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What to Expect From Boat Diving at Catalina Island

For thousands of years, humans have explored the waters all around Catalina Island. The first native populations of Catalina would hunt large fish and invertebrates. For more than a century, tourists have admired the majestic kelp gardens of Catalina’s coves from glass bottom boats. Activities like fishing, free diving, spearfishing, snorkeling, and lobster diving have all become favorite activities for locals and visitors alike. And you can’t leave out the amazing world of scuba diving around Catalina. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the technology and development in scuba grew exponentially. Back in the day, divers would wear wool tops and tanks. Divers who make the journey to Catalina today have the opportunity to go on boat dives with plenty of fantastic, more advanced equipment. Catalina Divers Supply has a big, beautiful dive boat that is equipped to show you around some of the best spots surrounding the island. Read on to learn more about what to expect from boat diving at Catalina Island.

boat diving at Catalina Island


Crystal clear waters. From the mainland to the island, you might notice that there is a marked difference between the color and appearance of the ocean water. There are a few different reasons for this. Catalina’s ocean waters are clearer than the mainland’s in part because of the island’s limited development and human activity; this means there is less land runoff of sediment and fewer pollutants. Catalina’s abundant plant life no the island also helps to filter and absorb runoff. The different depths of the water off the island’s shore can also affect the colors of the ocean, making the shades of blue and blue-green around the island that much more vibrant.


Cool water. The island is located in a place with specific oceanographic conditions. Catalina experiences the California current, which is a cooler, south-flowing current that comes down from the north Pacific Ocean. In addition to colder temperatures, the water is also nutrient dense. The water temperatures range from a low of 56 degrees in the winter to a high of about 70 degrees in the summer.


Abundant marine life. There is a healthy marine ecosystem surrounding Catalina. From tiny plankton and shellfish to giant seabass, and from blue sharks to pinnipeds, you’ll discover all different shapes and sizes of species of ocean life underwater around Catalina.


catalina boat diving

Canopies of kelp. The kelp around Catalina is fast-growing, and it creates gorgeous forests throughout the island’s coves. Kelp forests are a great place to seek more marine life. Don’t get tangled up in its beauty, however; should you get a fin or tank tangled, don’t twist and turn. You can simply break or cut a strand of kelp. 


The best boat. Catalina Divers Supply invites you aboard the SCUBA Cat. Join the crew for a 2-tank boat dive that travels along Catalina’s coastline. A dive with Catalina Divers Supply includes two tanks and a lot of fun. The SCUBA Cat has a gracious sun deck, 2 wide-easy exit ladders, 2 camera tables, fresh water equipment, a camera rinse tank, a head, and a sink. The boat also has a knowledgeable Captain and Divemaster who will accompany you on this trip. Do note: The dives from the boat are not guided.


Get a good deal. While gear is not included, you can bring your own gear or rent some for your dive. When you book a boat trip with Catalina Divers Supply, you get discounts on gear rentals. An upgraded gear package includes a mask, snorkel, fins, booties, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, hood, gloves, and a dive computer.


Fueled for fun. A dive with Catalina Divers Supply includes lunch. You can make your lunch selection at the time of making your reservation There are also complimentary snacks, soda, and water available on board. Do consider bringing a reusable water bottle for the trip.


Bring a buddy. Are you the only diver in your crew? Snorkelers, free divers, spear fishers, and ride-along friends are welcome to come on these boat trips as well.


Young divers welcome. There is a minimum age of 10 years old for divers, 8 years old for snorkelers, and 8 years old for ride-alongs.


Be an early bird. The Pier opens at 8am, and the SCUBA Cat departs for diving at 9am. Be sure to arrive by 8:15am if you need to rent gear. Boarding of the boat begins at 8:45am.


Do you prefer a guided dive? Catalina Divers Supply offers so many different underwater adventures. Guided dives in the famous Casino Dive Park with an experienced Instructor or Divemaster are available.


Catalina Divers Supply has a main facility located at the lower level of the Catalina Casino building. It features retail, tour bookings, service repairs, classes, and more. More retail, bookings, rentals, air fills, and boat tours are available from the Green Pleasure Pier, which is located right in the center of Avalon. Reach out to book your boat dive soon!

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