Avalon Dive Park
Overview
Established in 1962, the Avalon Underwater Park was the country's first city designated underwater park. With its rich and abundant sea life, easy access, and typically good visibility, it is a very popular dive sites hosting thousands of divers a year. During the summer months, hundreds of divers can be found diving the site and as a favorite location for check-out dives for Open Water scuba classes. Situated adjacent to the famous Casino, the park is roughly rectangular extending from the west-most side of the Casino round to the end of breakwater with buoys and lines marking the park boundaries. It has many points of interest including: the Jacques Yves Cousteau plaque, the Sujac (wreck), and a sunken swim platform from the 1960s.
Underwater
Entry is rather easy with concrete stairs and a hand-rail extending into the water during all but low-tide. Once entering the water, you will see the benefits of the park's preserve status as you experience a wealth of marine life, fish, invertebrates, kelp and other abundant plant life. Visibility is typically in the 40+ range and has been over 100+. Depth averages about 50' and you can easily reach 100' within the Park boundaries. As with most west coast diving, there are numerous thermoclines. Temperatures range from mid-60's on the surface; low 50's at depth during the summer and about 10 degrees cooler during the winter months. Amenities include: restrooms, pay lockers, nearby restaurants, and an air fill 'trailer' where you can rent AL80s and lead. Most visitors to the island arrive in Avalon via the Catalina Express or Catalina Flyer. It's a relatively short walk from the docks to the Underwater Park and taxi's are available.
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