For more than 26 years the dive boat Spectre has consistently offered excellent service to the divers of Southern California. Their loyal following of customers provides irrefutable evidence regarding their longstanding commitment to excellence.
The Spectre hails from Ventura Harbor Village dock and caters to divers on trips to Anacapa Island and the east end of Santa Cruz Island in the Northern Channel Islands. These destinations are stunning both above and below the water, and are part of the Channel Islands National Park. Almost all of Spectre’s excursions are single-day trips.
Some consider the diving around Anacapa Island — actually a tight chain of three islets — to be the best of all eight Channel Islands. The area that faces the mainland is a marine preserve with opportunities for interactions with plenty of big, friendly fish. Hunting is allowed along the backside at some stunning sites, including Coral Reef, Channels, Underwater Island, Underwater Arch, and the sea lion encounter.
The Spectre runs trips on Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays. Most of these trips fill up quickly. In addition, the mid-week three-quarter day trips on Fridays year-round are a favorite of many divers. So are the Wednesday open boats that operate during the summer.
These three-quarter day, three-tank dive trips are quite popular and convenient, due in part to a later than normal departure time of 8:00 a.m. and early 4:30 p.m. return. Air fills, a continental breakfast, and a tasty full-on BBQ chicken lunch with a drink (vegetarian meal available on request) are included in the fare. Between dive snacks are also available. The same offerings are included on their weekend and holiday open boats and charter trips. The weekend trips generally depart at 7 a.m. and include four dives.
The anchoring system developed by the Spectre makes for convenient diving. Dual anchors, one astern and the other off the bow hold the boat steady on the dive site eliminating boat swing and minimizing any rocking motion.
Along the ample dive deck each diver has his or her own individual dive station with a bench, and ample storage. Dive bags can be stored under the bench or emptied of essential items and stored on the sundeck. A small shelf atop each diver’s station is perfect for storing accessories like gloves, spare part kits, dive lights, snorkels and masks.
A diver simply needs to rest on the bench, don the tank assembly, stand up (don’t forget to remove the bungee cord!) and head for the water. Entries and exits are via the stern swim platform, where the attentive crew waits to assist divers.
You needn’t worry that a trip will stall because of a slow fill. The compressors are meticulously kept so that tanks receive a full fill and fast.
Powerful twin engines propel the sleek and sturdy 85-foot steel hull Spectre through the seas, typically reaching Anacapa in about 90 minutes. With a boat this size there are plenty of amenities including a large sundeck and a huge galley with large tables to accommodate photographers. Below decks you’ll find bunks for 32. There are two full heads with showers on the deck level and another below, also with a shower. No surprise here, the favorite onboard amenity for many divers is the spacious hot tub.
Captain Ted Cumming has been operating the boat since 1986 and recently became full owner. Truly a family operation, his expert crew consists of his wife Shannon and son/captain Nathan.
Ventura Harbor Village
Equipment rental is available and can be delivered directly to the boat.