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diving in santa cruz, california

Santa Cruz Diving

USA Santa Cruz dive guide
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Scuba diving in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is California's largest island, located on the northern coast of the state. As part of the Channel Islands of California it is characterized by its diversity of diving opportunities. The island is the richest in marine creatures and species of all the Channel Islands. You can even watch porpoises, dolphins, and whales feeding in the kelp forests near its shores. Other marine creatures inhabit Santa Cruz dive sites like pinnipeds and sea lions just to name a few.

Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with Santa Cruz local dive centers for safety, additional information, Level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.


Average annual temperature: Between 18°C and 24°C. (65°F and 76°F)
Average Water surface temperature: About 23°C to 76°C (74°F to 76°F)
Visibility often averaging: visibility is 0 to 50 feet (0 to 15 meters)
Coldest time: December
Warmest time: August
Possible to dive all year round.

Santa Cruz have huge diving opportunities, its sites vary from shallow to deep sites making it suitable for divers of all levels of expertise. Its mystery caves, coves and cliffs offer scuba adventurers memorable experiences. With the great visibility you will have the chance to enjoy the kelp forest, colonial cup coral and red gorgonian growing in the area. The dive sites here are rich in underwater creatures, which is great for underwater photography. There is abundant marine life; lobsters, shrimps, rockfish and sheephead frequent its dive sites.

Some of Santa Cruz dive sites are:

Fraser Point is a great site for all levels of expertise. It is at a depth ranging from 20 to 60 feet (6 to 18 meters). Its good visibility, averaging from 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters), is a great advantage for underwater photography. This spot is divided into several dive sites each with its own character. Rocky reefs and kelp forests are home to many kinds of marine life. Gorgonian, sea fans and sunbeams are an attraction for underwater photographers.

Fraser Cove is at a depth of 15 to 60 feet (4 to18 meters) with good visibility averaging about 30 feet (9 meters). This site is famous for its wide variety of marine life like bat rays, lingcod, and rockfish. You will enjoy its beautiful channels holes and cavers that are home to many kinds of sea life such as lobsters.

Little Scorpion Anchorage is a great dive site that suits all levels of expertise. It is at a depth ranging from 10 to 80 feet (3 to 24 meters) deep. Its unique structure made up of cliffs and drop offs is a beauty. Kelp forests on its rocky bottom are home to many kinds of aqua life including lobsters, of mantis shrimp and rays.

Sandstone Point is an intermediate dive site. You can access this site by boat. It is at a depth range of 40 to 70 feet (12 to 21 meters) with good visibility averaging from 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters). Its beautiful kelp formations are great for underwater photography, they are thick and lush. Small crabs, snails and gobies inhabit this site as well as many kinds of stars like brittle, blood, giant-spined and bat stars.

Quail Rock is at a depth of 15 to 45 feet (4 to 14 meters). The site suits snorkelers and divers with all levels of expertise with good visibility that reaches 30 feet (9 meters). The site is good for underwater photography, especially near mini walls and the kelp forests where you can find large reef fish. The site is a habitat for a wide variety of marine life like rockfish, lobsters, lingcod and sheephead.
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