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Roadtrip From WA To Socal - Need Diving Advice Please

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by Calvin Tang, May 18, 2016.

  1. Calvin Tang

    Calvin Tang Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest USA
    Well, I just decided to drive instead of fly down to the Scuba Show in Long Beach (from Seattle), and I want to dive some of the iconic sites along the west coast of California along the way and while I'm down in SoCal, where I'll be spending most of my time.

    I'm a complete n00b when it comes to diving in CA - so can anyone here please suggest must-see dive sites, good boat operators (for daytrips or liveaboards) I should look into, or local dive buddies and fellow SBers I should get in touch with?

    No info is too obvious! (for example water temps, currents, etc.) As I said, I know nothing about the diving in CA.

    I am an experienced shore diver (tech & rec, but this trip will be all OC rec + bailout), am bringing my drysuit and plan to shoot photos, hopefully the vis will cooperate for some nice wide angle shots.

    Some things I hope to see: photogenic/playful pinnipeds, kelp forests, oil rigs and anything else you ScubaBoarders suggest that sounds interesting!

    Thanks in advance, y'all!
  2. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    Scuba Shore Diving Site Listing for: California North, USA West
    Truth Aquatics: The Best In Liveaboard Diving, Island Kayaking and Hiking
    Peace Dive Boat | Channel Islands Scuba Diving, Lobster Hunting & More

    Oil Rig Eureka Charter June 4 @3pm (after attending Scuba Show in morning. . .)
    Specialty Boat Diving Trip Schedule - Advanced Dives

    Just in case:
    Pacific Grove Fire Dept/Monterey (Hyperbaric Chamber)
    Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber
    (The only two Recompression Chambers in the US solely dedicated for Dive Accident Casualties --both here in coastal/offshore California). . .
  3. Calvin Tang

    Calvin Tang Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest USA
    Wow, thanks for this great info Kevrumbo! I plan to dive the Oil Rig on the Pac Star with the Roddenberry Dive folks the day before the Scuba Show starts, but all the other info you gave me is great. Big thank you!!!
  4. sea_otter

    sea_otter DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Jose, CA
    Hi Calvin,

    Any plans to stop along the way? If so, Monterey / Carmel is well worthwhile. Point Lobos is a favorite amongst Northern California divers, and the scenic route down Highway 1 past Big Sur is spectacular.

    Here's some information on conditions: Monterey Sea Conditions at a Glance. If the seas are calm it is worth the stop.

    Come visit the NorCal forum if you have questions. :)
  5. shucksun

    shucksun Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: L.A.
  6. shucksun

    shucksun Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: L.A.
    Two iconic local dive spots in LA is Vets Park in Redondo Beach and Shaws Cove in Laguna Beach.
  7. geoff w

    geoff w Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: malibu
    There's a wealth of great information in Southern California Best Beach Dives Guide - http://amzn.to/1TuRmq3 With El Nino, local shore diving conditions in northern Santa Monica Bay to south Ventura County (i.e., around Malibu) this year can be generously described as really, really crappy compared to normal - poor viz, lots of surf, surgy. Catalina or the Channel Islands will probably provide better dive conditions. Peace Dive Boat | Channel Islands Scuba Diving, Lobster Hunting & More out of Ventura is great for Channel Islands trips
  8. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    Today I have tooo much time on my hands...

    Drive down...South ... HW 1 you are closer to the water and scenery

    Big Sur interesting area

    Plaskett Creek Campgrounds ..south of Big Sur
    Jade Cove about 1/2 mile south of Plaskett Creek Campgrounds
    Jade can often be found on beach or by diving
    Long walk to the beach...seldom dove by modern divers
    Take a Beer can opener to test the Jade - If it scratches it is serpentine --Toss!
    (no boats, no stairs and often big surf and poor visibility

    For information check
    My six page two part article L:A County Underwater News Jade Cove
    or Dr. Otto Gasser's more recent article on line in California diving ( or something ??)

    Moro Bay
    Moro rock - great for photography and a break
    IF time permits - Black mountain ,,scenic view of area
    Diving near Rock or USCG pier - lots of little critters under the pier

    San Luis Obispo
    Depth Perceptions Dive shop,,
    Small shop - lots of historic displays- very friendly owner
    (On display my 17+pound Lobster- Possibly the last big one on display)

    Malibu area numerous shore diving areas
    Some interesting historical dive shops

    PV--Purchase Max's book -- latest up to date information

    Orange county

    Aquatic Center dive shop Newport Beach
    One of the oldest in southern California therefore the nation
    At least three spearfishing records set by clients of the shop
    Not much remains of the original shop... Now owned by a Egyptian
    ( and manned by modern late model tube sucking bubble blowers )

    Shaws Cove...easy dive
    Historically significant for the Battle of Laguna in 1960s
    Divers vs Glen Vedder and Laguna Beach Officials for the right to dive ALL Laguna beach coves
    Compromised with the Laguna beach diving ordinance
    ( I am the last diver still alive who fought the battle with Glen and Laguna officials )
    (read about it in my forthcoming book- The Way it WUZ or ???

    Divers Cove ...easy dive
    Historically significant as the site of the world first spear fishing competition in 1950
    (Oh the horror of it all ! Spearfishing! But that is the way it all began)

    Cress Street
    The sea going Barge the "Foss" sunk at anchor in1958
    Not much remains
    Tooo long of a swim for most modem divers

    Moss Street
    Miller's reef ( name after me - See Shecklers book on SoCal diving )
    Very long swim ...Way too long for most (according to Sheckler)
    I swam it many many times.....returned with full game bags

    In shore the remains of a WW11 aircraft. Not much remains and difficult to ID

    "Diving West" published 1972 was the first dive guide for Southern California, I was the co author of the Orange County section.along with the late great Ron Merker (Who was good ole Dr. Bill' who has been diving since 1902 Basic LA County Instructor )

    You might check with one of the used book merchants for a copy of Diving West.
    In the first edition Ron had an article on spearfishing, I had Keepen Creepers -- how to preserve and display marine life ( once again Oh the horror of it all ! Preserving Maine life !

    LA Co Underwater Instructor
    NAUI instructor number 27
    PADI, and many of the rest of the instructor alphabet

    Yep! Tooooo much time on may hands
    Enjoy your trip to SoCal and the Long Beach SCUBA Show
  9. shucksun

    shucksun Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: L.A.

    I would be honored if you would be my guest on the Giant Stride on 5/27. 2-3 dives off PV, rigs or wrecks. We'd love to have you.

    J. Reeb
  10. Calvin Tang

    Calvin Tang Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest USA
    Ohmigosh, what a wealth of answers here!

    Yes, I am planning to come through that area - not sure if on the way down or the way back, but judging by shucksun's dive on the 27th it might just have to be on the way down! Thank you for this advice, sea_otter, and I will go take a look in the NorCal forum.

    Interested! The timing could work out perfectly, and sounds like my kind of boat (small and catering to photogs). Thanks for the invite, I will go take a look for your other thread.

    geoff, I'm thinking from what you said and what I've heard from others that generally speaking boat diving will probably be more up my alley for this trip. Thanks for the link and advice!

    sam miller, you are the official winner of the OMG post in this thread. I've got to sit down and look at some maps and knit all that you wrote together in my mind. But thank you so much in advance for all of that great info. And hey, if you have so much time on your hands let me know if you are up for a dive at some point!

    So much to read and research now!
    geoff w likes this.

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