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Nicoise Salad, California Style
Classic Nicoise salad hails from the southeast coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. Its name means, prepared "in the style of Nice" but I'm giving




Dive Boat Review: Peace

Author  : Dale Sheckler
Date  : March 22, 2010

I have dived the Peace a great deal over the past couple of decades and have gained a lot of fun memories. To this day she remains one of my favorite boats. she is a comfortable boat that is easy to dive, the crew has always been fantastic, And then there is the great HOT TUB!

Most of the world's luxury live-aboard dive boats now have hot tubs. But where did they get that idea? To the best of my recollection the Peace was the first dive boat to have a hot tub onboard. The hot tub is a great place to cut away at the chill of a cold Northern Channel Islands dive day. Or it's just a good place to just relax and socialize with other divers. Or perhaps it is even a place to steal some hot water to pour down your wetsuit just before hitting the chilly waters before a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th dive. It all works for me!

But the Peace is so much more that just a hot tub. First and foremost it is a boat of customer service. Owners Eric and Angie Bowman make sure of that. Eric frequently skippers the boat. All the skippers and crew know the best spots and will put you right on them for whatever you desire: nudibranchs, lobster, halibut, wrecks and more.

Service on deck and at the swimstep is just the way I like it. They are there when you need it, but not so much as to be intrusive. Request it and service is in the way of your personal diving style. I like to swap out my regulator myself between air fills. I like to put on my own tank. But I greatly appreciate the Johnny-on-the-spot help with my camera, both at the entry gate and swimstep when I get out. I also really like the help that is promptly offered at the swimstep getting my fins off. My wife Kim has a bad back and needs considerably more help. Again, it is prompt, attentive and without complaint.

Over its 25 years of service, the Peace has created a dive charter service that serves a wide spectrum of diver needs. One of the more popular trips is its Thursday Open Boat "Special." These reasonably priced trips cater to beginner and intermediate divers that want a low key Channel Islands diving experience. As with all of Peace's trips, food and air is included.

The Peace also runs specialty trips for lobster hunters, single and multi-day. (If you are a serious hunter, consider its end of season "Animals" 2-day trip March 16-17, 2010.) Another specialty trip of this boat is its free-diving hunting trips. They spearfish a lot of yellowtail on these excursions! And finally, the Peace does not shy away from advanced and technical divers. There is a DNAx membrane system onboard providing Nitrox at 32% (extra fee). The membrane system means tanks being filled do not need to be O2 cleaned. Rebreathers and tech divers are welcome. Other advanced diver features include a bow gate that is handy for heavy current entries and a chase boat if needed. Finally, for those big HP tanks, fills are up to 3,500 p.s.i. provided by two compressors for reliability.

For getting back aboard the boat, the swim step has an excellent angle for crawling up. Dual ladders mean minimal wait time. Back on deck there are numerous tank racks and storage under the benches for gear. If you come back with Game A circulating live game tank can be found on the stern as well as bins for your pole spears and spearguns. Camera? Two freshwater dunk tanks will accommodate them. Underwater photographers will also appreciate the battery charging station in the main salon.

This is a comfortable boat. Below decks in a well-ventilated bunkroom are single and double bunks, each with a blanket, pillow, reading light and privacy curtain. You are welcome to bring a sleeping bag if you wish. Round out the creature comfort list are hot showers, a sundeck and a clothes dryer.

The food is fantastic but flexible. I especially like their breakfasts. Lunch and dinner menus include BBQ steaks and chicken, pasta, Mexican, and more. But the cooks are also very accommodating. I once saw them prepare an excellent meal for a lactose-intolerant vegan!

The Peace runs single and multi-day dive trips mainly to the Northern Channel Islands, but occasionally to the Southern Channel Islands on extended trips. For more information on the Peace, visit www.peaceboat.com.



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