I have gone diving for sharks teeth many times off of Venice but only started diving off of the boats in the summer of 2011. Since that time, I’ve done about 40 boat dives. Diving with Captain Jamie on the Aristakat has quickly become my favorite. The Aristakat is a great dive platform. It is fast, stable, and only holds six divers so it never feels crowded (either on deck or when hunting under the boat). I was on a larger boat with a different company last summer and after two very poor visibility morning dives, the afternoon dives were switched to a location much farther south. It was a long, slow ride out and a fuel surcharge was added (reasonable, in my opinion, given fuel costs). In contrast, when conditions started to decline after our first morning dive on the Aristakat, the captain decided to take us much farther south for better visibility on the second dive (and no surcharge was added). I think the speed of the boat and the fewer number of divers on board allows the trip to be modified as conditions dictate. I had come to believe that the “Boneyard” was a relatively small area off of Venice beach because all of my previous charter dives seemed to be in a similar area. Each time I’ve gone with the Aristakat, the captain and the mate discuss the conditions and then explain to the other divers where they’ve chosen and why. I was surprised by how varied the dive locations were. Fossil diving can be hit or miss, but I think my chances for finding big teeth are improved when we dive less hunted areas and the dives can be modified to best address current conditions. I think others feel the same. On almost every dive there seemed to be at least one member of the local fossil club, and most divers were experienced tooth hunters. I also liked how the captain and the mate worked with less experienced divers. When a couple that was new to diving expressed trepidation about the dive, the mate dove with them on their first dive. Overall, the Aristakat offers exactly what I’m looking for when diving for teeth in Venice. It is a great boat, the captain and crew are friendly, competent and helpful, and most importantly, they put you on the teeth. I’ve already booked my next ten dives.
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