Posted by Northcoast diver on December 23, 2004 at 11:42:12:
In Reply to: I've always wanted to do that posted by seahunt on December 22, 2004 at 09:18:53:
Jade Cove at the Los Padres National Forest seashore has a steep trail down to the beach. If you are going to try it, I suggest an HP steel 55 tank or smaller, and a 7mm single piece wetsuit and hiking boots for the walking portion. Those items are critical.
The less weight you carry, the happier you will be. For me, my single piece 7mm wetsuit needs the least amount of lead of any of my suits. A farmer john uses more, and a drysuit also uses more.
And I myself will slso rig smaller tank straps onto my B/C and use a 40 cu ft deco bottle as a main tank. Very light that way. If you use EANx for your dive, you can get a boost from it too as you breathe it while hiking back up the trail with your gear on. Don't laugh.
You need to do a preliminary walk down to see if the trail is open. You can bring your weight belt and goodie bag down on the first trip down. I also bring a G/I shovel, the folding kind, so that I can repair the trail if need be.
I attach an 85 lb lift bag to my canvass goodie bag, and a spool to send it up with. You can do your safety stop hanging on the spool line, although the cove is shallow, and you do not really need a safety stop, especially if there is nitrox in your tank.
If the sea state is really flat (rare), you can swim into a jade cave there at low tide. Not recommended, of course.
You and your buddy need to be in pretty good shape to make it down and back up the trail. Down in two trips, back up in two as well. Three if you found a lot of jade, or a really big piece.
There is a lot of kelp at the cove also, so it is easiest to dive in springtime before the summer growth begins. In winter the cove is normally too rough.
It is more likely a weekend camping trip than a day trip to get there and dive. Plaskett Creek Campground is the spot right by the trailhead where you can set up camp. The campground is often full unfortunately.
There are booklets that talk about Jade Cove and diving there. But they cannot convey the pain of getting down and back up the trail. I hope you are jogging 3 times a week, and if not you should start now.
Seahunt, email me sometime when you are up here and we can go try out the cove for your first time.
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