La Jolla Cove San Diego, CA

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La Jolla Cove is a popular dive spot in San Diego and a beautiful part of town. It's a marine preserve that allows shore dives. Under good water conditions it's easy to get access. Probably the toughest part is finding somewhere to park, though they have a convenient drop-off zone so you don't have to drag your gear from a distant parking space to the cove. The entrance to the water is down some steep steps. I prefer the steps furthest away from the road as there's less of a drop from the last step to the sand.

You'll need to check the conditions that day, they can vary considerably even within a single day. Call +1 619 221-8824 for recorded information on clarity (typically 5 ft up to 20+ ft on a good day), temperature and surge. A moderate surge can be considerable challenge, especially if you're not used to cold water diving. I wouldn't recommend going out in less than 10ft visibility. Most divers go out in the early morning as the swell picks up mid- late day.

Once you're in the water, you'll gradually descend, passing sea grass, snorkellers feeding a collection of golden Garibaldi fish, rocks and by veering to the left once you get out of the cove, you'll reach the kelp soonest. Many people swim out to the nearest buoy, Buoy A drop down and swim back underwater. Visibility is often spotty There are small pinnacles to explore and the deepest you're likely to get is 40 ft and that's only if you're prepared to go out to Buoy A or beyond, a good distance out and back!

Like visibility, the surge varies depending on where you are. Check out the short video; you'll get a good idea of the conditions & what's out there - the odd fish at the end is a Shovelnose Guitarfish - more common at La Jolla Shores.

La Jolla Cove Dive.

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