Our goal is to make every aspect of booking a California diving trip on the Spectre Dive Boat as easy as possible.
The team at FareHarbor has made online booking easy and for those who prefer the human touch, Ted and his wife Shannon are still there to pick-up the phone and help make your dive experience the best it can be. Call 866-CALDIVE.
Captain Ted Cumming is the owner of the Spectre. Since taking over the boat in 1986 he and his crew have made it one of the most popular and well run dive operations in California offering scuba diving at Anacapa and Santa Cruz Channel Islands. A few years later he created Cal Boat Diving, the booking and gear rental division for the Spectre.
Cal Boat Diving is the only company that makes it possible to book everything needed by phone or computer. The rental gear is delivered to the boat, all meals are provided and divers can sleep on the Spectre the night before at no extra cost. Reserve from anywhere in the world then show up and go diving.
Captain Ted is a Ventura County native. He grew up roaming the docks in Port Hueneme landing his first job on a sport fishing boat at age 14. He was a licensed captain by 21 and recently renewed his license for the tenth time for a total of 45 years as a captain. His son Nathan grew up on the Spectre. He was swimming in the Spectre hot tub before he was 5 and became a certified diver at age 11.
Not to be outdone by his dad, Nathan received his 100 ton captain’s license at age 20. He worked alongside his dad on weekends and summers becoming skilled in every aspect of the operation. Once licensed, he worked as second captain and ran the Spectre when Ted took time off.
In 2015 Ted and Shannon moved with their 3 Australian Shepherds to the northeast side of Mount Shasta where they have a home in the Shasta Valley. Nathan became the full time Spectre captain while his dad and Shannon handle operations. It was and remains a family business.
While Ted was running landing craft in 1970 in the Mekong Delta, the Spectre, then the John Brown was being built in Louisiana to service offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. All aluminum, at 85 feet the Spectre is one of the largest and fastest dive boats in operation. She was converted to a dive boat in 1985, a year before Ted came on as captain.
Prior to that, the boat worked oil platforms offshore in Louisiana before its purchase in 1980 by an oil boat company in California. The new owners navigated the John Brown across the Gulf, through the Panama Canal and along the Pacific Coast to Channel Islands Harbor.
The oil industry was flat and they couldn’t find work for their new boat. They once again went to sea taking the long coastal journey to Alaska. With no better luck the John Brown returned to California and eventually was sold at auction.
A dive boat captain fond of James Bond movies leased the boat from the new owner in 1985 then renamed her Spectre after the villainous Bond organization. Compressors were installed, dive stations built, the galley and bunks were modified and a swim step appeared on the stern.
The Spectre moved into a slip in Channel Islands harbor and began operating trips for Southern California dive shops to Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. The first year was tough and the captain who started it left the operation. That’s when the owner contacted Ted and he agreed to take over.
A year later the Spectre moved a few miles up the coast to Ventura Harbor where she has operated ever since. During the past 30 years every aspect of the boat was remodeled, upgraded or changed into what divers enjoy today. A hot tub and an on deck shower room were added. New engines, generators and compressors were installed. A sun deck was created above the cabin and bunks were upgraded.
Every inch of the Spectre was designed and built for divers. And the crew continues to innovate and make improvements. It is our hope that the next generation of divers will enjoy what Ted and his family have built as much as the last generation.
With an experienced young captain and crew to greet them, customers who have been on the Spectre for many years share the deck with brand new as well as experienced divers discovering the Spectre for the first time. It is our hope that you too will enjoy the incredible wonders beneath the waters of the Channel Islands from a boat built just for you.