Diving in Southern California is an exciting and rich experience. There are beautiful kelp forests and diverse, thriving marine life waiting to be found beneath its waters. With good visibility and
relatively easy entry points, you can enjoy diving in Southern California all year round.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a popular destination for divers in San Diego, particularly as it is teeming with marine life every day. It is part of the La Jolla Park Ecological Reserve and has healthy and thick kelp beds, meaning that numerous fish listed on the Pacific Inshore Fish Guide can be regularly found here, including black sea bass, bat rays, octopus and horn sharks. It is fairly easy to access via a short flight of stairs, meaning that it can get busy and parking can be difficult as a result. Visibility can also vary, so be sure to check the weather conditions, particularly during the early Spring and late Winter.
The Oil Rigs
The oil rigs in Southern California offer a fantastic diving experience. The man-made rigs have
become colorful reefs, which are full of marine life and create a fun diving experience for divers. As well as schools of fish, you will often see sea lions, as well as have the opportunity to get some fresh scallops. You can get a boat from Southern California ports to get you to one of the oil rigs. The currents can be strong here, so make sure that you have two signaling devices and a cutting device, particularly as boats usually conduct active boating, rather than anchoring on site.
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This is one of my favorite photos of my super rad wife @aliciaviolin exploring a local dive site. I particularly like this image because it shows how diverse California diving can be. The second photo was taken at the exact same spot, just different time of year. The kelp comes and goes, water temp changes often, and the visibility is never consistent. This can be a disadvantage, but it really makes you appreciate the ever-changing environment, as well as perfect days like this! You never know what you’re going to get in SoCal!
The sandy soft shore entry of Diver’s Cove, along with its shallow depths, makes this a fantastic
diving site for beginners. The mini-reefs start almost immediately and it is also a great site for
sunrise and night diving. Located in Laguna Beach, this diving site is filled with marine life, such as starfish, sea urchins, and anemones. The deeper waters will provide the opportunity to see some bat rays, octopus and moray eels, whilst gorgonians and kelp forests can also be found a few hundred feet offshore. Horn and swell sharks can also sometimes be seen at night. The beach is a government protected area, which also makes it a fantastic site for snorkeling.
This site is particularly popular with instructors, due to its easy entry and exit points, calm surf, as
well as easy parking. It is suitable for divers of all experience levels and during the week you are
likely to find classes being held here. It is often used as a site for navigational dives, as well as night diving, which offers a fantastic opportunity to see a whole host of colorful invertebrates and small creatures, which are often hidden during the daytime. Expect to see a wide range of marine life including octopus, scorpionfish, pipefish, sarcastic fringehead, baby horn sharks and plenty of sand dollars.
Located halfway between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, Reef Point offers one of the prime and thriving examples of rocky coral reefs in California. Entry can be quite challenging, involving a short hike, sometimes over slippery rocks. The dangerous rocky reefs near the shoreline mean that you should avoid beginning your dive at low tide. Divers will be rewarded with walls bursting with aquatic life, including zoanthid anemones, and fantastic swim-throughs created from rock and coral formations. Look out for the blennies, moray eels and nudibranchs on the reef.
Leo Carillo is a popular dive site for beginners due to its easy entries and ample parking. It is also one of the most popular sites for night diving, as well as lobster hunting. Healthy kelp beds can be found along with its three main entry points (South Leo, Sequit Point, and North Leo). You will also find a variety of marine wildlife, as well as some larger marine animals. Anything from halibut to large bay rays and sharks is waiting to be found, making this an exciting dive for divers of all experience levels.
Whatever stage of diving you’re at, you are sure to find an amazing spot in Southern California. Filled with diverse and beautiful marine life, it is certain to be a dive you will remember.
About the Author
Beatrix Potter is a professional writer at both OXEssays and Economics Writing Service UK. Bea enjoys scuba diving in her spare time and regularly writes articles about diving. She also tutors students at all stages of education at Elite Assignment Help website.