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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

Boat Diving in Southern California

Updated: May 24

Diving off of a boat in Southern California offers a unique and exciting experience for both experienced and novice divers. Two popular options for boat diving in the region are diving off of a private boat or a local commercial boat in San Diego and diving off of a commercial boat in the Channel Islands. Diving off of a private boat in San Diego allows for a more personalized and intimate diving experience. You have the flexibility to plan your own dive schedule and choose the dive sites that interest you the most. Additionally, diving off of a private boat allows you to bring along your own gear and dive with a smaller group of people, allowing for a more relaxed and comfortable diving experience. On the other hand, diving off of a commercial boat whether in San Diego or in the Channel Islands offers a different kind of experience. The Channel Islands are a group of eight islands located off the coast of California and are home to a diverse array of marine life and unique underwater environments. Diving off of a commercial boat in the Channel Islands allows you to explore these remote and pristine dive sites and is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the region. Additionally, commercial boats typically offer a variety of dive packages and options, including guided dives, night dives, and more. Overall, whether you choose to dive off of a boat in San Diego or a commercial boat in the Channel Islands, you are sure to have an unforgettable diving experience. Both options offer unique advantages and opportunities, and it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and diving goals.

We had a 22' Boston Whaler that we used for local diving however there are great commercial boats that go to the local kelp beds and even offshore. One of our favorite places for local San Diego diving is the Point Loma Kelp beds. They are easily accessed from either San Diego Bay or Mission Bay and offer a wide variety of fish and invertebrate life.

For more information on these fish see our gallery "Fish of Southern California"

Another option for San Diego diving is going offshore where you will find a whole different kind of life. These range from pelagic sharks and fish to drifting salps and jellyfish.


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