Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I book a trip aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. To book a trip aboard the Sand Dollar, look at our trip schedule and click on the blue event in the calendar for the information for that trip. When available, follow the link to the website of the trip organizer or call the provided phone number to make your reservation.

Q. What are the driving directions to the Sand Dollar?

A. You can find our driving directions here and if not, block by your browser, you can use the driving directions widget at the bottom of the directions page to enter your starting location and get directions to the Sand Dollar.

Q. What is the parking fee while on a trip aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. Once you have arrived at Port's O'Call Village, look for the yellow sign marked with "Berth 75" and park in this area. All parking is free for the duration of the trip. Please make sure that your vehicle is properly secured before our departure.

Q. What is included for my passenger trip price aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. All trips include a bunk assignment with a pillow, light blanket, three full meals and snacks in between meals, non-alcoholic beverages and a boat load of fun. If it is a SCUBA diving trip, Low Pressure Steel Cylinders are available and lead and weight belts for those passengers who fly into town. Otherwise, we highly recommend you bring your own weights.

Q. Are tips accepted on-board the Sand Dollar?

A. Yes, tipping is a very personal choice and should reflect the level of service you received. We offer a simple guideline. We suggest an average tip of 10-20% of the cost of your trip, with more being acceptable if you so choose. The tips are given to the captain and divided equally among the crew at the end of your trip. We ask that your tips be in cash or travelers checks.

Q. What kind of wetsuit will I need?

A. Southern California is considered to have temperate climate. Water temperature can range form 55F to 65F (13C to 18C). We recommend at a minimum, a 7mm wetsuit and depending on your body build and physiology, more or less rubber to keep you comfortable to enjoy your trip.

Q. What is the bunk arrangement?

A. The Sand Dollar has 21 bunks, 9 doubles and 12 singles. You can view a PDF copy of the Sand Dollar bunk layout here (pdf icon). Please check with the trip organizer as to their rules for bunk assignments. On open boat trips, it is first-come first-served with the exception of bunks, which are reserved for couples or buddies or for someone who paid for the use of a double as a single bunk.

Q. What kind of bedding is provided for my bunk?

A. The Sand Dollar only provides a pillow and a light blanket for the bunk. It is highly recommended that you bring a sleeping bag and any additional bedding you desire.

Q. What kind of meals are served on the Sand Dollar?

A. The Sand Dollar provides freshly prepared hearty meals for all of the trips. The menu varies based on the cook's trip plan, a sample of meals that can be served is as follows: pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage, hash browns, eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, chili, homemade soup, muffins, salad, pizza, fajitas, tacos, chicken, corn on cob, pasta, pork chops, baked ham, roast beef, ribs, enchiladas, cake, brownies, and ice cream.

Q. Are vegetarian or vegan meals available aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. Yes, special meals will be prepared for passengers that provide a prior notice as to their meal requirements during their check-in process. We ask that you let us know ahead of time about your meal preference and not while we are serving so we can prepare something for you.

Q. Is there a meal service after the last event of the day returning to port?

A. The Sand Dollar will prepare and serve a final meal to the passengers on our way back to the dock, it is included in the trip price.

Q. Are alcoholic beverages sold aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. No. Only non-alcoholic beverages are provided on the Sand Dollar. If you wish to bring your own alcohol it is permissible. We ask that you drink in moderation. Please be aware that no diving will be allowed for any diver who has consumed even a single drop of alcohol.

Q. Can I smoke on the Sand Dollar?

A. Yes, but only on the bow and swim step. We discourage smoking for the obvious health reasons. We ask that our smoking passengers please be considerate of those who may prefer a non-smoking environment.

Q. Can I bring my own cylinder?

A. We encourage you to take advantage of the Low Pressure cylinders on board. However, you can bring your own cylinder, which can be filled at a maximum working pressure of 2400 PSI. Our compressors are setup for low pressure fills. If you do bring a high pressure cylinder, we will not fill your cylinder beyond the recommended 2400 PSI capacity or our equipment.

Q. Are weights and weight belts provided aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. Yes, only for divers who have flown in for a trip. All other divers, local and out of state who drive to the Sand Dollar, are strongly recommended to bring their own lead and weight system.

Q. Are Nitrox fills included in my trip price aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. No, Nitrox is available on board for any Nitrox Certified diver for a fee. Our current rate for Nitrox fills is $12.00/fill.

Q. What kind of support for my photography gear is available aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. Rinse buckets for cameras are available on the stern of the boat near the swim steps. Above the Starboard and Port galley tables, we have placed small shelves to act as recharging stations for electronic devices. The voltage at the charging station is US 110 VAC. You are welcome to use the galley tables to work on your equipment after meals are served and the area is cleared.

Q. Can I hunt(spear fish)aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. Please check with the trip organizer when you book your reservation if they allow hunting on their charter. Hunting is permitted on special open boat trips. However, you must have a valid Fish and Game license, an Ocean Enhancement Stamp and if grabbing lobster, a lobster report card. It is strongly recommended that you also become fully aware of what the current hunting regulations are to avoid any citations if we are boarded by the Department of Fish and Games.

Q. Are Fish and Game licenses sold aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. No. The Sand Dollar no longer carries fishing licenses for sale on board. Please refer to the answer above for additional information.

Q. What can I expect to happen if there is a trip cancellation?

A. When there is a trip cancellation either due to weather or if not enough passengers signed up, please check with the charter organizer where you purchased your trip as to their policy. When it is an open boat trip, Diving Charters Inc. will give you the choice of signing up for a future trip, or refund your payment minus any processing fee when applicable.

Q. How are passenger emergencies handled aboard the Sand Dollar?

A. The Sand Dollar is equipped with a first aid kit, oxygen supply and a defribilator. The crew will assist with the emergency and notify Bay Watch and the US Coast Guard for additional support.

Q. With rising fuel cost, do I have to pay an additional fuel surcharge for my trip?

A. Due to the dramatic increase in fuel costs, we are forced to charge a $5.00 daily charge to help offset the enormous increase in the price fuel. We have held our price low for over two years and plan to continue with that policy. We appreciate your understanding on this matter and hope the price of fuel stabilizes soon. We do not try to economize by cutting down on travel to the best dive sites, but we cannot absorb the entire increase in the cost of fuel.