Frequently Asked Questions

We do our best to answer all questions our members may have.

Photo by Dan Schwartz (Lovers)

Local Dive at Lovers Point – Photo by Dan Schwartz

  • Membership
  • Club-sponsored Dives
  • Training
  • Local Diving
  • How do I join the club and what are the membership fees?

    Membership in the club is open to everyone. Membership is made up of a diverse group of individuals with common interests in sport diving, skin diving, diving instruction, underwater photography and dive travel.

    Club dues are $40 per year; $10 for associate at same address. For students (at least half-time) with ID, they are $25 per year.

    Visit our Membership page for more details.

  • Do I need to be SCUBA certified to join?

    You need not be certified to join. Club meetings and events might give you a sense if you might want to take up this great ocean-based sport. There are often other top-side outdoor activities that can be had at dive sites. Non-diving spouses or significant-others often enjoy the club meetings and dive-sites, where there are usually other outdoor activities available.

  • How do I join Meetup?

    Joining Meetup is very easy. Download the instructions to first find the club’s Meetup page and then join Meetup. After you’ve applied and a club Meetup Organizer verifies you’ve paid your club membership dues, you’ll be able to learn about upcoming dives and other club events posted by members. You’ll also be able to invite others to join you on dives you’re planning.

  • What is CenCal?

    The Central California Council of Diving Clubs, Inc. (CenCal) is a recreational diver membership organization and is one of about 15 U.S. dive councils operating under the wing of the USOA (Underwater Society of America). It is a tax exempt, not for profit corporation formed in 1959 and is a charter member of the USOA. Its domain is all of California north of the San Luis Obispo County line and has about 25 dive clubs within it.

    CenCal has directorships and committees involved in many facets of diving. It's efforts are directed toward promoting the various underwater interests of its members. It is dedicated to the principles of safety, conservation, access, wise and equitable legislation, underwater sports and furthering knowledge of the marine environment. CenCal members and teams compete in national competitions against other U.S. councils. We meet via teleconference on the last Wednesday of alternate odd-numbered months.

    CenCal maintains communications with other California Councils via the CCC (Conference of California Councils). The CCC meets twice yearly via phone conference.

    For more information, visit the CenCal website.

  • How do I find out about upcoming club events?

    Dives and other activities for the coming month(s) are planned and discussed at the monthly club meetings, announced in the club newsletter, The Aqua Tooter, and posted on our Meetup group.

  • When do I renew my membership?

    Dues are to be paid as of January 1 of each year and considered delinquent as of April 1 of each year. Go to the Renew Membership page. If you need assistance with renewing your dues, please contact the Membership Chairperson.

  • How often does the club host local dives?

    Aqua Tutus schedules a monthly dive on dates picked by the board of directors. The dives are usually held at ocean dive sites along Monterey or Sonoma County in California.

    Dives and other activities for the coming month(s) are planned and discussed at the monthly club meetings, announced in the club newsletter, The Aqua Tooter, and posted on our Meetup group.

  • Will there be a certified dive instructor or dive master at club-sponsored dives?

    At club-sponsored dives there is always at least one diver familiar with the site. Many club members are certified Rescue Diver or above and more than capable of taking care of any problems.

  • Do I need to be a member to dive with the club?

    You’re welcome to join us on a dive or two as a non-member to see how you feel about our club and members – we hope that you’ll find us fun, friendly, and willing to share! But to get full information about dive meet-ups and to enjoy the full experience of our club, we hope that you will want to join the club to help support the activities and causes that the club offers. Meetings are open to divers and non-divers alike; speakers are usually of general interest.

  • What experience level do I need to be to dive with the club?

    One of the benefits of our club is that you can dive at all experience levels, from just-certified open-water to intermediate and advanced, to technical- and deep-diving. Our club offers Advanced- and Rescue-certifications for only the cost of materials, as well as other specialty courses. If you’re new, you will find club members very willing to dive at your level on most dives to build your confidence and skill level… you need just ask! Skill building is a key mission of our club.

  • I’m new to diving, can I still come on a club dive?

    See question above. Our club typically organizes at least one dive a month, but there are also a number of other “pick-up” dives each month that members organize via Meetup. A diver must be at least open-water certified to come on a club dive, for both safety and legal reasons. But one of our key club missions is to help grow good divers who are confidence and both respect and enjoy the marine environment. There is almost always someone happy to dive at your skill level on a club dive, but – as a certified diver – you must be a responsible diver that is foremost responsible for your own safety.

  • I’m new to cold water diving, can I still come on a club dive?

    We have awesome world-class diving right here in our backyard! But our local waters do require more equipment and skills than most warm-water locations. If your open-water training did not cover the unique challenges of our local diving (which is not uncommon), you can certainly join us on some of our easier local dives, gain experience, and then take an Advanced class that provides more-formal training for our local waters. You must always be responsible for knowing your own limits, but diving with a good club and other attentive experienced divers is a great way to begin to experience our wonderful local diving.

  • I don’t have a dive buddy, can I still come on a club dive?

    Our monthly club dives are usually pretty well attended and we always “buddy-up” (2-3) at dives, so there should be someone to dive with. It’s always important that new dive-buddies communicate well before the dive to understand skill levels, dive objectives, safety concerns, etc. So be sure to share any questions or concerns.

  • Does the club sponsor dive trips?

    At this time Aqua Tutus Diving Club does not sponsor trips. A club member may put together a trip and let the membership know about it and often several members will be on the trip.

  • Does the club provide equipment or do I need to provide my own equipment?

    Aqua Tutus Diving Club does not provide any diving equipment. Equipment can be rented from a local dive shop. If one is serious about diving it is prudent to own your personal equipment that you are comfortable with and fits you. Poor fitting equipment, in particular BCDs and wetsuits, make for less than fun diving.

  • Are there opportunities for free diving with the club?

    Often in the afternoon of a club dive several members go out free diving. If interest warrants Free Diving training can be arranged.

  • What is a “POC”?

    The “POC” is the Point Of Contact for a club dive.

    Any member of Aqua Tutus is welcome to plan a club dive, and act as the Point Of Contact (POC) in selecting the date, meeting location, and time of the dive. The POC communicates details of the event to other members by posting on MeetUp. The POC is simply a coordinator for the dive and is NOT responsible for leading the dive nor the care of or safety of other divers. Each diver is responsible for their own equipment, safety checks, survey of water conditions, choosing a dive partner, and communicating the dive plan prior to the start of the dive. Individual divers are also responsible for applicable parking fees, park fees, food, transportation, and insurance. Club dives are encouraged to strengthen the bond between club members and encourage the longevity of the sport.

  • Where can I go diving locally?

    We have world-class diving in our own backyard… but be sure you have the appropriate training, skills, and equipment! You’ll learn good dive sites at club meetings, programs, & our dives. Most of our diving occurs in the Monterey area or on the North Coast. Dives sites in Monterey vary from protected, shallower, beginner-level locations on the north side of the Monterey Peninsula, to more exposed, deep, and advanced-level sites on the west and south sides of the peninsula. North Coast diving is typically more-rugged and –advanced, with typically less-visibility (but abalone!). Good descriptive guides include “A Diver’s Guide to Monterey County” and “A Divers Guide to Northern California”, both from Saint Brendan Corporation, and “Diving & Snorkeling Monterey Peninsula & Northern California” from Lonely Planet.

  • How do I check dive conditions in Monterey? Sonoma?

    Online websites are only guides, since local conditions can often differ from what’s stated. But a couple of good websites are Monterey Sea Conditions at a Glance and North Coast Sea Conditions at a Glance, respectively, both produced by the late Chuck Tribolet.

    You can also call your favorite dive shop in Monterey or up north to confirm local conditions. It’s often worth a trip, even if you’re not sure – there are always things to enjoy even if you get blown out.

    A couple of sayings:
    “There’s never a bad day in Monterey!”
    “You usually need to get a few bad diving days, to be able to get a few of those really-spectacular diving days.”

    But, most importantly, don’t dive if you don’t feel comfortable in the sea conditions or dive plan you observe or hear.

  • Does the club have recommendations for local dive shops?

    The Club does not recommend or endorse any dive shop.

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to us anytime and we’ll happily answer your questions.