Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
06/06/2003 3.87 La Jolla Cove California South, USA West
I'm not sure how this site could be realistically compared to Casino Point. The vis at Casino Point is just too good on average compared to La Jolla Cove. The first dive I made here was aborted because the surge was greater than the visibility, literally. Be careful for the rocky shore toward the left/south; the surf can easily pull you into the rocks. At night many lobster can be seen hiding in the reef at about 30'. The garibaldi seem to love this area too. I still thing this is a good dive if for no other reason that there is so much to explore here. Check with a local dive shop before heading out: (858) 273-2683
06/06/2003 3.78 LA - Casino Point California Mid, USA West
Casino Point is located right in front of the Casino Building (large round structure) on the opposite side of the harbor where the ferries dock. This popular dive spot features stairs leading down to water's edge and is roped off to keep boat traffic out. Depths within the park are as much as 90'. There are a number of interesting animals, wrecks, and lets not forget the giant kelp. As one diver from Texas said to me, "I can't believe how big the kelp is here!" You can see boat engines, tires, large spider crab, garibaldi, small and large wrecks, and many other indigenous creatures. Visibility is usually 50'+. The shore is steep and gets deep very quickly so snorkeling may not be great here. You might be better off at Lover's Cove on the opposite side of the harbor. I hear it's shallower there. In the warmer months it's not uncommon to find a lot of people here, but it's big enough to not feel cramped. Restaurants are within walking distance and rental equipment/air is about 50' away from your entry point. Make a day of it and your non-diver friends can shop in the picturesque little town. Just don't miss the boat or you might find yourself checking into the Pavilion Lodge. Don't ask me how I know ;)
06/06/2003 3.47 LA - Wreck of the Valiant California Mid, USA West
The Valiant was a 162' luxury yacht that caught fire and sank in late 1930. She now lies at 100' in Descano Bay, just outside the Avalon Underwater Park on Santa Catalina Island. A short set of stairs leading right down to the water and a short swim make this an easily accessible wreck. To dive the Valiant get the harbormaster's permission (free - go upstairs, last building on the right). They can also provide you with a map. Snorkel out to the far set of buoys running parallel with the park boundary rope and buoys. You'll pass Mooring W44, then W45 "Canadian Mist". You can start your descent at the Canadian Mist Buoy, but the wreck is actually closer to W46. I find it helpful to descend down either mooring. Visibility is usually excellent at 50'+. Your descent down the Canadian Mist will lead you to a sandy bottom at about 60'. Proceed at about 135 degrees at 70'. You should see an oasis of giant kelp growing on the wreck below you. Due to the depth this is considered an advanced dive. Watch out for boat traffic. I once nearly had an unfortunate incident. Overall this is a pleasurable dive given the vis and easy access.