Re: What is Wrong with the Casino Point Dive Park?

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 19, 2018 at 13:58:59:

In Reply to: What is Wrong with the Casino Point Dive Park? posted by Colter on September 17, 2018 at 05:28:20:

First of all, let's not lose sight of one thing: IT's a PUBLIC park. It's not a divers-only spot. It's also a state-designated and specifically-named MPA which further underscores the public nature of the place.

I was there on Saturday (non-cruise day), August 25, with a small group. I saw many of the same snorkeling groups I'm sure you did, all being conducted as guided snorkels by the local shops. Nothing wrong with that as long as THEY realize they don't own the place and follows the rules, especially on the stairs.

Also bear in mind that Saturdays - especially during the summer - are usually busier than Sundays. On Saturdays, many stores bring their classes over for their first OW experience and then take then on a boat on Sundays. So many times, Sunday is less busy.

The morning is also busier than the afternoon. My general MO - and we did this on 8/25 - is NOT to take the o-dark-30 boat over but do a later one. I think we arrived at the Park around 10AM and went in for our first dive at 11, around around Noon. Since a lot of these scuba groups are only doing two dives, they;'re leaving some time around Noon, 1, 2PM, so it's less crowded. In fact, by the time we did our final dive at 3PM, we had the stairs to ourselves pretty much.

As to your suggestion that divers take their business elsewhere, they're charging $8 for an airfill. If you do three dives, that's $24 over the course of the day. They're charging $55/person for the guided snorkel and they can do it two or three or even four times a day. The groups I saw generally had 10 people in them. Do the math.

As for the comment about Avalon Baggage Service, they're nice folks but they've got limited vehicles. I have always (and I mean ALWAYS - dating back to 1981) used taxis to get around Mole-to-Casino is about $15 (with tip), you can easily do 4 or sometimes even 5 people in a cab (so $3/person) and you ride in the taxi instead of walk, and they'll be there a few minutes after you call. Only caveat is that you have to be dry. But if you're using them at the beginning of the day to get there, and at the end of the day to get back to the boat (or hotel if you're staying over), that shouldn't be an issue.

And to go back to where we started, even on crowded days, just keep an eye on the groups and time your movements. If you do it right, you shouldn't experience too much of a traffic jam. If you pay no attention to the flow, then expect to get stuck on the stairs.

- Ken

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