Monterey diving

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Gdoggy

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Hello,

I will be in Monterey around Sept. 17th (thursday) and would like to do some diving.
So... what is a good place to dive (Location and shop)?
Also I would be happy for a diving buddy so I can save costs on guided diving :)
I am travelling with 2 other non-divers.

I see most shops are taking lots of money if one wants to dive at Point Lobos, is it worth it?
Another thing that bugs me is the equipment rental prices.
I saw the prices are 75-80$ if I want to rent full equipment for a single dive. That is 3-4 times more of what I am paying back home for the same service. Are those really the prices?

Thanks!!
 

Ben_ca

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Where are you coming from? If you are comfortable diving cold water and have enough skill and gear to last about 30-45 mins I say it is worth going to Pt Lobos. If this is your first time diving in California you can do it all at the Breakwater, have a great time and see a lot without paying the park fees.
 

Drin

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Yes, those are really the rental prices, and they're not out of line for diving in this part of the world. All of the shops in Monterey have similar prices.

Lobos prices have gone up dramatically. I'd recommend diving the Brealwater and saving the park entrance fee and divers fee. If you choose to dive Lobos know that you'll probably need a reservation and that they only take 15 dive teams each day.

-Adrian
 

Gdoggy

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Hey,
I am coming from Israel. Thanks for your responses!
If I am planning to visit the point lobos anyhows (I just want to take one dive and then just walk around the park) will I still have to pay extra fees for diving?
Thanks!!
 

elgoog

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Here's the dive and fee information for Point Lobos - Dive Information | Point Lobos Foundation. Sounds like you're going on a weekday, so reservation is probably not going to be a problem but finding a dive buddy might be (and you can't make a reservation and then go looking for a buddy).
$75 rental is per day, not per dive - you're probably thinking of the dive guide fee which is in the $75 per dive range. Usually a full gear rental with 2 tanks is <$100. If you're feeling super enthusiastic and energetic, you can get one of the tanks refilled for $5 and do a 3rd dive.
And echoing what others said - if you've never dived California or cool/cold water before, Breakwater will be good for your first 2 dives. Do 1 dive at the wall and another in the kelp in the middle of the cove. It's a super easy site with good facilities (showers, parking, dive shops). Your 3rd dive could be McAbee Beach which is just a couple of blocks over from Breakwater.
 

broadreach

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Hi,

I want to reiterate the question of cold water experience.
Have you ever dived in cold water environment? - the Red Sea and Mediterranean are much warmer than Monterey even in the dead of winter.
The temperatures here can be in the 10C to 12C range at depth. This means that you need a very thick wetsuit, hood and gloves (or better yet a drysuit). The consequence of thicker insulation means big swings in buoyancy from surface to depth, added weight to sink all that wetsuit down and restricted range of motion. Consider also the need to carry all that heavier gear on foot down the beach, the potential for poor visibility (less than 5 meters is not unusual) and long period surge that push and pull you around constantly. Point Lobos also requires a decent surface swim before you reach the nice parts.

The result is that someone who is a confident and somewhat experienced diving in Eilat or even Tel Aviv can get cold, uncomfortable, use up his/her air quickly and feel like a total beginner again. Monterey is great, but it is hard work and if you come from a warmer diving background it takes time to adjust to the local conditions.

Weather can also be unpredictable. Check the marine forecast before you commit to diving.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from Diving Monterey, but I want you to consider that it is not easy diving. Going with a dedicated guide for the first time in this type of environment is really not a bad idea.
 

3D diver

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If I am planning to visit the point lobos anyhows (I just want to take one dive and then just walk around the park) will I still have to pay extra fees for diving?
Thanks!!

Yes & I've seen the life guards/rangers talking with folks who've entered the water when they shouldn't.

The breakwater is a consistent good dive. Lobos is too, but you really do need to swim a ways to get to the good bits.
 

Drin

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I'd STRONGLY recommend diving the Breakwater rather than Lobos. They're much more enjoyable dives if you're not used to the cold water and heavy gear that's required in Monterey. It's also less expensive - Lobos fees are ridiculous, and you WILL have to pay them at Lobos. No way around it.

-Adrian
 

Dos Cylindros

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I stand with the others in recommending you dive the Breakwater (also known as San Carlos Beach). It's a very convenient dive site, with easy access and a dive shop right next to it (Breakwater SCUBA). If you need a buddy, I might be available (PM me). Additionally, Breakwater SCUBA does guided dives at Breakwater and I have found them to be fantastic guys and gals though I have never used their guide service. Point Lobos is beautiful, and a world class dive site. YOU WILL have to pay the fees, there is no way around it. Additionally, Point Lobos requires relatively long surface swims in order to get to the most interesting parts. Like the others have said, Monterey is outstanding diving, but it is not the same as warm water diving. I don't know your experience, but if you are new to cold water diving I would suggest Breakwater as your first dive site. You can dive the wall for one dive and the pipe or the kelp fields on your second dive. There is a ton of life to see and trust me you will not be bored.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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