Summertime is here! That means a lot more Californians will be getting scuba certified and there will be a significant uptick in the number of out-of-state divers that visit California to take advantage of what our local diving has to offer. This increase in diving activity gives me an ideal opportunity to welcome all a lot of new divers to the California diving scene and first time diving visitors to our Pacific Ocean backyard.
I’d also like to provide a brief overview of some things California diving offers in an effort to help all divers get the most of their California diving experiences while diving smart and safe. For starters, if you are a California first-timer I strongly suggest that you join dives organized by a local dive center for your first several California dives, or that you go on one of the many dive charter boats that service California waters. It just makes good sense to dive with local experts as you become familiar with all that California diving entails. Even if you are not new to beach and coldwater diving, a little local knowledge can go a long way toward keeping you safe and warm, and get you to better dive sites at the right times.
A number of California dive centers regularly organize and lead beach dives. It logically follows that their staffs are able to provide guidance regarding dive site selection, how to get to dive sites, beach access, and the availability of restrooms showers, picnic tables and parking areas etc. That type of input will allow you to prepare wisely, eliminate unnecessary stress and get the most out of your diving day.
The Channel Islands, located roughly 20 to 60 miles off the state’s southwestern coast are considered the crown jewel of California diving. We are very fortunate to have a first class charter fleet that services the Channel Islands as well as select dives sites along the mainland coast from San Diego to Monterey Bay. Diving with the charter fleet is a great way to dive sites that are not accessible from the beach. Depending on the particular vessel and their schedule, you can go along either by joining a group organized by a local dive center or signing up individually to go on an “open boat.” In either case trip leaders or divemasters will be available to help you get acquainted with the selected dive sites, and the way the boat and diving day are run.
I could go on and on boasting about all that California diving offers, but the point I want to emphasize is that if you are new to California diving, please consider joining a dive that is organized and supervised by a local dive center, or go on one of the trips run on boats in the professional dive charter fleet. These opportunities really are the best way to learn about and experience what California diving has to offer.