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Scuba Diving In San Diego

What is the average water temperature in San Diego?

Jan: 58°
Feb: 57°
Mar: 58°
Apr: 60°
May: 63°
Jun: 65
July: 66°
Aug: 68°
Sept: 66°
Oct: 65°
Nov: 62°
Dec: 59°

Please note that these are surface temperatures. Water temperature drops significantly at depth, so bundle up accordingly.

What type of thermal protection is best suited for diving in San Diego?

At a minimum, a 7mm wetsuit, hood, booties, and gloves are necessary, especially in the winter. Drysuits are also a good option for experienced divers.

What is the average diving visibility in San Diego?

Average visibility for shore diving in La Jolla is 10-20 feet. Offshore visibility increases to 20-30 feet. On a prime day diving in San Diego, you can get 30-50 feet visibility.

The Coronado Islands in Mexico usually have better visibility than San Diego, averaging 40-60 feet. On an epic day, you can get up to 80 feet visibility at the Islands.  

Don’t let the surface or swell conditions trick you - underwater visibility is always unpredictable. Dive charters are your best bet if you’re looking for better visibility.

What are some of the best dive sites for novice divers?

La Jolla (Cove, Marine Room, and Shores), Mexican Coronado Islands, NOSC Tower, and shallower areas of Point Loma Kelp Beds.

Check out this interactive map for more information on each dive site.

What are some of the best dive sites for advanced divers?

Shipwrecks HMCS Yukon and Ruby E., Scripps Canyon, Train Wheels, NW La Jolla, and deeper areas of Point Loma Kelp Beds.

Check out this interactive map for more information on each dive site.

What are some of the best dive sites for tech divers?

Booking A Trip

What are Waterhorse Charters prices?
How can I book a trip/tour?

The best way to book a trip is through our online booking system.

To book a trip:

  1. Select your preferred activity type: Boat Charters or Shore Diving 
  2. Click on 'Book Now' for the next available date and follow the booking process, selecting additional options as needed: Nitrox Tanks, Tour Guide, Rental Gear
  3. Pay for your reservation and fill out your waiver form and guest form per diver prior to your trip date

Special inquires for dive shops, clubs, instructors, and private parties can be made here.

Watch this 2-minute video for a hassle-free reservation process:


What are guest forms?

Guest forms are individual forms with more details for each passenger in your party.

Please make sure everyone in your party, including you, completes a guest form by clicking on the 'Guest Form Details' button on your invoice.

After payment, you'll land on the guest information area. Click on 'share this link' and send this link to the other people in your party so they can complete their information before the trip.

Watch this short video to understand how to do it:

Can I charter the whole boat?

Most definitely. Chartering the whole boat is the best option for Dive shops, dive clubs, and private parties.

For diving charters: You pick your dive sites based on your group skill level. If it's accessible to us and safe to you, we'll take you there! Tanks, weights, and the most helpful crew in town are part of the package. Light food and beverages will also be provided at no extra cost.

For non-diving charters (bay cruises): Take your group for a spin on Mission Bay and catch a true California sunset from the ocean. All events are fully customizable to fit your needs: birthday parties, team building events, family reunions, burial-at-sea ceremonies, or any other special get-together. Catering is available for an extra fee.

Click here to send us your private charter inquiry.

Do you offer scuba diving gear rentals?

Yes, we have wetsuits, BCDs, regulators, mask/snorkel, gloves, hood, booties, fins, and nitrox tanks available for rent. Add whatever gear/size you need to your order when booking online and pay on the day of your trip (total price will not exceed $50 per diver for full gear rental).

Check gear rental prices here.

Do you offer guided dives?

As a safety precaution, our divemaster stays onboard for surface support on the trip. However, a divemaster can be hired to take you on a tour.

Check divemaster hire prices here.

What's the minimum number of divers for the trip to run?

Coronado Islands trips require a minimum of 9 divers to run. All the other trips require a minimum of 5 divers to run. If we don’t reach this number up to 24 hours before your trip, we’ll have to cancel it. In that case, we’ll contact you to reschedule your reservation or issue you a refund.

What is the capacity of the boat?

Our boat, the Humboldt, is rated for 40 passengers. For dive trips, we restrict it to 22 divers + 3 non-divers to make our passengers comfortable.

What is your booking/refund policy?

On Your Trip Day

What is provided on dive charters?

We got your basic needs covered! Tanks, weights, and the most helpful crew in town are part of the package. Light food (fruits, oatmeal, pastries, chips, soups, salads, cookies, rolls, candy) and beverages (coffee, tea, water) will be provided at no extra cost. You can also expect a hot deck ‘shower’ and a clean bathroom to make you comfortable between dives.

What should I bring to a dive charter?

It is recommended that you bring all personal dive gear (if not renting), a towel, change of dry and warm clothes, seasickness or any other specific medication, sunscreen, sunglasses, and extra snacks/beverages of your choice.

Don’t forget your proof of certification and valid Passport if traveling to Coronado Islands in Mexico!

Where should I meet for a dive charter?

Please arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior departure and check in at our dive shop, located at 1617 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA 92109. You can unload and load your gear right in our parking lot, but please use street parking across the street for the duration of the trip.

How long is the ride to each dive site?

Coronado Islands: 95 minutes

NOSC Tower: 10 minutes

Point Loma Kelp Beds: 20-30 minutes

HMCS Yukon: 15 minutes

Ruby E.: 15 minutes

Scripps Canyon: 60 minutes

NW La Jolla: 45 minutes

USS Hogan: 60 minutes

Train Wheels: 30 minutes

P38: 60 minutes

What marine life should I expect to see?

Marine life varies from site to site. Southern California is home to sea lions, harbor seals, leopard sharks, eels, octopus, large schools of fish, colorful invertebrates, and giant kelp forests. It’s common to see dolphin pods and whales (in the winter) when offshore.

What safety equipment is onboard?

All US Coast Guard required safety equipment is onboard: life rafts, life jackets, EPIRB, first-aid kit, and a jim buoy. For diving emergencies, we have a 100% O2 safety kit and a trained divemaster always onboard.

Should I tip the crew?

If you feel like the crew went above and beyond to make you feel safe and comfortable, most definitely tip them! The rule of thumb for dive boats is about $5-$10 per tank.