Liveaboard Diving in San Diego
What To Expect On A San Diego Liveaboard
San Diego liveaboards, in fact, do not dive in the San Diego area, instead, it is one of the departure ports for liveaboard dive trips that visit Guadalupe in Mexico. When you think of California, generally the thought is sun, sea, and surf but we focus only on the sea. It is a buzzing place to start off or finish off your liveaboard trip, with a lively nightlife, fantastic sunny weather the large majority of the year, and in general a lot to do.
LIVEABOARD DIVING FROM SAN DIEGO
A number of liveaboard vessels depart from San Diego; they run from July to October as these are the peak seasons for Great White sharks, and sharks are what you will get to see on these trips. The liveaboards will take you to Guadalupe Island; a tiny island off the west coast of Mexico which is still part of the Baja California state. This volcanic island only has a population of 213 people and measures 35km (21mi) by 9km (6mi), but it provides the rest of the world with the best spot in the world to go cage diving with Great White sharks. The main reasons for this are the warm waters; there are also Great White shark in Cape Town for example but the waters are much colder, so not as pleasant if you are diving multiple times a day. The second reason is that the visibility here is generally excellent; on average it ranges from 42m to 50m (125ft-150ft) which is great to see sharks already coming from afar.
Most liveaboard dive cruises to Guadalupe run for five days, and each day you will do around 4 dives. The cages are lowered down into the water immediately on arrival so the sharks can get used to it. The cages are hung at around 10m and they use Surface Supplied Air, which means all divers are able to participate.
Up to now, they have identified 171 individual sharks in the region, and every few months different sharks come by. July and August are when the rowdy, bachelor, teenage males come by that provide divers with an energetic experience. In September the females start showing up and then you see a mix of all sorts of sharks and finally in October and November the large females appear, magnificent and calm creatures that are curious about the cage so will be a perfect opportunity for some shark underwater photography. The combination of warm, clear, turquoise waters and the excitement of coming so close to some of the most impressive species of the sea is a truly unique experience.
GETTING TO SAN DIEGO
San Diego's international airport is the Lindbergh Field international airport. It is located around 4.5km (3mi) from downtown San Diego; so in an easily accessible place. Flights arrive from multiple destinations including other cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and even Tokyo.
The port from which the liveaboards will depart is the Unified Port of San Diego. Mexico bound liveaboards will depart in the evening, usually at 7 pm, and arrive the next day in the afternoon as Guadalupe Island is around 400km (260mi) from the mainland.