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Need Advice

Discussion in 'NorCal' started by DirtDart, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. DirtDart

    DirtDart New

    So I'm a new diver. My name is Aaron and I'm 27. I'm a software engineer and photographer. I was recently certified through the Maui Dive Shop in Maui. I've only been diving in Maui and I'm curious about where the good spots are here in Northern California.

    I live in the SF Bay Area and would love a local spot I can easily get to on the weekends, but I've heard something about the "Red Triangle" and the water seems to pretty cold here with low visibility.

    What is this Red Triangle and what area does it primarily occupy? I don't want to dive with sharks.

    Do I really need a drysuit around here or is a wetsuit sufficient?

    Are there any local dive groups in the SF Bay Area or maybe any potential dive buddies in the San Mateo County area? I live in San Bruno.

    Any info is greatly appreciated.


    PS- I really like this emote: :mooner:
  2. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    :jaws: Then what were you doing diving in Maui with sharks? :hai: Do some research on sharks and you will see our great whites here are mostly surface feeders. That is why ab divers and surfers are at the highest risk. Even then very very remote chance. The chances of a shark attack on a scuba diver are extremely slim. You are more likely to drown from other reasons. :sharks:

    Many people dive the Monterey area. The North Coast is another great place to dive. The water temperature in either place is about the same. If money is not an option a drysuit is the better way to go. I wear two wetsuits and stay plenty warm, but then again I am always cold.

    Oh and welcome to scubaboard :wavey:
  3. Ben_ca

    Ben_ca Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area
    Welcome to the Nor Cal section.... Browse thru the old threads and you'll find plenty of info that you might find useful.

    The most popular dive sites for guys here in the SF bay area are in Monterey and Carmel Bays. A few will go up north to the less visited North Coast where you'll find unspoiled sealife and more rugged conditions.

    There's plenty to pick from.

    Look for the DVD Discover California Diving it just came out this last year and has plenty information on diving up and down the coast.

    But being a new diver(to cold water) I would stick with the "bunny slopes" like the Breakwater or Macabee until you get your bouyancy, trim and ascents and descents down.

    For these questions check out Chuck Tribolet's BA_Diving website

    Here's another good source for local info Clinto Bauder's Metridium Fields

    Good luck on finding buddies... if you can't find anyone let me know.... I'll be your wingman :)
  4. Ben_ca

    Ben_ca Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area
    Oh and about sharks? Don't worry they usually only eat newbies :D
  5. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    Be sure to get a cold water dive orientation. this may be by a mentor, hired DM or by doing AOW in the Bay area. Most of diving becomes a few notches more difficult with a heavier suit, gloves, hood and the requisite weights.

  6. skynscuba

    skynscuba Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Jose, CA
    Hi Aaron,

    A few people are warm-blooded enough that they don't require a dry suit. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I used a dry suit during my OW certification dives, so I have never dove wet in CA. Search here and on ba_diving (saw you there, too) and you will get a lot of opinion on suits.

    California Dive Center, www.cadive.com , is in San Bruno. I haven't dealt with them much, but my experience with them was good. My girlfriend has rented and purchased gear from them.

    There are several dive boats in Monterey. Most of the bay area dive shops organize charters with them once or twice a month, or you can book direct. Booking through the local dive shop gives you an opportunity to meet other divers from your area.

    You can find links to the Monterey dive boats at:

    You could get your AOW as an opportunity to get introduced to diving with heavier suits, lower vis, kelp, etc. You could get a drysuit rating at the same time.
  7. boingophreak

    boingophreak Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Cheney, WA
    Welcome to Nor Cal diving! Everything you have heard here so far I agree with. Monterey and Carmel are probably your best beginning spots. (Check out A Divers Guide to Montery and A Divers Guide to Nothern California by Bruce Watkins). You should be able to find them in any local dive shop around here.

    I see a lot of dry suits around, but I am happy with my 7mm full body wet and hood and gloves. Of cource I am also the idot who goes free diving in Alaska so what do I know.

    Depending on where and how deep you dive, vis can get pretty good. I just dove Monestary last weekend and vis was 40 feet in 32 fsw. Keep in mind that you want to get a number of dives in before you try Monestary as it is an advance dive site, but I am sure that you will be able to find lots of other sites to get your skill up first.

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