Catalina Island Dive Park, California
Dive Operator: Catalina Divers Rating: 3.5 Stars
On Catalina Island we dove at the dive park which is located at Casino Point at the north end of the city of Avalon. The dive park is an underwater preserve that has a thick concentration of kelp beds and fish. The depth in the park reaches about 90 feet within a distance of only about 300 feet from shore. As such it is a favorite location for dive instructors to bring their students. It is not uncommon to have 150 to 200 divers at the park during Saturdays and Sundays. A company called Catalina Divers has started an operation to provide air tanks and refills directly at the park location. They also have weights to rent. Getting to Catalina is done using the Catalina Express which has several ferry boats based out of Long Beach and San Pedro. Having to bring all one's dive gear including their weights and tanks is cumbersome. Therefore, the ability to leave one's tanks and weights behind allows for much greater ease of travel. Although there are other dive operations in Avalon, the convenience of Catalina Divers being right at the dive park location in invaluable. When renting tanks you simply have to grab one tank for each diver. After using that tank just return it and grab another. Catailina Divers never stops filling tanks so they always have fresh ones ready to go. There is no waiting for a tank fill.
Catalina Divers simply makes diving at the park easier. I give them 3.5 stars for providing their convenient service in a friendly, professional manner. However, they lose some points for their lack of an actual full service dive shop.