San Diego Diving Info For The Visitor

If you find yourself in San Diego there's a lot of good diving available. Most notable
for the visitor is Wreck Alley, the Point Loma kelp beds, La Jolla and the Coronodo
Islands. The Horizon even runs shark dives and goes up to the Channel Islands
or the wide open diving of Cortes Banks..

Picture by Alan.... who borrowed a camera that day.

There are a number of good time boats going out of San Diego. The commonest destination
is Wreck Alley. There are seven boats in the area intentionally sunk as artificial reefs.
They are covered with growth and provide beautiful diving. The most popular is the Yukon.
It is 377 ft. Canadian destroyer sunk there in the mid 1990s. It is now covered with
beautiful white Metridium anemones. The wreck was prepared for diving and can be safely
penetrated by an intermediate diver with a bit of common sense. The next most popular
wreck is the 170 foot Coast Guard Cutter, the Ruby E. this wreck is completely covered
with beautiful, colorful Corynactis anemones. There is also the Del Rey, a kelp harvester
that is deteriorating rapidly and the NOS Tower that collapsed in a storm. All of these
dive sites are exposed to the open currents and so are covered in beautiful growth. Diving
in the area at night, you will see many fish that are hiding during the day. All wrecks are
in less than 70 feet of water except for the Yukon in 105 feet.

It turns out that there is also a freeway bridge that has been dumped in the area and is
occasionally visited by boats. The Ingram Street Bridge. It's very interesting diving. Swim
down the dotted line under the light poles.

Water temperatures are typically between 55 and maybe 70 degrees. You will need a good wetsuit
and a dry suit may be nice if you are prone to get cold. Diving is best in fall and winter
(between storms). Spring can be windy and dirty.

Most of the dive trips from San Diego are half-day boats. A trip to the Coronado Islands is
going to be a full day trip, but is a great place to play with the sea lions.

There are a number of boats in the area that regularly visit Wreck Alley including
The Lois Ann or by phone at 619-450-4478. It has NITROX on board and is a great boat.
Another good San Diego Dive boat is One-Eyed Jack at 888-420-3047.
Also is Blue Escape at 888-500-3483. They have their shop at the docks so you can rent gear there.
There is also the Hydrodiver 6-pack that is a great deal and offers great flexability.
For even more San Diego Dive Boats, see California Dive Boats at

The various dive boats also regularly make trips to the Point Loma Kelp beds. These can be
fantastic diving, as good as any tell diving at Channel Islands. You'll see an amazing variety
of fish and invertebrates.

ScubaBums is the best San Diego divng resource on the web.
If you are even considering a shore dive, check out that site.

There are some nice shore dives from La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove. These tend
to be fairly easy dives. It is an easy swim off of La Jolla Shores to the sub-marine
canyon. It is an interesting dive, especially at night, but read up on it before you go.
Parking is good there and it is a very nice beach.
Parking is difficult, but the diving is easy at the reserve at La Jolla Cove. Since it
can't be hunted, it is full of lobster. You can see abalone and other invertebrates that
are not common elsewhere. Click here to see a good report on La Jolla Cove Reserve.

If you want a dive led by a divemaster, contact Ocean Enterprises at 858-565-6064.
Rent your gear down the street at Ocean Enterprises Express or for that matter rent a
kayak at La Jolla Shores and see the coves of La Jolla that way.

Aqua Tech is another excellent dive shop in San Diego. (619) 237-1800

Links to some San Diego dive reports:

  • Extrordinary Images Of Wreck Alley From The Camera Of Alan Shepard
  • Tidepools I Have Known
  • The Sewer Pipe - San Diego
  • Wreck Alley - The Ruby E On The Lois Ann
  • Night Fall With One Eyed Jack - San Diego
  • The Yukon
  • The Ruby E
  • Point Loma Kelp Beds
  • Yukon Morning
  • Beautiful Dive On The NOS Tower In San Diego
  • The Ruby E On The Lois Ann

  • Corynactis Anemones come in every color from pinkish to violet

    Enjoy the diving, seahunt

    Some La Jolla Cove Directions By Melvin
    From the steps next to the street, take a 30 degree heading to the yellow bouy. About 50 yards
    before the bouy, at the edge of the kelp bed (there are several) dive down and continue the 30
    degree heading to the bouy. If you look sharp, and are lucky, you should see a grooming station
    for Giant Black Sea Bass. I have seen over a dozen here circling waiting their turn to get the
    parasites removed by the grooming fish. I also saw 2 blue sharks here. Lots of marine life and
    much to see.

    You will enjoy the dive. Visibility varies, can be over 30 feet, or could be 5 feet call San
    Diego Beach and Water Report (619) 221-8824, LaJolla Cove Life Guard Station (619) 221-8899
    for current conditions and check for the current
    swell model.
    Enjoy. This is my favorite dive site.