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Location
Ventura California
# of dives
50 - 99
Hi everyone!

I just moved to Ventura all the way from South Florida (never want to make that drive ever again). I'm looking to get diving ASAP and meet some local divers.

Are there any beach/shore dive sites in the area / anyone willing to dive with me?

I have 50 -100 dives. Honestly I never kept track. I am a pretty confident diver but with that being said i tend to dive on the conservative side. I am currently AOW and NITROX certified. I got some time before I can dive. My reg is in the shop for service and I'm shopping around for a 7mm wetsuit. I've never dove in anything thicker than a 3mm so ill have to adjust my weight by quite a bit.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Be sure and hit the Channel Islands when you can, especially Anacapa. I loved the diving there! There are boats that run trips out there that leave from Ventura Harbor. I used the Peace but I believe there are several.
 

merxlin

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So. Cal.
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Welcome to the best coast! I would check out Channel Islands Dive Adventures, a local dive group and dive trip organizer. Lots of great people in this group. Here's a link- CIDA
Not a lot of shore diving up that way, most is south of you. Lots of great boat diving out of Ventura, and now again out of Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands. The Spectre, Raptor and Peace dive boats are all out of there. Also check with the local dive shop to see if they have a club or group that regularly dives.

Heres a guide from CIDA on the shore sites Coastal Dive Sites Ventura to Malibu
 

acreichman

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Tom Figueroa is the local instructor I know and I think he's been working on finding sites up there. There are lots of shore diving sites farther south (Redondo Beach and then Laguna Beach) and maybe some farther north. There are also boats that regularly go out of Ventura Harbor to the Channel Islands (The Spectre and Raptor, among others).

Tom's email: TomFig@GUE.com
Spectre Boat
Raptor boat

Tom can probably connect you with local divers and I've been on good trips on both of those boats.

Good luck and welcome to SoCal!
 

Esprise Me

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Welcome! I always recommend new-to-chilly-water divers hop on the ferry and head over to the dive park at Catalina. The stairs make for an easy entry and exit, and there are benches to gear up nearby. There's also a dive shop right there where you can get more weight if you need it, or rent a hood if you're cold, or any other piece of equipment. (I own all my gear but always rent tanks and weights there to have less stuff to schlep.) There are several buoys with descent lines you can use (just yield to the classes/guided groups; those lines are maintained by the local shop so they have priority). You can hire a guide if you want; I think it's well worth the money. There's a baggage transport service if you bring your own gear; they'll also store your stuff after they pick it up until you board the ferry so you don't have to deal with it if you want to go grab a bite after diving. There are showers for $3 that seem to be back open finally. It's a convenient day trip and a good place to take your time getting yourself sorted with a new, thicker suit, in addition to being easy and enjoyable diving. PM me if you'd like to tag along next time I go.
 

geoff w

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Welcome to the area. It's definitely a good idea to go out with locals a couple of times to learn the finer points of So Cal shore diving, including dealing with kelp. Lots of shore diving in the area. Deer Creek down PCH (highway 1) toward Malibu is a good spot, but fairly exposed to condition on rough days. Also, the stairs are falling apart, so no idea how much longer they will last. Continuing down PCH from Ventura, you'll hit Malibu, with good shore dive spots at County Line, Harrison's Reef, Staircase beach, Leo Carrillo state beach, Nicholas county beach, the "pocket beaches" (El Pescador, La Piedra, El Matador), Broad Beach, Westward Beach (Dume submarine canyon and pinnacles, but the road is currently gone), then around the other side of Point Dume typical shore dive spots are Escondido Beach, Corral and Malibu Rd. A little closer to Ventura is La Jenelle, also at the tip of another submarine canyon. To the north are a number of Santa Barbara shore dives, which can be inconsistent, all the way up to Refugio state beach, which is the most protected. Conditions this year have sucked compared to normal.

If you find a 7mm full suit that fits you, definitely get it. Like everything else these days, neoprene is in short supply and finding new inventory for the rest of the year is going to be challenging

If you want boat dives, the Peace, Spectre and Raptor all go to the northern Channel Islands. Ken Kollwitz and Channel Islands Dive Adventures is very active and most excellent

The book A Diver's Guide to Southern California's Best Beach Dives is an excellent resource and starting point, but incomplete. A Diver's Guide to Southern California's Best Beach Dives: Dale Sheckler, Kim Sheckler: 9780962860041: Amazon.com: Books

Once this stupid pandemic insanity is over and life returns to some sense of normal, the LA County Underwater Unit offers a free workshop during the summer months, "Rocks, Reefs and Rips" AKA 3Rs, at various LA county beaches. It's geared toward orienting divers to shore diving conditions at popular spots and how to evaluate local beach dive conditions

With lobster season starting real soon, you should be able to find some dive buddies pretty easily
 

Lookitthat

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Ventura County California
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Welcome to beautiful Ventura County! Previous posts have some great suggestions.

Channel Islands Divers (separate from Channel Islands Dive Adventures) is an active local club, meeting every third Wednesday of the month starting about 6:00 at Pizza Man Dan's in Port Hueneme.

CID club president Mike Doyon is a dive instructor. Good guy to connect with.

We did a club trip to Santa Cruz Island a few weeks ago - super day diving Scorpion Cove with decent viz and lots to see. Lucked out whale watching on the boat ride out - multiple humpbacks up close and personal, including a cow-calf pair. You can bring your gear on the Island Packers boat with easy access to shore diving right next to the dock.

Next club trip is November 12th, a weekend diving Catalina Island - it'll be my first time, but we hear it's the highlight of the year.

October's CID meeting is on the 20th. My husband and I will be there - come say hello!

P.S. Feel you on the weight issue. We recently returned from 6 months on Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos, where I could go with a skin & 8 lbs or a 3 mil & 10 lbs. Here, 7 mil suit + hood + gloves + boots = 24 lbs! Considering switching to a steel HP80 or even a 100 if I can manage schlepping it down to the beach...
 

geoff w

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malibu
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... Considering switching to a steel HP80 or even a 100 if I can manage schlepping it down to the beach...
FYI, dry weight of a HP80 is about a pound lighter than an Al80 (I assume that's what you're switching from). The HP80 is close to 6 lbs more negatively buoyant than an Al80, allowing you to take that much lead off for your dives. All that plus their compact size make HP80s an ideal So Cal beach dive tank
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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