What does Cal Boat Diving do? We provide single day dive trips or multi-day packages to the Northern Channel Islands on the fleet of dive boats departing from Ventura Harbor, California.  Our services include reservations, rental equipment delivered to the boats, dive guides when requested, along with friendly informative answers to your questions.

How do I book a trip? Fill out the quick and easy request form on this site and you will receive information promptly.  Or call us at 1-866-CAL-DIVE.  We will let you know if the dates you want are available, help with any questions or requests, then book your trip.

What’s the diving like? Generally speaking dives are between 20 and 50 feet deep on rocky reef bottom, with a variety of plant life including kelp forests.  Sea life includes a large array of colorful fish, seals and sea lions, bat rays, and countless creatures that float, swim, or attach themselves to the bottom.  The boats anchor with both bow and stern anchors, so you can descend on a line or just swim to the bottom. For more complete information visit our Dives section.

Do you supply rental gear? We provide any rental gear you may need from tanks to complete packages.  Our equipment is delivered and picked-up at the boat so you use it then walk away.  We also have snorkel gear so bring along a friend who hasn’t been certified yet.  All gear can be rented by phone or by filling out the rental form.  All we need is your height, weight, and a list of what you require.

How do I choose a trip? Dive trips range from a three-dive one-day trip at the local islands to multiple days at sea.  If you want to see pretty scenery and not over exert, the three-dive day or local weekend day trips are perfect.  For divers who wish to hunt or explore more challenging environments the islands further off shore may be better.  The best prices are on weekdays and these trips are usually less crowded.  Many divers enjoy doing a number of single days back-to-back or with breaks in between.  Talk to us.  We can usually recommend the perfect dive.

What do the trips include? Always ask before you make reservations to be sure you know what you are getting.  All trips include meals, snacks, drinks and air fills. Trips do not include dive gear but you may rent any gear from us.  Otherwise bring all your dive gear including tank and weights.  Rental.

What’s the food like? All our boats have full galleys with complete meals including breakfast, lunch, drinks, and snacks.  Vegetarian items are available.  The Spectre has BBQ on all trips!

Can I take single day trips back-to-back and stay on the boats? We can mix and match single day trips.  Working with three boats gives us many combinations of dive trips and destinations.  By sleeping on the boats at night you save money and never show up late in the morning.

What’s the best deal? The weekday trips and staying on the boats at night is a great way to get the most for your money.  Sleeping aboard is free when you dive the next day and the weekday trips are a great bargain.

Can I pay by credit card? We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

What is the diving season? Our boats offer trips year around.  Peak season is from June through November when trips are available five days a week.  There are no trips on Monday or Tuesday except holidays.  In winter and spring only Fridays are offered during the week.  Weekends are available all year.  It takes a minimum of ten divers for the boats to run. 

How far in advance should I book? For weekend trips we recommend at least two weeks and sometimes more in the summer months.  Weekdays are rarely sold out but a weeks notice is a good idea.  It never hurts to call or e-mail.  Our job is to find a boat for your dive trip.

What if I cancel? When you reserve a spot on a dive boat you own that spot for that day.  No matter who wants to buy your spot we will not sell it.  That’s the deal we make for you.  Sometimes divers will fail to take advantage of their spot on the boat by not using it.  We cannot sell it after the trip is run.  We usually can’t sell it just before the trip is run.  Our recommendation is to buy only the spots you need and to always take advantage of that purchase.  With that said we never like to see someone pay for a dive trip than lose out by missing the boat.  Most trips during the week can be canceled 72 hours before departure.  Weekend trips need at least seven days notice.  “No shows” are never refunded or rescheduled nor are last minute cancellations.  Most of the time there are divers who would have loved to be on the boat but were turned away because the boat was sold out.

Can I hunt? Hunting is allowed.  As a general rule the further out the trip goes the better the hunting.  On the single day or three-dive trips the majority of divers won’t be hunting.  Be sure to bring a current fishing license and be aware of fish and game regulations.

Are these trips good for photography? The Channel Islands are great for all types of underwater photography.  The boats have rinse tanks and 110-volt outlets to recharge equipment.  Check our links page to view some examples.

Can non-divers go? The Spectre now offers non-diver pricing on all trips which is about half the diver price and includes food. 

Can snorkel divers go?  The Spectre has special packages for snorkelers on all trips that include all rental gear.

How do I get to the boats? Visit our directions page and download a map.

Can we sleep on the boats the night before the trip? The boats offer bunks complete with pillows and blankets.  All vessels are docked in Ventura Harbor Village with restaurants, shops, and activities next to the dive boats.  Parking is free.  Most of the time the boats are open for boarding by 8 P.M. the night before the trip.  There are not extra fees for staying on the boat. Free parking permits are required for ovrnight stays.  Get these on the boat when you arrive.

What’s the weather like next month? People want concrete answers to questions that are unknowable.  After all, if you invest time and money into a dive adventure the least we can do is tell you the weather!  We are divers too and know the feeling.  But the truth is there are no general patterns to follow.  Conditions are so localized that they change from hour to hour making tomorrow’s conditions a guess.

Check our weather page and get the same information the captains depend on.

What’s the water temperature? Water temperature goes from the low sixties in June to a high near 68 degrees through the summer.  Fall months are usually in the mid to low sixties.  By late January it drops into the fifties and bottoms out at 52 to 55 degrees until June.

What should I bring? Pack light but don’t forget bathing suits, towels, certification card, medications, layered clothing, sunglasses, and dive gear.

Can I bring ice chests?  With forty divers on a boat complete with all their gear and personal belongings ice chests are in the way.  The one guy who shows up with an ice chest can never see the problem but that’s only because the other thirty-nine divers didn’t bring ice chests.

Are there showers and electric outlets? There are fresh hot water showers on all the boats as well as 110-volt outlets for hair dryers, phone chargers and anything else that needs power.

Do I need a dive master or guide? Dive masters are on all dive trips but they do not dive.  Their job is to keep an eye on all divers from the boat deck.  They can answer questions and are there to be helpful.  Most divers find they are very comfortable diving with their buddies.  But we are happy to supply a dive guide. Fee’s vary so check with us for details.

Can you provide instruction? We do not provide instructors.  We take classes on the boat nearly every trip but the students come with their class. If you have your own instructor ask him or her to contact us for special offers.

Do we tip? Tips are not included in the price of any trip.  If the crew takes care of you a tip is welcome.  Remember that tips are shared among all crew members.