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
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.