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Reviews (5)

Point Lobos State Park, Monterey, California

4
4
5
4

Point Lobos State Park is on a small peninsula just south of Monterey, Pebble Beach, and Carmel by the Sea. It is some of the best cold water diving (52 degrees in September) you can find in the area with big animals and healthy kelp. The nudibranchs get to 2-3 inches. We saw wolf eels, huge lingcods. cabezon, metridium, eels, anenomes, sunstars, and rockfish. Sea lions and seals were constantly buzzing us. Entry is at the boat ramp and you usually have a long surface swim to the sites before you drop.
http://www.pointlobos.org
• Diving is limited to 15 buddy pairs a day. 30 people total. No solo diving allowed. You may do as many dives as you want but the park is open from 8-7 summer hrs (or till 30 min after sunset in the winter). There are no services such as food or tank fills. A shopping center with a full service supermarket is about a mile away, people stop for sandwiches prior to going into the park.
• You may make reservations up to 2 months in advance but you risk encountering poor conditions on your dive day. A dive calendar is provided on their website. Weekends are usually full. Reservations are non-transferrable and they do ask for the name of your buddy when making reservations. http://www.pointlobos.org/diving/dive-calendar
• Reservations are $10.00 per person http://www.pointlobos.org/diving/reservations
• Once your reservation is confirmed, parking is $10/car at the gate. Your buddy must be present when you get through the entrance gate and show your C-card. (No buddy, no entry and they are Nazis about it.) They can drive separately but they have to follow you.
• Dive sites are listed here http://www.pointlobos.org/diving/dive-areas
If you don’t know diver friends up north to be your buddy, you will have to book a guided tour with a local dive shop. Solo diving is prohibited. Not all dive shops have access to Pt Lobos.
The posted price at Seven Seas Dive Shop:
Point Lobos Dive Tour Pricing, 2 diver or 2-dive minimum - pricing does not include parking or entrance fees
1 diver - 2 Dives $100
2+ divers - $50 per diver per dive

The $100 did not include all of the fees required to dive Point Lobos. Their fee are broken down as $60 for dm guide and $40 for booking fees which would cost you $20 (if you did it yourself and had a buddy).
Parking is $10/car plus a $15 beach fee imposed by the dive shop. Since I wanted to hike the area after the dives I opted to drive separately. Yes, you pay for the guide’s parking as well, another $10. Tanks are $10 ea.

Total spent for 2 dives, no rentals except for tanks $157.10 plus tip. It was a lot more than I expected for a guided beach dive. Since I did not specify a private guide, the shop actually charged another diver the exact full amount to dive with my guide. So we were now a diving threesome. The guide later said “now that I have dove with you, you don’t have to go through the dive shop.

Hiking is gorgeous in the State Park, I spent another 4 hours hiking the park after diving.

Diving Point Lobos can be beautiful, but the waters, the regulations, and the associated fees can also make for a murky and miserable experience. Southern California divers opting to make the long trip north to dive at Point Lobos will find themselves choked with restrictive regulations and non-refundable fees that they may not have experienced when diving Southern California areas.

Visited on 09/2013 - Submitted on 02/28/2014

La Bufadora, Baja Mexico

5
4
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3

LA BUFADORA DIVING REVIEW

La Bufadora is just south of Ensenada, 2 hours "south of the border" on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula.

Dale's the only dive operator just south of Ensenada at the Blowhole. You can make arrangements by phone or by email. You cannot just show up. He has spartan accommodations for people who want to spend the weekend. It is like indoor camping with no electricity. The operation is rustic, He has tanks and a compressor, and some rentals, but I would bring your own. You should be a self sufficient diver to dive this location with at least an advanced certification as emergency assistance is at least 20 miles away. There are no DM's or other diver services, but diving is very inexpensive. $40 for a 2 tanks?

Pangas take divers out to the pinnacles. Its a much shorter ride than Farnsworth. The diving is cold (low 50's) but colorful with lots of sunflower stars, gorgonia, nudibranchs, hydrocorals, and anenomes. Dale might go down with you but he will be hunting for his family's dinner. Your panga driver might even be fishing topside while you dive.

The town has a few restaurants and souvenir stalls. Seafood will always be fresh.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in La Bufadora.

Visited on 02/2004 - Submitted on 02/24/2014

Roatan

4
3
4
3

I went right to Roatan after Thanksgiving which is their rainy season. It rained 50 inches the week I was there. I had a place over the water which would have been lovely in the dry season but it was the rainy season. During the transfer of my luggage from the truck to my cabana, the rain had soaked my bags. Walking from my room to the dining room, the crabs would dart about almost like lizards running around in the desert. Geckos hang all over the place, even in the rooms. It's a good thing, because they eat mosquitos. Bring repellant, the no see' ums will get you.

Of course the diving was stellar but since it was storming, we were shuttled to the other side of the island for calmer conditions. The first day we were there, the swells were 15 ft. It made for very tricky diver pickups. Mary's Place was memorable due to the shark carcass that drew in all the fish. I think we dove it at least 3 times because it was protected. The Aquila was a fun wreck dive. The sponges and corals were beautiful. Caribbean fish like sergeant majors, parrot fish, grunts, hogfish and wrasses are everywhere. Big groupers were curious. Roatan is good for the beginning diver making the transition to more advanced dives as some of the wrecks are near the recreational limits. I wore a 3 mm wetsuit and the water temperature was just fine for me in December.

Dolphin encounter was epic. Food was so-so. We didn't venture into town due to the downpour.

Advice: Pick a nice weather time for your trip! Dec and Jan can be rainy.

Visited on 12/2002 - Submitted on 02/19/2014
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Florida

5
4
5
4

BLUE HERON BRIDGE DIVING REVIEW

This is my all time favorite "beach" dive. It is also the easiest beach dive I have ever gone on! At Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach, Florida. You are inside the intracoastal waterway, there are no waves. Max depth is 18 ft at a really high tide. Average is 14ft. Walk from your car to the waters edge is 40 ft. No stairs. This dive is only done about 1 hr before high tide to 1 hr after high tide during daylight hours. Otherwise the currents make the visibility horrible. This muck dive has so much to offer. I have seen spotted eagle rays in 3 ft of water, sea horses, flying guinards, red lipped bat fish, sea stars, octopus, fire worms, nudibranches, crabs, lobsters, eels, sargent majors, shrimp, spotted drums, and a whole host of other critters. This is muck diving so try not to stir up the bottom. By Florida law you have to drag around a dive flag., but you do dive very close to an active boat channel. Showers and bathrooms are available. Night diving is only allowed when a local dive shop sponsors the parking passes. Neighborhood around the park can be sketchy. Definitely rent a car. Lodging is available in West Palm Beach or Singer Island. Dive shops are available on either end of the bridge. Even if vis is 10 ft it is worth the dive.

Visited on 10/2012 - Submitted on 02/19/2014
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Crystal Blue Resort

5
4
5
4

Crystal Blue Resort is a wonderful place for a diver who wants to see small unusual things. One must remember It is located in a developing country and it is not the Four Seasons. From the time you step away from the airport, the staff of the Crystal Blue Resort will wrap you will Philippine hospitality. Their driver was at the curb waiting for our arrival to whisk us away to diving paradise. It was a 2.5 hr drive to the resort and the driver made us as comfortable as possible in the tropical heat . A bathroom stop was carefully selected for our safety. If my plane wasn't delayed, I would have been diving that afternoon.

The lodging is very comfortable and adequate for our needs. You rarely spend any time in your room if you plan on doing 4 dives a day. Our room was located on the 3 floor with no elevators. The dive operations are effectively sub level, so there were a lot of stairs to climb. We spent most of our time in bankas (dive boats), the restaurant, camera room, and lounge. The camera room was amazing and well used. They didn't put air conditioning in it so your camera won't fog up when you get in the water.

Diving was in 84 degree water with limitless clarity. Nudibranchs are plentiful as well as crustaceans. The largest thing I saw was a turtle and the next was a territorial trigger fish which the guides expertly escorted us away from. The reef scenes are colorful with tunicates and crinoids. Sites were different and varied and could be completely different at night. There is wall diving, wreck, reef, and muck diving. Dive operations are efficient and organized. You are assigned a dive boat and guide for your entire stay. Guides will search out critters for you. It is country club diving at its best, you only have to lift your camera, everything else is done for you. Even changing your tank.

Food was hearty and good. Vegetables and fruits are plentiful. With all the stair climbing and diving, I ate like a horse and got really toned!

The staff was very attentive to our needs and were able to schedule massages and laundry for us. I never left the resort and felt completely safe and well taken care of. All my sightseeing was from my dive boat.

My time there was a photo class so we spent lots of time with the resident expert on tips for better pictures. We had classes after lunch and after dinner lectures, so by the end of the trip my pictures were pretty good!

Visited on 05/2012 - Submitted on 01/17/2014
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