San Carlos Club Dive

  • Divers
  • Divers at the beach
  • Low Tide, Falt Seas
By Alan Throop

We really lucked out on this dive!

… you never know this time of year, but the weather and dive conditions were PERFECT! We had 15 divers turn out for a great dive day at San Carlos beach. Sunshine, cool air temps, flat seas, and the stirred-up conditions from the recent storms had settled out to give good vis, making for spectacular Fall conditions. Although there were a number of dive classes (not as bad as summer, though), parking wasn’t too bad and most people were able to gather at 9:00 to brief and get into the water. Dennis gave an interesting overview of the site, with a bit of history thrown in on this well-known site on old Cannery Row. We selected buddy teams and suited up. We also had some good shore support from Tooters who couldn’t get into the water.

We arrived on a 5.6’ high tide, so while the swells were small, there was enough surf on the low-sloped beach that the entry and exits offered some challenges for students or those who weren’t practicing good ocean awareness. Tooters got in fine, but watching and discussing the skills of the students and other divers offered some good lessons. On entries, never turn your back on the ocean, and keep your mask on and your reg in your mouth on entry (you can still “breath around” the reg if you don’t want to use tank air). We saw a number of divers risk getting sand in their dangling regs and, if you fall, you’re in deep doo-doo without a mask.

Exits were even more interesting in the variable surf. Tooters came out fine and happy but we saw a lot of divers get tossed in the relatively-small surf because they stopped in the middle of the surf zone to remove their fins or they didn’t get far enough up the beach and got caught by a sneaker breaker. On the other hand, we saw at least one dive class that did it right: they crawled out well above surf zone before helping each other take their fins off.

We gathered for lunch and dive recaps in the great weather between dives. Some did a second dive. While we had 20’ or so viz at the wall, other divers reported only 3-5’ viz at the pipeline; it’s surprising that it could be that variable. By the end of the second dive, the tide had ebbed and the surface conditions were pond-flat … it couldn’t be any better. We watched a sea otter feeding by the wall and just enjoyed the great Monterey views.

A number of us met at Gianni’s for a great pasta and pizza dinner before heading home. Join us for the next club dive … I hope the conditions will be as good!

Entering the water Bad exit Happy divers exit Divers