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Recommendation/Warning for Dive Shop/Charter co. in San Diego
divemaiden - 1/06/2010 6:29 AM
Category: Travel
Replies: 7

My friends and I are going to be in San Diego this September and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations or warnings for any dive shops or charters in San Diego area. I myself would prefer to just do shore diving, but Pete wants to dive the wrecks which I’m sure will require a charter. He’s doing research himself, but I’d like to be able to bring something to the table.

Rich-D-Fish - 1/06/2010 9:13 AM
You can find info on all the SD charters at the following link:

I can personally recommend the Lois Ann. Great operation. Great lunch. And very experienced for diving the local wrecks. The Yukon and Ruby-E are the most popular wrecks to dive down there. Since the harbor is so close to all the wrecks, there is typically a morning and afternoon option for departures, and you can easily get 3 dives in only half a day. I also know people who really like the Marissa and DndII. I do see small personal craft pull up all the time, so I suppose you could probably rent your own boat. But I’ll bet that option is more expensive and ultimately more of a PIA. Charter is definitely the way to go. When the date gets closer let me know when you plan to go. Perhaps myself or some of the 50+ local Divebuddy members may join you.

Have fun!
timengle - 1/06/2010 10:07 AM
I agree with Rich. The Lois Ann is a great boat to see the wrecks. I am one of those 50+ dive buddies, and am always up for a dive on the wrecks. Let us know.
Devilfish - 1/07/2010 2:12 AM

Check out is you haven’t already. Joining the list server is an easy way to meet dive buddies/guides. (Don’t ask for shop/boat recommendations there as they have rules prohibiting that.)

I’m not crazy about the Lois Ann. It’s not a bad boat, but there’s no protection from the sun and the cabin is quite small. I do like the Humboldt, and they also go to the wrecks.

I don’t like DCI at all, nor do I know anyone who will dive with them anymore. They run their boats extra slow and the crew/DMs are indifferent at best.
samaniegodr - 1/07/2010 9:24 PM
try to avoid OEX in La Jolla, not that great...but its the only shop that i know of at the SHORES area. sometimes i use them just because i HAVE TO. but like i said, try to avoid them for diving needs. 
ASC - 1/08/2010 9:53 PM
As one of the three stooges travelling with this group (I guess I would have to be Larry), my question is what are the minimum number of divers required for any of these operations. The three of us will be poking around SD for 2 or 3 tank dives during the week (I’ll be out there Tues through Fri) before we board the liveaboard for 5 dys of shark diving. I know some boats require 5 as a minimum number of divers/passangers and just not sure if we would always get that during the week. Any thoughts?
samaniegodr - 1/08/2010 10:15 PM
that liveaboard youre talking that to guadalupe island?
Devilfish - 1/09/2010 7:17 AM

Marissa, Lois Ann and Humboldt, I believe, all have Web calendars you can look at to see if they’re even running trips during the week, and you can e-mail or call to find out more. Lowest number I have seen for a trip is 6.

You’re bringing drysuits, yes? A must if you think you’re going to do a three-tank trip.

Are you brining tanks? Last time I checked no one rents anything other than Al 80s in S.D. I always bring my 100s, especially on the Yukon where you can hit 105’.

Oh and I can also definitely second the non-recommendation for LJ OEX. The people working there are useless, but they’ll be happy to try to sell you gear they know nothing about. I once had to rent a tank there, it was $12. A couple of months ago I stopped in for a fill, they charged me $8. Apparently the compressor had been down and they were trying to recoup losses, at least that was the story. Who counts on making money off air?