is 9:00pm for the Southern charter…weather dependent. We are tentatively heading to San Clemente, Catalina, Santa Barbara Island and then Anacapa or Santa Cruz. Everything is weather dependent and we will make judgments accordingly. We will be giving photo and video seminars free of charge…we want you to have a great time. If anyone wants to dive specifically with an instructor and get first hand pointers on the dive this would be an extra charge of $75 per dive. You can also get different certifications on two and three day courses if you are interested. Please contact Annie ahead of time. We will be giving all sorts of tips on the boat and showing images in the evening if you want…this is just if you want special attention and an instructor lead dive. You do not need to sign up for an additional course, but some people appreciate more one on one training.
If you are coming from out of town, you might want to pack a sleeping bag. There is a bunk room with blankets, yet if you have a small travel sleeping bag, us Californians always bring one along. You do NOT need a lot of clothes because we are in our wetsuits and dive gear all day long. It can get chilly at night though so you may want to bring along a fleece and a hat for at night.
Special dietary requests need to be made as soon as you book. Vegetarian, vegan, no wheat, food allergies, etc. Thanks! We want to take care of you. If you are local, don’t forget a cooler if you bring your own alcoholic beverages. Of course there is a full range of sodas and juices provided on board in the cost of the charter…but if you want anything special to drink after your day of diving, there is no room in the fridge. I planned the menu with the head galley…but if you like chocolate covered crickets or anything special, it will not be served. Neither will any un-environmentally friendly fish or seafood….I welcome any hunter who can serve up a white sea bass or halibut, lobsters are out of season but we will see plenty posing for their photos.
Bring a power strip for charging batteries.
Night dives require two lights. Truth Aquatics likes a tank light versus the cylum sticks.
Solo diving is acceptable on charters as long as you dive responsibly. You will need to sign a group waiver provided by Annie Crawley, plus a Truth Aquatics waiver.
You need dive insurance, so please update your policy. If you have any questions, send an email. One of the most popular is DAN Insurance.
There is no storage at sea landing during the day so if you are from out of town, you want to leave your luggage with your hotel until boarding time. I highly recommend flying directly into Santa Barbara Airport because it is a 15 minute drive from the airport. SBA is the code. If you need a hotel room before or after the charter, and don't care about pricing, downtown Santa Barbara on Cabrillo Blvd. has a few different ones. Upper state street and Goleta tend to be more affordable, but it is a fair way away from the Harbor.
Bring a positive attitude, no matter what the weather or visibility…the company is going to be great.
Bring cash for crew tip.
Please let us know in advance what camera system you currently have or if you want to try any special camera equipment…we will try and accommodate everyone!
Reading, activites, and art for kids of all age; visit the Kid-Safe fun in the Kid's Corner.