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betti154

Must do US sites

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Hi Guys,

 

I'm travelling to the US next year for a wedding in June 2009, and am hoping to do some diving whilst there. Given the distance from Australia to the US, I'm hoping to get a few things done in the one trip as I don't know when I'll be going again.

 

I'll be in San Fran for the wedding though want to checkout Vegas and New York as well. On the diving side, I'd like to dive on the USS Oriskany and do a Tiger/Dolphin trip in the Bahamas.

 

My question is are there any other "must do" things that I should know about? I'd also appreciate any info you can provide on the Oriskany and Bahamas. Are the tiger and sharks trips liveaboard only, or can they be land based?

 

Thanks in advance, damien

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Hi Guys,

 

I'm travelling to the US next year for a wedding in June 2009, and am hoping to do some diving whilst there. Given the distance from Australia to the US, I'm hoping to get a few things done in the one trip as I don't know when I'll be going again.

 

I'll be in San Fran for the wedding though want to checkout Vegas and New York as well. On the diving side, I'd like to dive on the USS Oriskany and do a Tiger/Dolphin trip in the Bahamas.

 

My question is are there any other "must do" things that I should know about? I'd also appreciate any info you can provide on the Oriskany and Bahamas. Are the tiger and sharks trips liveaboard only, or can they be land based?

 

Thanks in advance, damien

 

 

There are many who consider the kelp in SoCal to be world class.

San Clemente Island is really nice.

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Damien, since you are going to be in San Francisco anyway, why not drive down to Monterey, 2-3 hours form S.F. It would save you a plane flight tha you might otherwise take to LA just to go out to the Channel Islands, Catalina/San Clemente/Anacapa etc. You would still get to experience "the kelp" and much of the same fish species.

 

If you like wrecks, the Oriskany would be great! as would many areas along the east coast, too many to mention. I've never been there, so someone with more experience there should chime in.

 

If you don't mind 3-4 day live aboards, you might consider Flower Banks in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Many great dive sites are in Florida, Key Largo and other Keys, but since you mentioned going to the Bahamas you might run into many of the same fish and coral species there as in Fl. What about fresh water spring snorkeling with the Manatee in Florida?

 

Bottom line is there is so much to see and such diversity, you could spend months, or more :-), diving around the US! Take a look through some of the photo galleries and decide what you want to see or experience.

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Hi Guys,

 

I'm travelling to the US next year for a wedding in June 2009, and am hoping to do some diving whilst there. Given the ...

My question is are there any other "must do" things that I should know about?

Thanks in advance, damien

 

On the US west coast, the Los Angeles area of California has a large dive boat industry, that dives the So. California Channel Islands. There are 8 islands in the area, and each are slightly different in what they offer. They are similiar in that it is temperate water, wetsuit diving. I'd suggest either Catalina Island or San Clemente Is. as a good place to start. Lush thick kelp beds, the best visibility of all of them. You can find many one to multi day dive boats going out to the islands. Most do not cater to visitors, so you will have to make special arrangements with the captain to get a rental tank or weights, or have to rent from a local dive shop. Check out www.diveboat.com for a very nice boat, but there are many to choose from. You can drive from the SF Bay area to So. Cal in one day or take a short 2 hr flight. Then do the "Disneyland" thing one day, and then out on a dive boat to Catalina for another day. :) Another fun option is to take a ferry to the city of Avalon on Catalina Island. Spend a couple of days there in a quaint island town. There is some shore diving there that is very typical of the area. JUne is busy, so book well in advance for hotels at Avalon. Everything you need to dive can be rented there for your shore dives.

 

Monterey, is nice, but cooler water, and you can do a simple and nice shore dive there, but diving is a little different vs. the So. California Channel Islands. A little cooler water, vis not as nice.

 

Then theres Seattle Area, home of the original muck diving I call it, very green water, but very abundant marine life. Drysuit diving of course in strong currents. Kelp beds not as beautiful as So. Cal.

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Blue Heron bridge area in S Florida. The Northern Keys have Molasses and French reef, Christ of the Abyss and the wreck of the Benwood which can be great that time of year. The spiegal grove is also out of the keys. South Florida's East Coast from ft. Lauderdale on up to West Palm is underrated...very nice but viz can be a challenge. The freshwater drift dives in central florida would be different...and cool. The manatees in June might be hit or miss.

North Carolina has some wrecks which are visited by large Sand Tiger Sharks. California has been covered well but didn't see La Jolla beach dive mentioned. The Kelp Forests aren't to be missed.

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Thank you all for the information, it has helped greatly. I'll continuing researching...

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Here's another vote for the Seattle area, especially Keystone or the San Juans... Fabulous sites, and tons of life.

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If you are going to go to Vegas, you should go the extra 3 hours to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is very dry and not at all related to diving, but you will never forget it.

Let me know if you are interested, I live only 120km away.

Cheers!

James

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Since you are going to be in San Fran I would say a visit to Yosemite National park is a must. Not diving, but you should spend at least a couple days there.

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While in SF, if you do not have time to get out to bigger forests, Muir Woods has nice redwoods and is close to SF.

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If you are going to go to Vegas, you should go the extra 3 hours to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is very dry and not at all related to diving, but you will never forget it.

Let me know if you are interested, I live only 120km away.

Cheers!

James

 

And I suppose if you're heading there, the sunken B-29 ditched into Lake Meade during WWII would be a rare dive. From what I've read the US government just did allow 1 diver operator to host dives to the site. I'm not even sure they still allow them or who to contact but it shouldn't be hard to google. Not that its would be a spectacular dive (viz would be a challenge) into lake Meade but on the novelty front...you'd be one of a handful of divers ever to see the wreck.

Edited by ce4jesus

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Guys,

 

Thanks for all your imput. Yosemite, the redwoods and the grand canyon are on my list already (as well as the nappa valley :D).

 

I'd love to do a JASA trip though sadly the gods have frowned on me, and the schedule doesn't work for the trip. Also with the sad state of the Aussie dollar it's rather pricey.

 

Can anyone recommend which of the Florida caves are best for photography? I didn't plan on it initially, but am now thinking of making it a cave trip. I've got sump certifcations if that is required.

 

Thanks again, damien siviero

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Damien,

 

I've never been to S. Cal for diving, but Monterey is not to be missed. Yes, it's cold, but a 7mil suit rental cost $15 for the weekend. For an experienced diver, I recommend Monastery Beach. The East entry point (closer to Monterey) had great rock formations and the bottom life is crammed into every inch of space. The rock falls off dramatically a short swim out, so it's easy to get deep if you want. The West entry is more open with a short swim to the sandy bottom in the center of the bay.

 

I've had some of my best diving experiences at this location. It is only for experienced divers.

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check out truth aquatics out of santa barbara for day and multiday trips. They are a great op

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Never do Monastery beach without an experienced local. The waves can be very dangerous. On one side of this beach is point Lobo. They only let a certain # of dive teams in a day (you must have a buddy). Swim out to the point. The diving can be great their.

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Somebody already mentioned the Seattle area and the San Juan islands in Washington state, but I'd add Neah Bay. Neah Bay is the most northwest point on the map of the lower 48, and has best diving in the state. It is also nestled in the extreme beauty of the Olympic Penensila and many national parks that are not to be missed.

 

If you want wrecks you can head just a few hours north on Nanaimo BC and more fantastic diving.

 

Dave

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Thanks for all the info. I'm finding it really had to make the necessary decisions. Adding to the complexity is that that I'm attmepting to see if I can take my CCR as there is a bit of tec diving to do as well (e.g. Caves, Oriskany).

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check out truth aquatics out of santa barbara for day and multiday trips. They are a great op

The Peace out of Ventura is another good dive boat. Make sure you get on one of the trips to the outer islands though... usually on weekends. And I second the Truth Aquatics choice in Santa Barbara. But confirm a few days before going as sometimes they don't get enough divers and cancel the day before the scheduled dive. Very roomy and comfy boats, especially the Vision.

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One of the best couple of days diving I ever had was off Catalina Island, california. kelp forests, Giant black sea bass, absolutely awesome. We stayed in a small hotel in Avalon. Great place.

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Since you will be in San Fran, you should try point lobos in monterey, it's a very easy, safe and cold shore dive.

 

Catalina and anacapa islands are great day trips but they are further down the coast, the boats leave out of Long Beach/San Pedro and Ventura respectively.

 

Have fun!

 

Scott

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