One aspect of diving that everyone loves when on vacation is the wonderful experience of diving from the beautifully-appointed, modern custom dive boats that are often found in resort destinations. These are boats that were designed and built with the divers’ needs and comfort in mind. There is always a place for cameras and storing dry items, convenient tank racks and comfortable rides with ample seating to and from the various dive sites. Easy entry into and exit from the water is another added bonus. These conveniences were not lost on Ventura Dive & Sport’s owners and divers as they enjoyed diving throughout the world.
After giving careful consideration to what might constitute the perfect dive boat for enjoying the Channel Islands, the Raptor came to fruition in July 2006. Built in Slidell LA by Newton Dive Boats, the Raptor is an awesome dive boat. Measuring 46’ in length and sporting a generous beam of 16’, the Raptor features a roomy upper deck with seating, a fully heated main cabin for those chilly fall and winter days at Anacapa and a satellite sound-system with 8 speakers.
With a cruising speed of just over 20 knots, the Raptor can have you in the water diving in the beautiful Channel Islands in 40 minutes! There is a comfortable indoor cabin area, camera table, galley and a roomy marine head. From mid-ships aft you’ll find additional tank stations with ample storage for equipment. Large rails adorn the aft deck and swim step making donning fins a breeze and placing you one giant-stride away from incredible dive sites.
Equipped with an electronic diver-recall system as well as a DAN (Diver’s Alert Network)approved oxygen system, safety is of the utmost importance aboard the Raptor. With a pre-departure briefing and role-call at the dock as well after each dive, you know you are being well cared for and watched over.
Fresh, hot coffee and doughnuts await divers as they arrive in the morning, along with hot water for apple cider or hot chocolate on the way out to the islands. Between dives, fresh fruit and vegetables with dip are put out buffet-style along with an endless supply of soda and fresh ice-water. Typical lunches include a wide variety of hot dishes and homemade sandwiches ( ham & cheese, delicious tuna) as well as everything from hot soups and stews to pulled pork or lasagna. (By the way, lunch and snacks are included with every charter!)
(One suggestion: Be sure to leave a little room for the fresh, homemade brownies or chocolate-chip cookies that we serve for dessert. You’ll be glad you did!)
Most divers do not enjoy hauling SCUBA tanks from their cars to a dive boat and back again. Thankfully, when you choose to dive the Raptor, all the tanks are already on the boat prior to your arrival with a choice of steel 85s (15-Litre) or steel HP 72s (10-Litre) for the smaller divers. Any other rental equipment that may be needed is conveniently located steps away from the boat at Ventura Dive and Sport, located just at the top of the gangway which leads to the boat.
Feel free to call ahead to reserve your rental gear or send us an e-mail if you prefer.
Come out and get the resort experience right here at home. Diving is supposed to be fun and convenient and that’s what it is on the Raptor.
All trips include steel tanks as well as drinks, snacks and a hot lunch.