Dive into SD’s plentiful coves and kelp beds

by Kristen MacBride

Scuba divers in La Jolla can observe a thriving collection of wildlife including stingrays, lobsters and halibut, MCT Campus
Scuba divers in La Jolla can observe a thriving collection of wildlife including stingrays, lobsters and halibut, MCT Campus

Exploration has been the defining characteristic of human history. Boundaries have been pushed and new places discovered. The mountains and valleys have been conquered, but the big blue deep remains a mystery.

Fortunately for students, San Diego offers numerous places to explore the blue depths. San Diego’s coastline is host to a diverse and unique underwater world waiting to be explored by scuba divers.

There are a plethora of scuba companies that provide alluring excursions for experienced, certified divers, as well as certification classes and guided tours for non-certified people just looking to experience a dive for a few hours.
San Diego Excellent Adventures, Scuba San Diego, Inc. and Dive California all offer numerous types of classes at reasonable prices and are just a few of the many companies in San Diego waiting to introduce swimmers to the world below the surface.

There are several noted hot spots in San Diego offering scuba divers a captivating and enticing underwater world of marine and plant life.

La Jolla Shores’ clear, calm water and multitude of life make it one of the most frequented dive spots for all levels of divers. Novice divers can explore the more friendly, shallow depths, and experienced divers can enter into a submarine canyon, a series of ledges that eventually drop off to 800 feet. Swimming the canyon depths, divers are likely to spot leopard sharks, stingrays, lobsters and halibut cruising along the sandy bottom.

Protected in the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve, La Jolla Cove is a sanctuary to be marveled and explored. This underwater haven supplies divers with caves, reefs, kelp gardens and 30-foot visibility. A swim in this thriving habitat might also include a visit from seals and sea lions, as they have been reported to greet, play and sometimes tug on divers’ fins.

While exploring the cove, divers can take a 300-yard swim to glide through the La Jolla kelp beds. The forest, which can reach up to several miles in length and width, is an awe-inspiring ecosystem considered to be a must-see for all divers.

Explorers can also swim among eerie sea vines at the Point Loma kelp beds. Here, divers will swim through several, distinct types of kelp and witness the mystical ecosystem harboring fragile sea snails, crabs, starfish and sea anemone.

For divers looking for a thrilling exploration, take a boat diving trip to Wreck Alley. This man-made diving attraction is home to artificial reefs teeming with thousands of sea anemone and other creatures. However, the gems of this underwater attraction are along the ocean floor. Multiple sunken vessels encrusted with flowery, vivid sea anemone, muscles and sea urchin lay below waiting to be toured and explored.

For experienced scuba divers looking to expand their scuba journeys, or curious adventurers looking to try something new, San Diego’s vast and intriguing waters await.