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FAQ Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes La Jolla Cove such a physically demanding dive site?

       Answer: California shore diving is in itself a physically demanding activity more than most tropical locations because of lower visibility, colder water, higher surge, and a trickier entry and exit. The cove entry point specifically stands beneath a set of 50 stairs which will be required to walk up and down each dive to get to our entry and exit (in full gear). A 5-10 minute surface swim is required to swim to enough depth to begin our dive. Each dive last around 50 minutes. These are some of the reasons that La Jolla Cove is such a physically demanding dive site. We suggest doing a single tank or going on a boat tour if you are not in physical condition to do this shore dive. If you have any injuries, medical conditions or recent surgeries, you may want to consult your doctor to make sure that you are fit to dive.

Q: What am I going to see?

       Answer: We cannot guarantee that you will see any specific wildlife. Historically, divers come to La Jolla Cove to see the Sea Lions and the Giant Kelp Forest. It's also not uncommon to see Garibaldi Fish (the vibrant orange California State Fish) in great abundance, Sheepshead bass, Horn Sharks, and Banded Guitarfish. To see some video clips of some of our dives, click here. And be sure to Subscribe ;).

Q: Is there a place for me to leave my valuables while we are on our dive?

      Answer: Yes. You are welcome to leave your personal belongings in our vehicle while we are on our dive. (We are not responsible for any lost or stolen items)

Q: What happens if conditions are bad on the day of our reservation?

      Answer: If conditions are not safe or dive-able on the day of your reservation, you will have the option to reschedule or get a refund. We will do our best to give our best judgement to let you know what to expect and give you the best experience. Please respect the Instructors decision to call off a dive due to poor conditions, as it does commonly happen.


Q: When is the best time to dive?

      Answer: There are good and bad days every month in Southern California, although the dive season is most consistent in mid summer to fall. During these months, the swells tend to die down and water warms up.

Q: How cold is the water?

      Answer: Temperatures vary depending on the time of year you visit. Winter temps can drop to the low 50's, and summer / fall conditions can reach mid 70's. We highly suggest diving with a 7mm wetsuit, boots, hood, and gloves to be comfortable.

Q: What is the maximum depth for the Scuba Tours of La Jolla Cove / La Jolla Shores Night Dive?

      Answer: The max depth for the dives at La Jolla Cove is ~33fsw / ~10m. The majority of the cove dives are spent in 15-20fsw. The Night Dive at La Jolla Shores has a maximum depth of ~60fsw.

Q: I am a very experienced diver. Do I have to stay with the group?

      Answer: Yes. All divers that book a Guided tour through us must stay within view of the Guide at all times. If you get separated from the group, slowly start your ascent and reconvene with the group at the surface. Do not continue the dive alone without your Guide.


Q: Can I use my own gear?

      Answer: Absolutely. We will have tanks and weights included on each dive. Our tanks are all Yolk valve so please reach out before hand if you need us to bring a DIN adapter for you. You do not need the scuba gear rental if you use your own gear. (We are not responsible for any for your gear and have very limited tools to repair anything in the field; please come accordingly and have your gear checked before your dive, especially if you have not been diving for awhile). Discover Scuba Tours and Snorkel Tours come with full gear included in dive package. *

Q: I have a some gear of my own (Ex. mask, wetsuit and fins), do I still need to buy the full scuba gear rental if I need the rest of the gear?

     Answer: Yes you need to get the full scuba gear rental if you are not coming with all of your gear (Excluding tanks and weights). As of right now, we do not offer partial gear rentals. You are welcome to bring your diving accessories to use of course and pick what you need from the gear we provide. Alternatively, you are welcome to go to another dive shop to get the rest of your gear beforehand. (Please note and consider that dive shops require you to pick up and drop off rental gear and will likely be more expensive than buying the scuba gear rental from us directly). Discover Scuba Tours and Snorkel Tours come with full gear included in dive package. *

Q: Can I bring my camera?

      Answer: Yes. You are welcome to bring your camera. We highly suggest you mark your camera with your name and phone number and have a securely tethered to your BCD/wrist. 


Q: Can I spearfish, collect Spiny Lobsters, or seashells while we are on our dive?

     Answer: Absolutely not. La Jolla Cove is part of one of the largest Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the United States. It is strictly prohibited to collect any marine animal or remove any archeological artifact from the cove. Please respect the wildlife and never touch the animals.

Q: Do I need any special certification for the night dive?

      Answer: No. There is no required night dive certification to join us for a Night dive Scuba Tour of La Jolla Shores. A minimum Open Water Certification will suffice. 

Q: When is the best time to encounter Sea Lions?

      Answer: Sea Lions can be seen year round, although the pups get in the water in October and that is when they are the most interactive.

Q: When is the best time to encounter Sharks?

      Answer: Peak season for sharks is Spring and Summer, although they are always there. Small Horn Sharks are the most common, but we do get Tope Sharks and Sevengill Sharks. Click here to see one of our videos of a Sevengill Shark encounter.

Q: Is there Public Parking at La Jolla Cove?

      Answer: Yes. There is 3-hour Public Parking (starts at 8am) directly at La Jolla Cove. Parking during the summer months is very competitive, especially on weekends. We suggest you arrive early, or use one of the various Pay to Park garages near the area. (We are not responsible for parking tickets.)

Q: I am not a certified diver, can I dive with my certified friends at the cove?

      Answer: Unfortunately not. Non-certified divers are limited to either the Discover Scuba Tour at Mission Point Park or the Snorkel Tour of La Jolla Cove.

Q: What will I see on the Night Dive Scuba Tour of La Jolla Shores?

      Answer: The Night Dive Scuba Tours focus on going to La Jolla Canyon, where the gently sloping sandy beach bottom abruptly and steeply drops off. You are likely to spot Octopus, Nudibranchs, lots of Crustaceans, Horn Sharks, Stingrays, Banded Guitarfish and more.

Q: Is there a weight limit?

      Answer: There is no specific weight limit for diving with us. However we highly suggest a BMI no greater than 30, due to the physically strenuous Nature of shore diving in Southern California. Our Scuba gear rental wetsuit sizes max out at 250lbs.

Q: Is there a minimum age required?

     Answer: The minimum age for any Scuba activity is 10 years old. The minimum age for Snorkel tours is 8 years old. Please call ahead if you have younger children, we may be able to facilitate if we can get extra Guides.