Shaw's Cove & Diver's Cove
Find Scuba Diving Lessons and Clubs
One of the more popular activities in Laguna Beach on a typical Saturday morning is scuba diving at popular Shaw's Cove and Diver's Cove, which are both located a few hundred yards north of Main Beach. Many of the divers you'll see there are taking lessons from one of the companies that provide scuba diving instruction. Others are practicing their skills before heading off to more exotic locations. In addition to the actual divers at the beach, there is usually a small audience of tourists and locals, standing along the rail on the bluff above, watching the activity.
Typically, the scuba divers park along Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, at the north end of Heisler Park. The parking meters end at this point and, if they're lucky, some of the divers and visitors are even able to find one of the few free parking spots in the area. Then the divers begin the process of pulling on their wetsuits and climbing down the stairs to the beach, while carrying their tanks, fins, masks and other equipment. However, once they arrive on the sand, the protected little Laguna Beach coves where they venture into the water provide them with a private location for diving, away from the crowds who tend to hang out on the bluff above.Credit: www.morguefile.com
(Peaceful point-of-view of a diver courtesy of www.morguefile.com)
Buying or Renting Scuba Equipment
Dive equipment can be expensive. Much of what you will use, such as your tanks, can be rented in Laguna Beach, as well as other spots around the world where diving is popular. However, most people will still want to purchase items such as fins, masks, and their own wet suits, especially if this is a hobby you expect to pursue for long. You can shop for these items at dive shops around the world or use this direct link to wetsuits and scuba equipment from Amazon. Almost anything you want can be purchased there. They offer virtually anything a diver would need including tanks, boots, dry suits, compressors, wet suits, gloves, regulators fins, weights and belts.
There are also dive shops in the Laguna Beach / Orange County area where you can get personal assistance purchasing the items you need. For example, you could go to the Scuba Superstore. Their phone number is (714) 282-6400.
Another dive shop is Laguna Sea Sports, which operates a full service dive shop within walking distance of Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach. They have been located in Laguna Beach for decades and are located at 925 North Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. They can fill your tanks (including the choice of nitrox). They have equipment for both sale and rent. They also operate an equipment repair service. Whether you shop there or not, you may want to check out their website at beachcitiesscuba.com to get the daily beach report for Shaw's Cove.
Within a short drive of the town of Laguna Beach, you can also shop at Sea Stallion Scuba Outfitters at 23098 Bake Parkway, in Lake Forest. Their phone number is (949) 699-3600,
Taking Scuba Lessons in Laguna Beach
Whether you start out with your own equipment, or decide to rent it until you are ready, you will need to have diving lessons to get started. You will want to become certified through PADI, NAUI or SDI, national dive certification programs. Here are some of the Laguna Beach Dive Schools:
Laguna Sea Sports / Beach Cities Scuba (949) 443-3858
PADI 5 Star Instructor Center. They offer all levels of scuba dive training and services and operate a full service dive shop. The also have sales and rental of scuba equipment
Certification through PADI, NAUI & SDI. They teach people of all ages and skill levels and also work with the Handicapped Scuba Association
Join a Dive Club
Once you have been trained, you may also find it helpful to join a dive club. These clubs help arrange trips, and will give you the security of knowing that there are other divers with you when you go down. Here are some clubs you can join, in the Laguna Beach area:
South Coast Divers Associations Southcoastdivers.com
This organization helps new scuba divers gain experience. You will have the ability to get more practice as you dive with divers who have been active for years, and you will connect with new diving buddies. No membership fees.
Laguna Sea Dwellers Dive Club Lagunaseadwellers.com
This club sponsors monthly meetings, mixers and a newsletter. They also arrange for diving excursions to other locations.
South Orange County Dive Club Socdc.com
This club also sponsors monthly meetings and has a newsletter. They have weekly shore dives in Laguna Beach and also arrange diving excursions within California and to more exotic locations.
Now that you have learned to scuba dive, have fun practicing your diving with others in Laguna Beach! Join one of the fun clubs in the area. Through the clubs you will also find out about more fun spots where you can dive, as well as good places to buy equipment. You will also make new friends who share your love of diving.
If you decide to get your own equipment, you may also want to shop on Amazon, using the quick link below:
Do a REEF Field Survey
Once you have become an experienced scuba diver, you will want to help protect the ocean waters. One way you can do this is to become involved with REEF.org. This is an organization of divers who try to make a difference by helping to protect the world's reefs, and participate in efforts to monitor the fish and algae in different areas. You can sign up to become a REEF surveyor. The information that you gather on marine life will go into the REEF database, the largest database of its kind in the world. This information helps scientists and researchers, and will make your adventures around the world even more meaningful.
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