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USA: California Coast Dive Region & Sub Regions
The California Coast offers SCUBA divers cold to moderate temperatures which sustain a spectacular variety of sea life. This diving region includes dive sites and galleries in Monterey, Catalina, the Channel Islands and the California Coast.
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|Catalina||7 Dive Sites|
Catalina is the only island with a significant resident population and provides excellent dive opportunities. It is reachable by ferry from Newport Beach and other locations in LA and Orange counties. The other Southern Channel Islands of Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, and San Clemente are also included in this region.
|Channel Islands (North)||15 Dive Sites|
|Select: Channel Islands (North)|
The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel. The Northern 4 islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa) are located off the coast near Santa Barbara and are a common dive destination. The southern four islands (Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, San Nicolas, and San Clemente) are spread father apart and are located off the coast between LA and San Diego. San Clemente and San Nicolas are military owned and maintained. Catalina is the only island with a significant resident population and provides excellent dive opportunities. It is reachable by ferry from Newport Beach and other locations in LA and Orange counties.
|Monterey||20 Dive Sites|
The Monterey Peninsula, comprising the city of Monterey and the surrounding communities of Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Carmel-By-The-Sea, is a world-wide diving destination and treasured diving attraction for California divers. Popular for both its dramatic shore dives on natural reefs and for the endless boat diving possibilities. Dive shops and charters are plentiful, as are hotels and other top side activities making Monterey the perfect dive destination.
The surf pounded rocky shores and steep cliffs provide home to colorful invertebrates, wide varieties of fish, and exciting encounters with small sharks, rays and skates. Divers are frequently accompanied on their dives by seals and sea lions.
Water tends to be colder than most people imagine for California (in the 50’s – Brrr!) so 7mm wetsuits or even dry suits are standard apparel when diving in Monterey. Local diving hazards include large and powerful surf and surge, and visibility can drop dramatically during storms. 15’-30’ is an average good day but it can be much higher in calm weather. Check out the description in the dive site information for specific hazards, check in with local shops and charters and enjoy your perfect Monterey diving experience.
|Northern California||5 Dive Sites|
|Select: Northern California|
The Northern California region spans the scuba diving community north of Monterey from Santa Cruz to San Francisco, and up to the California/Oregon Border.
|Southern California||17 Dive Sites|
|Select: Southern California|
The Southern California Region spans the distance south from the Bakersfield area to the California/Mexico border and includes dive sites around the cities of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Las Angeles, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Oceanside, and San Diego.
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