Diving La Jolla Cove

Garabaldi and kelp at La Jolla Cove

When I mention it, local divers are always shocked to hear I've never been to La Jolla Cove.


On Tuesday, Tedd and I set out to rectify the never-dove-the-Cove situation once and for all. Surface conditions were beautiful, with gentle 1-2-foot waves, plentiful sunshine, and no wind. We waded in and swam out with no incident, if you don't count my best spaghetti-fork impression in the shallow seagrass... "holding me up."

Underneath, conditions were a bit choppier, with some surge and swirling sand contributing to a hazy 15-20 feet of visibility. A shallow bottom kept us solidly in the surge zone throughout our dive.

It blew my mind how the La Jolla Cove could be so close to the Shores, and yet look so different underwater. Where the Shores are deep, dark, and mucky (in the BEST possible way, of course!), the Cove was bright, shallow, and kelpy. We saw lots of the usual kelp suspects, like Garibaldi.

(aside: I just realized I've been spelling "Garibaldi" incorrectly FOREVER. I'm sorry.)

This one had a funky shape to its dorsal fin.

Garabaldi and kelp at La Jolla Cove

We saw a lot of sandy-bottom-dwellers, including many Banded Guitarfish.

Guitarfish at La Jolla Cove

The highlights of my dive were the multiple bat ray sightings! I had never seen a bat ray before, and then I saw three! What a day of firsts!

Bat ray at La Jolla Cove

Total runtime 98 minutes; maximum depth 24', water temperature 64 F

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