Posted by Eric S on December 12, 2004 at 09:24:11:
In Reply to: California dive vacation posted by Philip Brown on December 12, 2004 at 08:26:30:
My suggestion would be to go to Monterey. Monterey is just below San Francisco on the map and has some great top side stuff to do, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and you will be surrounded by some real natural beauty. There are about 5 dive boats running out of Monterey that will take you to all the best sites.
Water temps are going to be in the low 50's and never really change due to the Alaskan currents.
Best time of year all around would be from probably June through October but the late summer months are generally the best. Spring can be really windy so it is too hit and miss.
As long as you're in Northern California you could visit San Francisco. Go down to the wharf and pier 39, that is always fun.
Then you could go across the
Golden Gate bridge and head up into wine country which is, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of the state. (That's why I moved here). Up in this area there is a lot of open land, beautiful vistas and trees. Go to the redwood forests. Take a drive along hwy 1 starting at say Stinson beach and wind your way all the way up to Mendocino. The are many small quaint coastal villages separated by miles of farmland and breathtaking views. Diving up in these parts however is very advanced due to the rough and cold water and currents. There are no dive operators so shore diving is the only option. Dive shops are far and few between so you have to have everything with you. The only full service dive shop around any accessable shore diving would be Sub surface Progression up in Fort Bragg. They can rent you anything you need and they have a great divemaster there that will take you out on a personal tour. You can also rent kayaks on Vandamme beach and spend hours touring the coastline and paddling through the caves.
If you want to know about LA or Southern California someone else will have to post about it. I think LA is a total pit and I avoid it at all costs. They tell me the Channel Islands diving is good but I've never been there.
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