FAQ

Frequent Asked Questions

General Questions


You can use the Santa Barbara Harbor parking lot. Please park only in the white single stalls. The yellow double-length stalls are reserved for vehicles with boat trailers, and you will be ticketed or towed. Bring your parking stub into the SEA Landing office and our staff will validate your ticket for a reduced rate of $3/day.
Multi-Day trips to the Northern Islands depart at 4am. Southern Island departure times will vary depending on destination. We encourage groups to spend the night on board the boat the night before departure. Unless otherwise notified, you may board at 8pm on the night before, and our trips return to the dock by 5pm.
Our boats are equipped with a large bunk room complete with single and double wide bunks. Clean blankets and pillows are provided, however it is recommended to bring a sleeping bag for further comfort. The bunks are equipped with privacy curtains and a reading light as well as storage for personal belongings. The boat also includes private changing rooms and hot showers both inside and outside.
Yes. Please notify the members of your party to read the “Welcome Aboard” sheets when they arrive. These describe where everything on the boat is located and are displayed on the galley tables. The captain will give an orientation and safety talk the first morning and address any questions or concerns.
It is imperative that each person prints his or her name on the boat manifest upon arrival. The manifest is located on a table at the entrance to the galley. No roll call is taken before departure, and it is the individual’s responsibility to be sure everyone in the party is onboard before departure.
All Multi-Day trips include a hot breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Snacks, fresh fruit, cookies, candy, and hot and cold drinks are also available throughout the day. We do not provide alcoholic beverages. You are welcome to bring any beverages onboard. Be sure to notify Truth Aquatics in advance if you have any special dietary needs.
Yes. Anyone taking game must have a California Fishing License and appropriate tags/report cards. You may purchase these at the SEA Landing office before your trip. Please adhere to all Fish & Game regulations. Regulation books will be available on board.
Yes. Please check the boat thoroughly before disembarking. Truth Aquatics maintains a lost & found should any personal items be left behind. Truth Aquatics will do everything in its power to locate the missing item and arrange for its safe return. Truth Aquatics cannot accept responsibility for any items left behind and holds unclaimed items for up to 1 month.
Yes, we would like to know how to serve you better! Trip Evaluation sheets are available in the galley on each boat. The more we receive the better we become, so please fill one out at the conclusion of your trip. Thank you in advance!
No, tipping is not included or required, but is sincerely appreciated when earned. If you feel the service was exceptional, a 15%, or $20 per person per day, gratuity is appropriate.
Zero tolerance! As mandated by the Coast Guard, no illegal drugs are permitted on board.
Yes. The SEA Landing Dive Center is fully equipped with scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking equipment, available for rent for the duration of your trip. We also rent fishing poles, and sell weights, hooks, and frozen bait.

Scuba Diving

Outer Islands:

Dives generally consist of medium-level diving. San Miguel and Santa Rosa tend to be more prone to strong current, and the dive sites are on average a little deeper.; Both islands boast abundant marine life and these trips are ideal for hunters and photographers alike.

Santa Cruz Island:

Dives are slower paced, easier diving. Generally the current is minimal and the sites are of relatively shallow depth. These trips are ideal for divers who may not be used to boat diving, divers who have just been certified, or for those who have not been diving for some time.

Rig Dives:

Truth Aquatics occasionally runs one day dive trips to Platform Grace. Grace is an oil rig that sits between Santa Barbara Harbor and Anacapa Island. The platform sits in about 250 feet of water, so divers will choose at what depth they’d like to dive it. On a rig dive, the boat will act as a mothership, idling near the rig. The crew will then take divers out on the skiff 6 at a time to dive the rig. The skiff will drop the divers off on the up current side of the rig, and pick them up down current. Then, the skiff will return to the boat to pick up the next set of divers. This process will be repeated until each diver has had a chance to dive the rig twice. Then, the boat will head over to Anacapa or Santa Cruz Island for a dive or two to finish off the day.

Wreck Dives:

We will normally dive the SM1 and the Gosford, which are wrecks located up the coast near Pt. Conception. The SM1 is an early oil drilling barge that lies relatively intact in approximately 80 ft. of water. The Gosford is a four-masted wooden sailing lying in 35-55 ft of water. Both wrecks are subject to current and are considered intermediate diving. Because of the variety of sea life that congregates around the wrecks, wreck dives appeal to both hunters and photographers.

FAQ
How do bunks work on 1-Day trips?
Just as on all dive trips, passengers on 1-day dives are encouraged to board the boat the night before departure. However, bunks on one day trips are not reserved in advance. All bunks are first come, first served on one day trips so if passengers have a bunk preference, we recommend arriving early.

How many dives per day?
One day trips will usually do 4 dives. However, depending on conditions, there are times when we can only do 3 and times when we can do as many as 5

Are towels and bedding provided?
We provide a pillow and a blanket. We recommend passengers bring a sleeping bag as well as their own towels.

Do instructors receive a discount?
Instructors may go for free on one day trips.

Are non-divers allowed aboard?
Non-divers are allowed on our dive trips.

Do non-divers pay full price?
On one day dive trips, non-divers half-price but are not allowed to enter the water. However, non-divers who choose to pay full price are allowed to snorkel or kayak.

What are non-divers allowed to do?
Non-Divers may pay half-price but are not allowed to enter the water. However, non-divers who choose to pay full price are allowed to snorkel or kayak. These are available to rent at an additional cost and a reservation is highly recommended.

Will there be alcohol on the trip?
Alcohol is not included, nor is it available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own.

Can you bring coolers?
You may bring coolers with you on the trip.

All Truth Aquatics dive trips include meals, snacks, beverages, and air fills onboard the boat. Unless otherwise noted, all Truth Aquatics dives visit the Northern Channel Islands. Water temperatures can vary from mid 50s during the winter and spring to upper 60s during the summer and fall. The habitat is best described as Rock Reef and Kelp diving. 30-50 ft. visibility is average, though it can exceed 100 ft at times.

Guided diving:

We don’t have a dive masters onboard the boat. The captain will give a briefing on each dive spot covering depth, terrain and conditions and then divers are free to dive and explore. We do have a chase boat and staff a safety diver, who is ready to enter the water in an emergency. If we need a diver master, we recommend the SEA Landing Dive Center.

Air Fills:

With our onboard compressors can fill tanks to 3500 psi. Deck staff is always on hand to fill tanks during a diver’s surface interval, so there is no time lost. Nitrox is also available!

Destinations:

On multi day dives are the Northern Channel Islands. They will begin at San Miguel Island, weather permitting, and usually work down the chain visiting a different island each day. We will also do one night dive per night, as long as conditions.

Boarding / Departure:

Procedures on multi-day dive trips and multi-day island excursions are similar. Passengers may board the boat any time after 8pm on the night before departure, and all trips depart at 4am.

FAQ
What Skill Level is required?
On multi-day dives, we vary the type and skill level of the dives in order to accommodate divers of all experience levels. We do require at least an “Open Water” certification.

How many dives will we get?
A 3-Day dive trip can usually visit 5-6 different dive spots on each of the first two days. The third day normally visits 4 spots

Do I have to board the night before? / Is it possible to board in the morning?
Passengers are welcome to come down in the morning to board. If they would like to board in the morning, they must be paid in full for the trip beforehand, and must need no rental dive gear. Also, we recommend being here at least an hour before departure time.

Is hunting allowed onboard?
Hunting is allowed on all of our trips. The boat has several freezers, as well as a game hold to keep your catch fresh until we get back to dock. Or, if you’d like, the crew is happy to cook your fish onboard.

What are the license requirements for hunting onboard?
In order to hunt on a multi-day trip, you must have a fishing license covering every single day that you are on the boat, regardless of whether you’re planning on taking game every day. Additional requirements will apply for taking lobster.

How many people fit on the boat?
On the Vision and Conception, 35 passengers, and on the Truth 30 passengers.

Will there be alcohol on the trip?
Alcohol is not included, nor is it available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own.

Can you bring coolers?
You may bring coolers with you on the trip.

Southern Islands Dives occur mainly in the summer months and during October. These trips will visit destinations other than the Northern Channel Islands, like San Clemente Island, Catalina Island, San Nicholas Island, or Cortez Banks. These trips are always marked on the calendar with their destination and departure time.

FAQ

What is different about the Southern Islands?
Southern Islands diving is mostly rock reef and kelp forest diving, just like the Northern Islands. However, water temperatures tend to be warmer at the Southern Islands (exceeding 70 degrees in the summer) and as a result, the visibility can be better. Also, the Southern Islands dives tend to see more pelagic fish species. Divers are more likely to see fish like yellowtail, barracuda, and even tuna on Southern Islands dives.

What is the itinerary for a Southern Islands Dive?
A southern islands dive will normally spend the first day at the listed destination, and then slowly work back up to the Northern Islands visiting different spots along the way. For example, a 3-Day San Clemente Dive will dive San Clemente Island on day 1, Catalina Island on day 2, and the Northern Islands on day 3. This process makes for the most varied and interesting diving.

Southern Islands Departure Times:

  • Cortez Banks: 9 pm
  • San Clemente Island: 10 pm
  • Catalina Island: 11:30 pm
  • San Nicholas Island: 12 am
  • Santa Barbara Island: 1:30 am

Why do these trips cost more?
These destinations are farther down the cost, so a fuel surcharge is added to the normal price.

Will there be alcohol on the trip?
Alcohol is not included, nor is it available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own.

Can you bring coolers?
You may bring coolers with you on the trip.

Limited Load Dives normally occur once per month. These trips are normally very similar to normal multi-day dives, except that the number of tickets sold onboard the boat is decreased. On a normal multi-day dive onboard the Vision, for example, we would sell out at 35 passengers. On a Limited Load onboard the Vision, we are sold out at 26 passengers. This provides the divers with a little extra elbow room.

Food:

In addition to the limit on passengers, Limited Load dives traditionally will have more refined menus. For example, traditionally on multi-day trips we will do a tri-tip dinner. On a Limited Load trip, this might be a fillet mignon instead.

Skill Level:

Limited Load diving generally appeals to more experienced divers, and as a result the diving is often a bit more challenging. Limited Load trips also tend to have a lot of photographers onboard, so more often than not they will be looking for sites with clear, clean water and a lot of sea life.

FAQ
What Skill Level is required?
On multi-day dives, we vary the type and skill level of the dives in order to accommodate divers of all experience levels. We do require at least an “Open Water” certification.

How many dives will we get?
A 3-Day dive trip can usually visit 5-6 different dive spots on each of the first two days. The third day normally visits 4 spots

Do I have to board the night before? / Is it possible to board in the morning?
Passengers are welcome to come down in the morning to board. If they would like to board in the morning, they must be paid in full for the trip beforehand, and must need no rental dive gear. Also, we recommend being here at least an hour before departure time.

Is hunting allowed onboard?
Hunting is allowed on all of our trips. The boat has several freezers, as well as a game hold to keep your catch fresh until we get back to dock. Or, if you’d like, the crew is happy to cook your fish onboard.

What are the license requirements for hunting onboard?
In order to hunt on a multi-day trip, you must have a fishing license covering every single day that you are on the boat, regardless of whether you’re planning on taking game every day. Additional requirements will apply for taking lobster.

Will there be alcohol on the trip?
Alcohol is not included, nor is it available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own.

Excursions

Island Adventures are relaxed pace, daylong trips for kayaking, snorkeling and enjoying the Channel Islands. Like dive trips, all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages are included. The ticket price also includes skiff tours of Painted Cave, weather allowing.

Destination:

For Island Adventures is the western end of front side Santa Cruz Island, as long as weather allows.

Itinerary:

  • Departure time is 8 am. Passengers will be served a continental breakfast during the crossing to Santa Cruz Island. This crossing will generally take about 2 hours.
  • Upon Arrival at Santa Cruz Island, the boat’s first destination is Painted Cave. As long as weather allows, the crew will conduct skiff tours of the cave. This area is great for viewing humpback and blue whales, as well as seals, sea lions, and dolphins.
  • After the cave, we will motor down to a cove and anchor the boat. The crew will unload kayaks for those wishing to kayak and we will be near some good snorkeling for the snorkelers.
  • Hot BBQ Lunch will be served in the early afternoon. We will start heading home around 2:30 or 3 and be at the dock at 4:30pm.

 

FAQ

Where can I rent my gear?
The SEA Landing Dive Center is fully equipped with scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking equipment, available for rent for the duration of your trip. We also rent fishing poles, and sell weights, hooks, and frozen bait.

Is Diving allowed?
Diving is allowed for those passengers who wish to dive. Like on dive trips, air fills are included.

Is Hiking allowed?
No. This is Nature Conservancy private land.

Are children allowed onboard?
Children are welcome onboard island adventure trips. These trips are meant to be family oriented and all activities are all kid-friendly.

What is included in the ticket price?
The ticket includes a continental breakfast, hot lunch, and a snack on the way home. All snorkeling and kayaking gear is separate, but can be arranged. Passengers may also rent fishing rods for these trips.

What are the rental prices?
A snorkel package is $20, single kayaks are $35, tandem kayaks are $60 for the day.

What is the price of the trip?
Adults $100, children ages 5-12 are $50, and ages 4 and under are free.

Multi-Day Island Excursion trips are sort of combination hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, relaxation trips that visit multiple islands over several days, usually one island per day. Just like dive trips, island excursions include all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages in the trip price.

Destinations:

On multi day island excursions are the Northern Channel Islands. We normally begin at San Miguel Island (weather permitting) for the first day, move to Santa Rosa Island for the second day, and visit Santa Cruz Island on the third day.

Itinerary:

On island excursions is very flexible, but tends to go something like this:

  • After breakfast, the naturalist and any passengers who would like to hike are dropped off on whatever island we happen to be hiking that day. They will proceed on to do a hike. The hikers will either take a sack lunch onto the island, or they will be picked up early afternoon to have hot lunch onboard the boat.
  • During the afternoon, we usually give everyone who wants to kayak or snorkel a chance to do so. It is also likely that we will do some sort of group activity, such as Painted Cave tours on Santa Cruz, pinniped viewing at San Miguel, or possibly a marine bio lesson from the captain with organisms that he may pick up diving.
  • For dinner, We will anchor in a protected area and there will be more opportunity for snorkeling or kayaking before sunset. This entire process will repeat the following day for a different island.

Boarding / Departure:

Procedures on multi-day island excursions are similar to those of multi-day dive trips. Passengers may board the boat any time after 8pm on the night before departure, and all trips depart at 4am.

FAQ
What is the difficulty of hikes on the islands?
Hiking on multi-day island trips is generally easy to medium. All hikes are lead by onboard naturalists, and the hikes are generally tailored to the skill level and wishes of the group.

Is Diving allowed?
Diving is allowed for those passengers who wish to dive. The quality of the dive spots visited will typically not be that of the spots on a dedicated dive trip, but we will do our best to put them over something interesting. Like on dive trips, air fills are included.

Do I have to board the night before? / Is it possible to board in the morning?
Passengers are welcome to come down in the morning to board. If they would like to board in the morning, they must be paid in full for the trip beforehand, and must need no rental gear. Also, we recommend being here at least an hour before departure time.

Are children allowed onboard?
Children are welcome onboard island excursion trips. These trips are meant to be family oriented and hikes, kayaking conditions, snorkel spots, and activities are all kid-friendly.

Are the hikes guided or self-led?
For those interested, a naturalist joins us on these trips to lead hikes each day.

Will there be alcohol on the trip?
Alcohol is not included, nor is it available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own.

Can you bring coolers?
You may bring coolers with you on the trip.